Secrets of the Porch

Secrets of the Porch

by Sue Ann Sellon

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629945453
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, L.L.C.
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.47(d)

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Secrets of the Porch 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
bookreviewz3 More than 1 year ago
It's 1996 in the first chapter of Sue Ann Sellon's "Secrets of the Porch" and we're in a Lincoln, Nebraska courthouse where Sophie Mae Randolph—16, homeless, accessory to a robbery gone bad—is about to meet her grandmother, Lila, for the first time. Sophie's mother, estranged from her family, has been dead for over a year and the girl has been on the streets for most of that time. Now a judge is putting her in the care of this unknown woman. "Oh, crap," thinks Sophie. "I've been sent to live with Tammy Faye Bakker" as they climb into an old blue pickup truck and make the 250 mile drive west. Lila is a far cry from Tammy Faye but she is a God-fearing woman—if you take that phrase to mean a person who considers God's love to be an ever present force in her life. Lila has a farm to run without a lot of help, and her long days tending to chores allow Sophie to settle into farm life more or less on her own. There is a bouncing, bounding dog to swim and fish with, an uppity rooster to throw eggs at, and a garden to plant, although as Sophie says, the only thing she's ever planted before "was my ass in a seat." Farm life settles in, long dusty days, clear crisp nights. Slowly some of the mysteries underlying Lila's lonely life begin to surface. Doesn't sound like a compelling read? You'll be surprised to find how hard this book is to put it down. Somehow Sellon is able to overlay the bucolic background with mounting tension. There is too much that is unresolved in both Lila's smoldering history and Sophie's brief but violent life not to break the surface. You can practically see the storm clouds just over the long, low horizon. "Secrets of the Porch" is a well edited and attractively present romance that will be particularly attractive to readers with strong Christian sensibilities. You can find more about Ms. Sellon and "Secrets of the Porch" on her website.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lorena Sanqui for Readers' Favorite Sophie might have chosen the juvenile detention over her grandmother had she been given the choice. Unfortunately for her, the judge placed her in the custody of her grandma, Lila, whom she didn’t know existed until her hearing day. Lila lives on a farm and so would Sophie for the next year until the judge can review her case again. Sophie would have to do chores like collecting eggs from the chicken coop and helping with tasks on the farm. At first, she didn’t like any of it but it grew on her and soon she was enjoying the farm and her grandma’s company. Everything was going well until Sophie’s past catches up with her and attempts to ruin the good life that she has found in Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon. Secrets of the Porch is a magical and inspiring story about love and family. The whole story was done beautifully and some scenes were written particularly well. The scene by the porch towards the end, when Lila was telling Sophie her secrets, was especially sad and brought tears to my eyes - it was my favorite part. Lila’s story was very sweet and heart-breaking at the same time. The growth of Lila and Sophie’s relationship was nice and, reading the story, it felt like I was part of their journey all throughout. Sophie is a strong young woman and, despite her history, it was moving how she accepted her new life.  I admired Lila’s patience in making Sophie trust her. Overall, a nice and engaging story.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers' Favorite Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is a story of love, life and death. After losing her mother to cancer, Sophie is placed in foster care. She leaves after being constantly mistreated and abused and finds herself on the street where she meets Gabe. Mistaking his kind of abuse for love, she goes along with him and gets caught robbing a gas station.  Gabe is sent to prison and Sophie faces a judge to learn her fate. He gives her a choice - a year in juvenile detention or a year on her grandmother's farm in Nebraska. When she doesn't answer, he orders her to go to the farm. Her grandmother, Lila, is in court waiting for her - a grandmother she has never met. Sophie settles into life on the farm but doesn't give in easily. At first, she fights everything but gradually comes to terms with who and what she is. Between them, Lila and Sophie learn to find peace, to forgive each other and themselves for things they have done. Sophie learns a lot along the way, about her background, her father, whom she has never met, and her mother. She spends her time with Hunter, a black Labrador that her grandmother found many years before. One day, Gabe turns up on the doorstep but no one could have guessed the terrible consequences of his visit. Out of the gloom, though, a light shines bright and it seems as though much has been put right on one dreadful night. Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is an incredibly powerful story.  Her language, the way it is written is wonderful and any reader will instantly fall in love with the characters and the story. I was hooked from page one and never let up until I had read the final words. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried buckets over this book, over the sadness, the happiness and the love that shines through. There are so many messages here, so many important lessons to learn that I feel this book should be placed on the curriculum of every school in the world.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite After losing her mother, and in a bid to run away from abusive foster parents, Sophie took to the streets for survival. This, however, landed her in jail after an attempted gas station robbery with her boyfriend. The only way the judge would let her out was if she agreed to stay with her grandmother, Lila, for at least a year and even go back to school. All this would have been okay except for one problem; Sophie had never met her grandmother; she did not even know that she had one. She had no choice but to go with Lila, so she started her life on a farm with Lila, determined not to form any bond with her new guardian and take off as soon as possible. However, slowly, as she got to know her, Sophie could not help but fall in love with Lila, with the farm and with her new life. However, just as she was getting comfortable in her new life, disaster struck in the form of her old boyfriend.  Secrets of the Porch by Sue Ann Sellon is a beautiful story that presents love in all its purest forms; the unconditional love of a grandmother towards her long lost grandchild, the pure and mature love between a man and woman, and the sweetness of new love between two teenagers. Sophie's story was so touching and it was very inspiring to see all she had survived after the loss of her mother and yet she was not completely broken. One could, in fact, not blame her for the attitude she had towards Lila at the beginning of their relationship. It was, however, absolutely beautiful to see their relationship turn into one of love so pure and so fierce. Lila's patience with Sophie and her understanding towards her was simply incredible. Sue Ann Sellon's amazing writing talent brought this beautiful story to life.
Feathered_Quill1 More than 1 year ago
Sue Ann Sellon treats her readers to a heart-felt story of hope and new beginnings in her second novel, Secrets of the Porch. Sophie Mae Randolph is sixteen-years-old and her life should be as carefree as her age. However, having never known her father and enduring the recent loss of her mother to cancer teaches Sophie life is hard. The only lesson it requires is to grow up too fast. The story begins with Sophie’s court date. After being caught robbing a gas station with her boyfriend, Gabe, the only way to avoid being sentenced to the juvenile detention center is to spend a year with her grandmother on her Nebraska farm and re-enroll in school. For most adolescents, this would be a sign come down from Heaven. As far as Sophie was concerned, it was a death sentence having never met her grandmother; let alone learning she even had one. Reluctantly weighing the lack of options, Sophie opts for the year with Grandma. She is escorted out of the courtroom and delivered to Lila Mae Randolph—a woman with a tender demeanor and eyes that smile—definitely not what Sophie expected to see as she was turned over to her custody. The drive back to Lila’s Nebraska farm, for the most part, is uneventful. As far as Sophie was concerned, this was her destiny and once she had a plan, she would be out of there. What she didn’t expect was the outcome awaiting her arrival: a destiny with the promise of hope and new beginnings. In order to get there, however, it seems there are secrets both women must trust each other enough to tell before their truths can set them free. Sue Ann Sellon has written a beautiful story that covers the essence of embracing love and acknowledging God’s constant vigil over all of His children. She is clearly connected to her faith and this resonates throughout the story. Ms. Sellon confidently guides her pen and proves this with her delivery of passage upon passage of powerful prose with more than a sublime insistence that we humans truly are not alone. One scene in particular speaks to the glory and essence of being guided to a love so strong and consuming because it was intended to be so: “...I felt like I had been blind before Charles entered my life, and now, I was finally alive. I had been reborn. Love had touched me. Love had saved me. Love is the greatest gift of all...I have been truly blessed...” One minor criticism, however, is the cover. Her synopsis, without question, captures the essence of the story. The title is intriguing. The cover, however, is displaced. While the imagery of the farm ties to the backdrop of the story, the watermark of (what appears to be teardrops) threw me. Where is the ‘porch’? I would caution Ms. Sellon to consider this for her next body of work. Covers really do matter. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing. Ms. Sellon has written an engaging story that encourages introspection and ‘feel good’ moments throughout. Quill says: If the walls could talk (or in this case, the porch), how exhilarating the outcome once its ‘secrets’ have been told.