Friday, January 14, 2011

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake - REVIEWED

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Bethany House (August 1, 2010)
Cathy Marie Hake


Known for surfing across the kitchen on a dropped dill pickle slice, waterskiing on sea anemone spit, and using Right Guard® as hair spray; she considers herself living proof that God does, indeed, possess a healthy sense of humor.

Cathy loves classical music, romantic getaways with her husband, and Diet Pepsi Free®. "I need chocolate to survive, love my friends, and enjoy a deep personal relationship with the Lord. Although an extrovert, I'm very conservative on a personal level."

In her writing, Cathy attempts to capture a unique glimpse of life and how a man and woman can overcome obstacles when motivated by love. In her inspirational pieces she enjoys the freedom of showing how Christ can enrich a loving couple's relationship.

Cathy Marie Hake is a registered nurse who worked for many years in an oncology unit before shifting her focus to perinatal care. The author of over twenty novels, she lives with her husband and two children in Anaheim, California.


Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm...or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off.

Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry...until that handsome Texan shows up.

Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows. What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes.

Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

My Thoughts:

Serendipity – something unexpected that brought gladness or thanksgiving.

Todd Valmer’s mother is the very one who taught him the meaning of the word serendipity. While he realizes a special woman when he meets her, the gladness and thanksgiving takes a while in coming.

When this story begins, Maggie is taking care of thirteen grown men and doing an admirable job! As the story progresses her circle of care narrows to a husband and mother-in-law, and mercy what a battle the poor woman has on her hands! I was really doubtful that anyone would ever reach a place of understanding and a modicum of happiness!

This is sort a classic, universal story that a LOT of people will relate to in some degree or another. I have the utmost admiration for Maggie and her unfailing strength to try to make even the most difficult situations workable. She always stands up for herself, but never in a spiteful, hateful way. The mother-in-law….I could give her a lick or two!! I’ve witnessed a lot of son/mother-in-law tag teams against a wife, and it is never an easy thing to behold. But, sometimes, eventually, the husband decides to leave and cleave, and the wife decides not to listen to closely to her mother-in-law and things work out.

Will Maggie and Todd ever reach a serendipitous point in their marriage? You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out! Suffice it to say, it is a rather bumpy journey!

If you would like to read the first chapter of Serendipity, go HERE.