Former frat boy Clay Walsh has given up his reckless lifestyle and settled down to run an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. Determined to put his partying ways behind him, Clay has become notorious for his lofty and outdated theories on love and romance. But when Amber Hewson, a free-spirited woman with a gypsy soul, rents the apartment above his shop, Clay can’t help being attracted to her spontaneous and passionate embrace of life.New to the area, Amber finds herself surprisingly drawn to Clay and his noble ideas, but her own fears and deep wounds are difficult to overcome. Can they move beyond their differences and their pasts to attempt an “old-fashioned” courtship?
|Publisher:||Tyndale House Publishers|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Rene Gutteridge is the author of twenty-two novels, including Misery Loves Company, Heart of the Country, and Greetings from the Flipside. She is also a screenwriter and is releasing her first feature film, Skid, in 2014. She lives with her musician husband, Sean, and their children in Oklahoma. Visit her website at www.renegutteridge.com. Rik Swartzwelder is a writer-director-producer whose films have screened at over 145 film festivals worldwide and garnered over 50 major awards, including a Crystal Heart Award, a CINE Special Jury Award, and the Sprint/PCS Filmmaker of the Future Award.
Read an Excerpt
Chivalry Makes a Comeback
By RENE GUTTERIDGE, Rik Swartzwelder, Sarah Mason
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2014 Old is New, LLC
All rights reserved.
HIS DAY STARTED OUT quiet and ordinary, the way he liked and assured himself of. The morning light of early autumn rose in the east and filtered through the old, cracked windows of the antique shop, carrying with it smells of dust and wood shavings and varnish.
Every morning for nine years, before the sun fully slipped from its covers, Clay had unlocked the old shop. The store was tidy and presentable, like a perfectly tailored suit, showcasing the uniqueness of all the antiques. Everything, as it always did, had its place.
This morning he stood in the midst of them, carefully surveying the room and inventorying what he might need to acquire this week. Some items he found at estate sales. Others, the more unique pieces, George brought his way. Most needed, at the very least, a good buffing; typically they needed much more. They came to him as trash. But with hard work—tried-and-true elbow grease—there was rarely anything that couldn't be restored. There was no magic in it, but sometimes when he was finished, it felt otherworldly. A piece would arrive at his doorstep hopeless and pathetic and leave him one day treasured and beautiful.
Wax did wonders. So did sandpaper. And paint.
But the truth was, not everything could be fixed.
It was this early part of the morning that he loved so much, before the busyness of the day began. At the back part of the shop, through the swinging doors, was his little slice of heaven, where the smell of sawdust stirred in him a delight he'd never been able to fully explain to another soul.
Clay set his keys and coffee mug aside, keeping the front lights off because Mrs. Hartnett had a bad habit of dropping by before the crack of dawn if she saw a light on. He knelt beside the small rocker he'd been working on the last several days. An elderly man had dropped it off, hardly saying a word, paying for it in advance even though Clay insisted he didn't need to do that.
"What's your story?" he murmured, his fingers gliding over the now-smooth wood. The chair was a hard-bitten thing when it came in, chipped and cracked and neglected, smelling vaguely of smoke. Whenever he worked on an old piece of furniture—or anything else, for that matter—he found his mind wandering to possibilities of where it once came from and how it had gotten to where it was now. Most pieces had spent dark days in attics and basements and back rooms that never heard footsteps. Somewhere in their lives, they'd served a good purpose. The lucky ones stayed in the house but sat invisibly in a corner or by a couch, an annoying place to have to dust, a thorn in the side of someone who wished it could be thrown away, except for the guilt attached because it belonged to a great-grandmother who'd spent her very last pennies to acquire it, or some such story.
Yesterday he'd cut and whittled the rocker's new back pieces and today he would stain them. Clay grabbed the sandpaper and walked to the table saw where the slats waited, lined up like soldiers. As he ran the sandpaper across the wood, he could practically hear the creak of the rocker and the laughter of delighted children in another century.
He sighed, rolled up his sleeves, and sanded more quickly. Sometimes he thought he'd been born in the wrong century. There was hardly a kid today who would care about sitting in a rocker on the edge of a porch and watching a spring storm blow in. The world that he once thrived in had become a noisy, clangoring, messy place. But here, in the shop, with sawdust spilling through shafts of dusty light, he found his peace.
The sandpaper soon needed replacing, so he went to the corner of the room where he kept his supplies and reached for a new package. Then he snapped his wrist back at the sudden and sharp pain in his hand. It hurt like a snake had bitten him. Blood dripped steadily from the top of his hand and he cupped his other hand beneath, trying to catch the droplets.
Clay searched the corner, trying to figure out what had snagged him.
There, on the old wooden gate he'd found in an abandoned field: barbed wire. The back side of the gate was wrapped in it when he'd found it, and he hadn't had time to cut it off yet. He looked at the wound as he walked to the sink. It was bleeding so fast that it was actually seeping through his fingers, dripping on the floor.
What a mess.
He ran it under the water. It was more of a puncture wound but mightier than it looked. The blood poured, mixing with the water. And it didn't want to stop, even for the phone.
The shrill ring cut through the still air, coming from the rotary phone he had mounted on the wall next to the sink. Keeping his wounded hand under running water, he answered it.
"Old Fashioned Antiques."
"Lisa. Hi. I'm kind of—"
"I know, I know. Busy. As you always are. Why don't you answer your cell? Do you even carry it with you? Don't you text? People need to get ahold of you sometimes, you know. What if it's an emergency? What about that kind aunt of yours?"
"She finds me through the postal service."
"Anyway, I need to drop off the stuff for the thing."
"Are you going to be there this morning? Silly question. Where else would you be?"
"I might be. You never know. Maybe I got tangled in some vicious barbed wire. I might be bleeding out even as we speak, and here you are completely oblivious."
Lisa sighed. She never got his humor. "I'm being serious. Can I bring it by?"
In the background, Clay could hear Lisa's daughter, Cosie, screaming at the top of her lungs. "She okay?"
"She's throwing a fit."
"So she's in time-out?"
"You know we don't believe in punishment."
"I know. I just keep thinking you'll change your mind about that."
"So I'm coming by later, okay? And remember, this is a total surprise. Not a single word to David about it."
"I'll make you a deal: I won't tell David if I don't have to come to the party."
"Clay, he would be crushed."
"You know I'm just there to boost your numbers, fill in the empty space."
"True. But you're still coming. And not a word. I'll see you later."
She hung up and Clay raised his hand toward the light. It had finally stopped bleeding. He put a Band-Aid on and started mopping up the blood droplets all over the floor.
It was a lesson every person learned one time or another in their lives—never cross paths with barbed wire.
* * *
"Look at that, would you? Look at it!" Amber let go of the steering wheel with both hands and put her knee underneath to keep it steady. She gestured, glancing at Mr. Joe. "Nobody gets this. I realize that. I do. But see how the road winds, and then off it goes, through the trees? You don't really know what's around the bend, see?"
Amber put her hands back on the steering wheel, then gave Mr. Joe a quick scratch behind the ears. She'd temporarily let him out of his carrier, though he tended to get carsick if left out too long. "You're unimpressed, as usual. But there's something beautiful about roads. They're so full of possibilities.... Of course, you can always die in a horrific crash, too. But mostly, it's just about going somewhere. Anywhere. It's about what's around that bend, Mr. Joe. What's there?"
Amber's Jeep whizzed around the curve, clearing the trees as the road straightened. Her windows were down, the wind tearing through her hair so fiercely that it was going to take a good hour to comb it out, but she didn't care. She turned the music up. "Lovely Day" was on the radio, and she nudged her cat like he might sing along with her.
Then she saw it. "Whoa." She slowed and craned her neck out the window for a better view. "Mr. Joe, look at that!" Large stone buildings seemed to rise right out of the earth, sprawled across several acres. White concrete sidewalks disappeared into rolling hills and hazy light illuminated the branches of all the trees, like a scene out of some kind of fairy tale. The entrance read Bolivar University, but it looked like medieval England.
She leaned toward Mr. Joe and gave him a wink. "Apparently we've stumbled across Camelot. I told you I knew what I was doing when we hung a left back there."
Mr. Joe meowed in agreement.
As she drove on, Amber squeezed the fingers on her right hand. Her wrist was starting to throb, probably due to the cast more than the injury. It should've healed up fine by now. On the top of the cast was Misty's name, scrawled in red with little hearts.
She focused her attention back on the road. She couldn't spend emotional energy missing those friends left behind. But as she passed Camelot, she had to admit, it was always hard not to glance in the rearview mirror.
Still, she had to be resolved to press forward, find whatever was around the bend. She kissed Misty's name and left it at that.
This was beautiful country, and having spent much of her life on the road, she knew it when she saw it. Amber gazed at the trees. Some of the leaves were starting to turn that fiery-red color she loved so much. Soon, a cool wind would sift through them, lifting them into the air and then cradling them to the ground.
Ahead, a sign said, "Welcome to Tuscarawas County." How did you even pronounce that?
The speed limit indicated she should be going much slower, so she let off the gas. The last thing she needed was a ticket, and small college towns were notorious for planting police officers everywhere. It was probably how they made half their annual budget. Past the university by only a mile was the beginning of the town attached to it. It looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. She was probably somewhere near Amish country too. She'd have to look at her map at some point, but her best guess was she was in eastern Ohio.
"Charming little place ... like old-Coca-Cola-sign charming."
The car lurched and lurched again, throwing Mr. Joe off-balance. His ears flattened. Then the engine sputtered and gurgled. Amber smiled but kept driving.
She made it through the town square, going less than twenty-five miles an hour, in ten minutes. A small gas station ahead had a flat, yellow carport extending over only two gas pumps. It looked like it had been built sometime in the 1950s and seemed to be the last stop before the road stretched ahead and turned out of sight.
She deliberately drove on by, her gas light glowing yellow.
Then the engine died. With the momentum she had left, she pulled to the side of the road and let go of the steering wheel. The gas station was a five-minute walk behind her, no more.
Mr. Joe was purring again, wrapping his body around the empty glass jar he shared the seat with. Amber took the keys out of the ignition and relaxed into her seat just a bit. The temperature was so perfect. It reminded her of Monterey in April. The sky, bright and blue, was totally cloudless.
"What do you think, Mr. Joe? Home?"
The cat blinked slowly like he was fighting a nap. Amber got out and looked around. The trees were still lush and dense, so she couldn't see far.
At the back of her Jeep, she opened the hatch, careful not to let everything spill onto the ground. Boxes of clothes, gently packed dishes, bins full of photographs. And on top of it all sat a huge bulletin board, the colorful pushpins she'd bought somewhere in Michigan still stuck into the cork. It amazed her that her whole life could fit into the trunk of a car. She grabbed her purse from under her travel bag, found her red plastic gas can, and closed the hatch.
Through the open passenger window, she picked up Mr. Joe and put him in his carrier. "All right. You know what to do. Don't be afraid to bare your fangs if you need to. Try not to look so sweet, okay? That's not going to keep anyone away."
As she walked toward the gas station, Amber tried to take it all in. She didn't see any stoplights. She liked towns that were more partial to stop signs. The buildings had character but also had an air of vacancy to them. Over the tree line, puffs of factory smoke rose like ascending, transparent jellyfish. Toward the east and across a small field was an area that looked a little more developed, with some houses and restaurants, as best she could tell.
At the gas station's convenience store, a bell announced her arrival. It smelled like coffee and motor oil with vague hints of diesel. The man behind the counter wore a stained blue mechanic's jumpsuit with a patch that read Larry. He smiled pleasantly, setting down his newspaper. "What can I do you for, young lady?"
Amber put a five-dollar bill on the table. "Just need some gas."
"Five dollars ain't gonna get you very far," he said. "There ain't another town—gas station either, for that matter—for sixty-seven miles."
"I'm staying here for the moment."
Larry grinned. "Is that so? Well, welcome. We got a great catfish place—serves it up all you can eat—just around the corner there."
"Sounds fantastic. I'm looking to rent a small apartment."
Larry pointed to a stack of newspapers by the door. "That's our little publication round here. It's got a section for renters."
"Thank you." Amber grabbed the paper and walked outside to fill her gas can.
When she returned to her car, Mr. Joe's face was pressed up against the wires of his cage, his unblinking eyes staring her down for leaving him behind. She popped the gas tank open and stuck the gas can's nozzle in. Then she spread the newspaper across the hood of her car.
She had two criteria—cheap and furnished. "All right, boy. We're gonna go see if we've got a place to sleep tonight."
* * *
"There you go—good as new," Clay said, rocking the chair back and forth. "Well, maybe not as good, but look, you've been through a lot. I've given you a pretty good face-lift. Let's face it: you're never going to be twenty again. But ninety is the new forty."
Clay stepped back. The varnish would need twenty-four hours to dry, but it looked really nice. He checked his watch. Ten minutes until time to open. He sighed, sipped his coffee, and drew stick figures in the sawdust with a scrap piece of wood.
Sometimes he attributed it to caffeine jitters, but other times he knew it was nothing of the sort. There was a restlessness scratching him from the inside. Not even a quiet workday in the back of the shop cured it. He worked hard to be content, happy even, where he was in this world, making a simple living and being a simple man. It was, however, the slightest tickle of discontentment that edged him into unwanted thoughts about the state of his life.
The quiet of the shop that usually tamped the needling hum of his thoughts was suddenly undone by ... blaring music? That was nothing new in this town but unusual near the town square. The college kids were more likely to go down the strip, where the bars and restaurants were. At night. Clay checked his watch again. It wasn't even 9 a.m. Who would be blaring their music at this hour?
The bass rattled the more delicate items sitting around the shop. The little figurines that usually stood perfectly still, frozen in their poses, looked to be dancing ever so slightly.
Then, as if it had been blown away by a breeze, the music stopped.
Clay lifted the rocker, carefully placing his hand underneath it to avoid the new varnish. He wanted to put a few screws in the bottom to make sure it was secure, but he could do that at the front of the store, where he needed to be during store hours.
He was headed for the front counter when he saw her. She didn't notice him at first. She was browsing, her fingers delicately brushing over a lamp, a frame, and then a pile of old books. Her attention moved to the hand-crank phonograph that he'd estimated to be over ninety years old. She stood for a moment looking at its detail, and he stood for a moment noticing hers—curly brown hair, a little wild, like she'd just blown in with a tumbleweed. Bright, playful eyes. Beside the phonograph, in a square, woven basket, he kept two dozen 45 rpm EPs, sometimes more if he hit a good garage sale. Her fingers walked the tops of them, flipping them one by one, before she slipped one out of its black cover and gently guided it onto the turntable, then gave it a crank or two. It came to life, warbling and slow at first, but then a light and pretty piano solo began to play. Dave Brubeck, easy to spot for his unusual time signatures.
Excerpted from Old Fashioned by RENE GUTTERIDGE, Rik Swartzwelder, Sarah Mason. Copyright © 2014 Old is New, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
We live in a world where adultery is rampant and lust is exalted. It’s time for a new outlook on romance! Refreshingly quirky with a compelling plot, Old Fashioned is a divinely romantic tale of two hurting souls that discover a not so new but spectacular way of pursuing love.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this! Very deep characters, such raw emotions, I actually had to walk away from reading a few times. This book has such soul! Would have liked more at the end, though, as it seemed rushed...and would LOVE a sequel!
Old Fashioned is a quirky contemporary romance. You have two characters who are so different. They try to find romance the "old fashioned way" with many laughs along the way. Clay runs his aunt's antique shop. He rents the apartmant above the shop to Amber who just arrived in town. Amber and Clay have different ways of dealing with difficult situations. Overall, it was an enjoyable book. I received this book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
In the novelization of Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge and based on the screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder, we follow the stories of Clay Walsh and Amber Hewson who have made some mistakes in their past which has moved them into their current situations on how they each view relationships from vastly different perspectives, in this case polar opposites. Clay was your stereotypical frat boy who found women were just part of the college experience and didn't care for feelings or emotions as he went through his experiences with women. Amber was severely abused physically, emotionally and mentally for not living up to the standards of the last guy she dated and now has a different view of what love looks like. Now they both are struggling to find something that works and in Clay's case a complete 180 degree of relationships when he forms boundaries that Amber sees as old fashioned in a contemporary world. I received Old Fashioned the novelization by Rene Gutteridge compliments of Propeller LLC and Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review of these wonderful books. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review outside of a free copy of the book for my honest opinion. This is a must have for anyone considering dating, parenting and relationships from a Christian and biblical perspective. It offers an alternative to what the world would view offers society today and in keeping with the biblical and moral standards found in the Bible. For me, this was well worth all 5 out of 5 stars especially when parents are looking for an alternative way to keeping purity before marriage and a biblical view on relationships and courtship! Chivalry is definitely not dead!!
Old Fashioned took me by surprise. I was expecting a light hearted romance and instead received something different. Our two main characters, Clay Walsh and Amber Hewson, are attracted to each other and go about courting in an interesting way. Amber has just rented the room above Clay’s antique shop, and is not one who sticks around when things get tough. Clay is an enigma to her and she finds herself drawn to him despite his odd ways of dealing with women. For example, Clay insisting she waits outside while he does a repair in her apartment. As the story progresses and we witness their courting we begin to learn about their pasts that have put them both on the roads they were traveling in their lives before they intersected. Besides our two main characters, we also meet a host of secondary ones that are just as broken and mixed up as the couple they can’t figure out. At times very heartwarming and heartbreaking, this story also made me laugh out loud and I really enjoyed the last chapter. It was well done and very romantic. This book is a novelization of the screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder. I look forward to watching the movie by the same name when it is available on DVD. I received my review copy from The Book Club Network, Inc. and the opinions are my own.
Wish there were more people like Clay turned out to be.
Old Fashioned by Rene Gutteridge and Rik Swartzwelder is a refreshing, poignant romance that I really enjoyed reading. Former frat boy, Clay Walsh has completely turned his life around and diligently seeks to put his past behind him and to walk the straight and narrow. He has made a simple life for himself as an owner of an antique shop in a small Midwestern college town. A young woman with a past and no background of any religion finds Clay’s ways and beliefs a little perplexing. Her life is rather unsettled; she moves on when the whim strikes her. By chance, she sees Clay’s ad for an apartment to rent which is above the antique store, and she moves right into his well-ordered life. Very different people—opposites, in fact—each with past failures and wounds. Can they move away from their past and into each other’s life or are the wounds too deep and prohibiting? I highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to read a charming, yet unique story of love. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Old Fashioned is a story of timeless love where romance is worth more than physical attraction. Rene Gutteridge brings to life a beautiful tale of new love birthed through old fashioned methods. I absolutely loved Clay Walsh. He’s a man with past regrets from his youthful days who longs to right so many wrongs by doing a complete 360 degree turn. Clay seeks to honor the woman he wants to marry and show her the utmost respect. Although he dives deep into the biblical laws as he desperately tries to be a real gentleman, Clay swings on the pendulum of extremes from frat naughty boy to square “stress boy.” Along the way, he’s forgotten the one thing that changed his life completely: the love of Christ. Amber Hewson is a young woman with a heart that has never truly healed and remains slightly broken from her own past. When things got tough for her in the past, she would pick up and move on, but she finds that the physical relocation is only geography and strangely, she has lost the desire to do it. She is fascinated by Clay, who she lovingly refers to as stress boy and is intrigued by his strange way of courting. Clay must sort through serving God with his life and not just trying to be perfect. His personal convictions have cost him friendships, status and a career but he’s pleased to be transformed. The only confusion in his life is his desire for Amber. In a time when the world is mesmerized by the disillusioned idea in books like 50 Shades of Grey, Old Fashioned is the perfect response. It takes the reader back to a time when women were ladies and gentlemen were truly gentlemen. It demonstrates the beautiful way that courting developed beyond a one night stand and “test driving” another human being to see if they are “compatible.” Old Fashioned is a delightful story that reminds us that the old ways aren’t always wrong and the newest trends aren’t the best. It’s a book that I would recommend to young and old alike as an example of a love story; it is very well done in every way. I received this book from the Book Club Network and Tyndale Publishing House in exchange for my honest opinion which I’ve provided here.
What a wonderful book.
Good story however the characters lacked depth.
True love is WHITE, not shaded... Old Fashioned Novelization by Rene Gutteridge Screenplay by Rik Swartzwelder Chivalry makes a comeback Clay Walsh has made a vow to be a changed man. He no longer wants to be the man that he was, even if it means isolating himself away. He wants to treat women with the respect they deserve. Clay's ideals are the source of ridicule in the town in which he lives. His theories on love and romance are odd and outdated, but he has been living by them for nine years. He has yet to meet the woman who understands his views. But when Amber Hewson arrives in town his theories are about to be tested. Something about Amber draws him and terrifies him at the same time. Amber senses something about Clay is different though she's not sure what it is exactly. But when her apartment needs a repair she learns quickly what about Clay is different - he won't do the needed repair and be alone with her in the apartment. His "rules" confuse and intrigue her, but how do you get to know another person when you don't know the rules? This is a book that I highly recommend - the values Clay lives by are in fact ones that I was taught from a young age and men and women who live by these standards are hard to find today. Pressure to conform to the lax morals of today comes from all sides and it is hard to stand for what one believes as evidenced by the ridicule Clay faces (even from friends). I think my favorite line comes from Betty - "You know, marriage is kind of like a tea bag. You don't know how strong it really is till you get it in some boiling water. And the water don't boil till you're over the heat, and the heat don't come till you say, 'I do.'" I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Tyndale through TBCN/BookFun in exchange for my honest review.
Great Book! Clay a former party boys rents his shop's upstairs apartment to Amber, a free spirit who doesn't understand some of Clay's new life rules like not being alone in a house with a girl even when he comes to her apartment to fix things. Amber soon has mysterious things breaking in her apartment just so she can see him. For their first date they go to a marriage counselor. Amber isn't turned off and starts to work through the workbook the marriage counselor gave them. The marriage of one of his friends and the events and people surrounding it cause Clay to take another hard look at his life. Some time apart and soul searching pave the way for Clay and Amber to have the happy ending they both desire. This was a good clean romance story in which the man actually fell in love the woman for who she is instead of falling for her body or looks. He took the time to court her and get to know her and he cherished her and their relationship.
5 stars ***** out of five This novel has so many levels, and yet each one is fabulously portrayed. The first and most obvious is that of a young man who has turned from a life of partying to one of legalistic, self imposed goodness. The heroine who, though not a party girl, still views life as an adventure, while running away from life. How these two come together, bringing all the baggage of their lives with them, was fascinating. Sometimes I think that if we could work or at least do something to earn our salvation, we would, and often we do try. But in the end the only thing that "works" is for us to accept the Gift. And accepting the Gift is an adventure. A new gift, a new adventure each day! What an amazing novel, and one I recommend to my followers and readers! Thank you to Fred and Cheri at The Book Club Network, Rene Gutteridge and Rik Swartzwelder, and Tyndale Fiction for the opportunity to read this novel. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. A positive critique was not required. The opinions are my own.
From “life of the party” frat boy of nine years ago to present day quirky, keep to himself antique shop owner…that’s who people think is Clay Walsh. He’s become a solid, reliable, trustworthy man to the world after having been introduced to the Bible and the teachings of Almighty God, but is a man who lives with his own brand of self condemnation. Free spirited, spontaneous, and on the move at the first sign of difficulty is Amber Hewson. She is all alone in this world, and struggles with her sense of unworthiness and inability to feel loved. This is the story of what happens when Clay meets Amber – two very different people who find themselves drawn to each other, yet seeming to be unable to make the emotional leap necessary to build a lasting relationship. Clay, although he understands the ways of living the Ten Commandments, does not know the loving, forgiving God of those commandments. Amber, on the other hand, has no knowledge of the Bible or God at all. The authors create a moving story that allows the reader to view firsthand Clay and Amber’s difficult journey and to feel the intense emotions of these two characters. It is a book that demonstrates the power of truly knowing God and finding His love. I received this free book from Book Club Network in exchange for my honest review.
Amber is a woman with no roots. She goes as far as her gas money will take her and then stops, finds a place for her and her cat, Mr. Joe, to live for a while, and a job to support them until it is time to move on. She wants to believe in love. She wants someone to hold on to. What is it in her past that has led her to this point? Clay Walsh is a quiet antique store owner who believes in seeing a marriage counselor before dating, no physical encounters past perhaps hand holding, and ultimately believes that he is not good enough for the woman of his dreams. Clay has a despicable past with women which has led him to this point. When Clay becomes Amber’s landlord, sparks begin to fly. How can it ever move past Amber deliberately breaking appliances in her apartment so he will come to fix them. The only problem is that he makes her stand outside in the rain while he is inside fixing them so he will never be alone with a woman. This was a book full of very quirky characters beyond just the main ones. We have the “ enlightened” parents who are giving their two-year-old Chinese lessons and teaching her to not be ashamed of her body by carrying her portable potty in public and expecting her to perform. (A little over the top) They finally realize they love each other enough to get married. There is the “antique” scavenger who has been married and realizes at his wife of thirty-two years, funeral, that he loved her. This book shows many relationships, successful and unsuccessful. While there are definitely lighthearted moments, this book does not deal with light, frothy subjects. There are many things to think about. My favorite quote was from a Leonard Cohen lyric, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Oh. My. God. Literally. God. Mine. Well. Old Fashioned wasn't what I was expecting. First off, I didn't know until I was holding this novel by author Rene Gutteridge in my hands that it's actually based on a screenplay, one written by writer-director-producer Rik Swartzwelder. And, finding out that this book's cinematic counterpart is purposely being released the same weekend as the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey, it strengthened the assumption I formed after once brushing through Old Fashioned's book blurb: this would be a nice story intent on giving rather blanket pointers on chaste dating practices for Christians. I'd like it well enough, and that would be that. I can't pinpoint exactly when, while reading, I realized this novel wasn't what I'd thought it'd be. When I finished the book, I threw it down, took a seat, and wept. "Sometimes doing right is more than not doing wrong." Former reckless frat boy, Clay Walsh, meets free-spirited pretty girl, Amber Hewson, in this romantic story that's both sweet and humorous but also complex, nuanced, and at many points, just enough. The characters, major and minor, are imperfect, sometimes outrageous, and ultimately believable. Heartache, shame, faith, and grace find their places in this tale, not about dating pointers, but about a guy and a girl, plus the guy and himself, the girl and herself, and the God Who loves them both. "As Lloyd tells me every day--be a good steward of your pain." A vague book review, I know. Descriptions rarely do experiences complete justice, but it didn't take me long after weeping to know that I'd be adding Old Fashioned to my list of all-time favorite books. _____________________ Tyndale House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review.
What a great sory. Brought laughter and tears. Would like to read more to see how things went for them.
Refreshing read. Shows how to cherish a relationship without muddling it with sex. Getting to know the heart and soul of a person before jumping in with both feet, and then finding out you're not compatible. Make God the center of your relationship and you'll find the best is yet to be.