Monday, February 27, 2012

A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Guideposts)

Suzanne's daughter, Campbell, journeys to Sweethaven in search of answers to her questions about her mother's history. Suzanne's three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven't spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven. Suzanne's letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.

My Thoughts:

"...a look at the redemptive quality of unconditional love." (from the Author's notes p.317)

Courtney Walsh succictly describes the heart of her story, A Sweethaven Summer. Campbell Carter has experienced a great loss, but she knows her mother had experienced a loss of years of friendship and fellowship with the friends she loved as dearly as her own flesh and blood. Secrets have robbed them of something precious, and it seems that the revelations that come after years of separation and misunderstanding have come too late and at too great of a cost to ever be redeemed.

But mercy, grace and love are the underpinnings of these relationships, and the women who spent their summers in Sweethaven must choose once again, after twenty years and much loss, to forgive and love each other in spite of their mistakes and brokenness.

There are a lot of life lessons in this poingnant story of friendship and family. No relationship is perfect nor free of problems. The pain of secrets hidden for the sake of protecting others' feelings and relationships proves almost too much for love and forgiveness to breach. Will hope and friendship be restored? Read A Sweethaven Summer and find out! You'll be glad you did!

About the Author:
Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbook artist, theatre director and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, will be released in February, 2012 by Guideposts/Summerside, followed by two additional novels in the series. She has also written two paper crafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper and is currently working on her third, The Scrapcrafter’s Idea Book (F&W Publications, February, 2013.) Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and, along with her husband, has written several full-length musicals, including her most recent, The Great American Tall Tales and Hercules for Christian Youth Theatre, Chicago. Courtney lives in Colorado with her husband and three kids where she consumes entirely too much coffee and works by day as the PR Manager for Webster's Pages.

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