Gosh, this one was really bad So bad I can t even fathom passing it along to my sister to read, who I pass along all my books once I m done It usually takes me a week to read a book This one took me 2 days, and it wasn t because I couldn t put it down It waslike because I skipped paragraphs, and basically then skimmed over the rest Why complete a book if I don t like it Because I need to finish a book I start, always The name of the book is Reunion , but it s not really about the family reunion Actually very little is about the family reunion party There was lots of writing leading up to the party, like locating photographs from the deceased mother s home to be made into books for everyone, and all the food preparation for the party The actual party was a couple of pages of nothing too exciting, except for two little spoiled boys thinking it was a birthday party, and whining because there wasn t a cake with candles to blow out And wouldn t you know it, turns out someone ended up bringing a cake, so the boys were rewarded in the end Barf The story wasabout, shocking sarcasm of finding out a family secret that would had been buried along with their mother had Keira and her husband not decided to go on a trip to Norway, and who then needed her birth certificate to apply for a passport Who at 50 hasn t had a need for their birth certificate before now, or even thought to say, Hey Mom, can I have it Pretty lame if I do say so myself to base a story on SPOILER ALERT Not to be outdone with Keira s troubles of who her father is because that s why her passport was never given to her, oh the shame of their mother, You know how he that would be Keira s brother, Pastor Marcus idolizes our mother She conceived a baby out of wedlock What kind of woman does that make her I loved the come back, Most likely a very unhappy and terrified woman Pastor Marcus 17 year old daughter ends up being in a predicament , the same predicament her grandmother was in 50 years ago What wasn t so acceptable back then, is really no shocker today because yes, these things still happen and even happen to Pastor s children, especially when they aren t given the talk, yes you can get pregnant when you don t have protected sex even if it s your first time and only time Do kids still believe that nonsense today in this day and age of easy access to finding everything there is on the internet And then when Kristen s brother and wife can t conceive, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen Gag I felt like I was reading about a family in the 1950 s with the women folk cooking their three meals a day and in great detail too of what they would be eating And of course, being a 1950 s story even though it s 2012 book was written , they always had a homemade dessert after dinner.I just rolled my eyes when Kristen was annoyed that no one was even here to set the table Did she have to take care of everything as she turned the chicken and forked the potatoes to see if they were done Seems pretty ridiculous to me when she was moaning about this, considering her husband would just leave the table when they were done eating, without even clearing his own dirty dishes.This story was one big disaster. I don t mind faith intertwined in my novels usually but this one used a sledgehammer One plot line led me to keep asking yes, but what is the problem and the other one was so blatantly obvious that the entire novel lacked dramatic tension Why finish it,you ask I only had this book with me for an extended mani pedi Wouldn t have missed much if it had fallen the footbath. Thank you to Faith Words for a copy of the Reunion by Lauraine Snelling This copy was given to me in exchange for an honest review It is the time for the Sorenson family reunion They will get together to celebrate those who are still living and those who have departed What surprises could be in store for this family Synopsis Keira and Leah are looking forward to the reunion that is coming soon plus the trip to Norway They make a trip to Keira and Marcus s mother s house Their mother was famous for hiding money and important papers in random places Keira and Leah, who is Marcus s wife, are there to look for the birth certificates to get the passports When they find Keira s birth certificate it is different from her brothers Her birth certificate makes no mention of their father Kenneth Sorenson Who is she if her father is not Kenneth Sorenson Leah and Marcus s daughter has another secret Kirsten is pregnant with her boyfriend s child How will this affect her future Her relationships with her family and boyfriend My Thoughts I enjoyed this novel The author asked two specific questions What would you do if they found out they were an illegitimate child How would you react Who are you Then the author took the opposite side and looked at it from the mother s perspective Would you choose to keep the child Marry the father How would it change your future Could you forgive When I had my quiet time this morning time that we need to show love to those we have forgiven or wronged us How successful have any of us been at forgiving and loving those who have wronged us The reunion played a minor role in this story It wasabout the events leading up to it I appreciated the author s complexity of the characters These characterizations really illustrated the two major conflicts in the story Lauraine Snelling is another worth readingof I should have stopped reading by page 100, but I kept plodding on The title of the book is Reunion but that reunion didn t happen until the last 30 pages of the book There were two crises that came up in the early pages, and after that, it just plodded on to the ending with stilted conversation, boring narrative and some characters who really irritated me I wanted to like the book, as I like to read Christian fiction, but this one really was not very entertaining and it took me forever to read because I d avoid reading it. This was a surprisingly quick read for an audiobook, and although I was initially wary of how much I d enjoy this book given that my experience with Lauraine s historical romances had been pretty uninspiring I found myself eager to listen to another chapter as I washed dishes or cooked dinner I feel torn over how to rate this book as I loved the realism of the characters and their struggles, but also sometimes found that the drama was a little over the top, and that a few situations were dealt with in a manner which I didn t altogether agree with.The best compliment I can give this book is that it felt incredibly real The characters in Reunion could very well be your next door neighbours or your cousins or the family you sit next to at church And given the Author s Note at the end, I believe this was Lauraine s intention She wanted to show that any family could suddenly uncover a surprising family secret, like the one Keira comes across In a way, it s kind of encouraging to realise that the sometimes perfect seeming families have their secrets and struggles too And that a happy family might not have always started out that way, as Keira s secret displayed Keira was constantly worried about revealing the truth of her parentage to her brother, Marcus, because he d so idolised their mother and didn t believe she could do any wrong In the end, the truth brought him down to earth and made him realise that no one is perfect I think this is humbling truth that we could all do with realising If we never hold any one to a ridiculously high ideal, we ll never be upset when they, too, stumble Because everyone stumbles at times.And here comes my ultimate problem with Keira s niece, Kristen s, story Just as Keira discovers that the man who raised her isn t her biological father, and that he married her mother two days after she was born, Kristen realised that she s pregnant Kristen is just days away from graduation, turning eighteen and heading off to medical school, and has supposedly been engaging in a chaste relationship with a boy from church But one night of unrestrained passion has led to a pregnancy and she finally has to tell her parents Now, I know that most parents would be shocked if their supposedly chaste teenage daughter revealed that she was pregnant, but I hope that I would never shame my daughter or lash out in anger at her In recent years the Christian community has placed virginity and sexual chastity on a pedestal, and embraced this notion that an individual person s sexual sin can impact those around them It s taken me years to realise quite how hurtful this sort of behaviour can be on someone who is repentant about their behaviour and just wants to move on with their life, especially when their sexual behaviour has resulted in a child I know that Kristen s admittance was shocking to her parents, but they seemed to spend far too long dwelling on the shocking revelation that their teenage daughter had had sex rather than the fact that they needed to sit down together and help each other figure out how to help Kristen decide what to do about her pregnancy Kristen s father was the worst, worryingabout how the church would react than how his teenage daughter was going to deal with possibly raising a child I wanted to shake these people and say You can t go back in time and stop her from having sex Stop dwelling on what you can t change and figure out how to help your daughter I felt so sorry for Kristen, worryingabout whether her father would forgive her than what she was going to do with the life she was carrying And honestly, what does Kristen s father have to forgive The fact that he kept dwelling on his daughter hurting him by having sex and that this stopped him from loving Kristen and being there for her in her time of need really angered me Seriously, giving up this idea of your past sexual sin hurt me is incredibly freeing, and I m saying this as a woman who married a guy who had three sexual partners before he got married As soon as I let go of that mentality, our relationship was so much easier I just went downstairs to check on some muffins that were in the oven and ended up talking over my worries about the treatment of Kristen s pregnancy with my husband We both came to the agreement that if we ever had a child who got pregnant, we d want the first words out of our mouths to be How can we help you rather than How could you do this to us Because, honestly, sex is a private act between two people and God, if you want to look at it that way and while you might be disappointed if your children acted without seriously considering the consequences of having sex before marriage, that is their decision to make not yours This is why I m concerned with teenagers making purity chastity pledges in public If you re going to make a pledge with anyone, it should be your boyfriend or girlfriend Baptism should be public, sure, but chastity pledges That should be between you and your partner and God No one else Okay, I m going to get off my soap box now Although I don t guarantee that I won t end up getting on to another one I flip flopped over how I felt about Kristen s behaviour In one way, I was a bit frustrated in her immaturity she s only three years younger than me, and I m married and managing a household but I could also see how she was the result of her upbringing, and her parents seeing her as their little girl She was forced to grow up when she discovered she was pregnant, and I couldn t help but think that a lot of teenagers should grow up when they re eighteen, not when they graduate college or finally move out of their parents house We live in a society that is worried about making kids grow up too fast, but as a result of this, we also delay adulthood and responsibility I did worry a little about the messages given by Kristen s belief that she was too young to get married and raise a child It is possible to get married and go to college, and even to raise a child while studying It s not easy, but it can be done I was also a little concerned that there seemed to be a message that going to college is the only path to success I m sure that the target marked for this book isn t entirely made up of privileged, middle class families who send all their kids to college College is expensive, and I don t believe everyone should go, particularly if a they don t actually know what they want to do with their life yet and b their career plan could be achieved through other means I don t know if I would have gone to university straight out of high school if it hadn t been free in my country So here s my issue with the treatment of Kristen s pregnancy on the one hand, I got incredibly frustrated with the way her family especially her dad treated her But then again, it was also probably pretty realistic of a lot of Christian families The shock of discovering that a good Christian upbringing doesn t guarantee your kids won t make mistakes is one that a lot of families probably aren t prepared to face Plus, the fact that I got so annoyed at Kristen s family means that I did care a lot about Kristen There were times when I wanted to hop into this book and say I know your family is too wrapped up in their own worries to help you, so let s talk about what you re going through These were all pretty authentic characters, and although I wished that the male characters had a littledepth, I was pretty satisfied with the characterisation in this novel.I listened to this book on audiobook, and for the most part, I was pleased with the narration The only odd thing was that, at times, some of the characters sounded almost a little Irish or maybe it was a bad Scottish accent , but I m fairly certain they were all from Minnesota, and of Norwegian ancestry So I m not sure what was up with that Maybe Minnesotans sound Irish I ve pretty much written an essay on this book, so it s obviously provided a lot of food for thought I don t necessarily agree with the way in which several topics were dealt with and don t even get me started on Kristen s father s scriptural reasoning for resigning from his pastoral position upon hearing of her pregnancy but I think this book will probably challenge a lot of readers If Reunion causes any of its readers to realise that being a Christian doesn t mean that you aren t going to stumble, then I d say it s done a pretty good job The main lesson that Keira learnt from her discovery of her parentage is that it was her mother s mistakes and Christ s unconditional love and forgiveness that allowed her to bestow the same love on her family I d say that s a lesson we all need to remember before we judge another s mistakes We all stumble from time to time, and no one sin is worse than another The skeleton in your closet might seem smaller than the one in your neighbour s, but ultimately, it doesn t matter in God s eyes 4 Great book Distinguishing between Leah Keira was a little difficult early in the story but became clearer as I kept reading Will continue to readof Lauraine Snellings work. Keira Johnston, AYear Old Mother Of Two Grown Sons, Believes She Lives A Good Christian Life Without Secrets Until She Discovers A Life Jarring Fact Her Late Mother Kept Hidden All Her Life Kiera Was Born Out Of Wedlock, And The Man She Had Always Known As Her Father Had Adopted Her As An InfantMeanwhile, Keira S BelovedYear Old Niece, Kirsten, Has Just Discovered An Unwanted Pregnancy Her Boyfriend, Jose, Is Bound For College And Kirsten Does Not Know What To Do As The Family Comes Together For A Reunion, Keira And Kirsten Struggle With Their Fractured Pasts And Jumbled Present Will Truth And Honesty Be The Catalysts That Allow The Entire Family To Find Peace Inspired By Events In Lauraine Snelling S Own Life, REUNION Is The Author S Finest Novel To Date I struggled to get through this book It was so boring and bugged me so much I actually hate to say that about a book because I know the author put a lot into this book but I also can t help the way I feel.Sometimes I find religious fiction overworked with the faith and religious details because it feels overworked to mewe get it they re a people of great faith This is funny because I m religious but usually it just feels overplayed I felt a little that way with this book but not too bad, I actually saw a lot of and I think this is somewhat what the author was going for religious imperfection with pious people This did feel natural and full of real life We do seem to be too judgmental of others, easy to see flaws in others before we go ahead and pull out that beam in our own eyes I really struggled with the over unnecessary super detail of the mundane that made no difference whatsoever to the story, the character of the people,or anything that had to do with anything It was so distracting and frustrating that I actually felt myself tensing up and getting quite moody whilst reading this book I seriously could not care less if someone turned the stove on to med high before stirring blah blah blah on the stove It wasthan that it was taking the dinner out of the freezer from the cooking binge that had been done a couple of weeks ago I meanREALLY It was brought up several times that the preacher s mom had died at such young agebut she had only passed like 3 years before sohow young could she really have been , she had adult grandchildren for crying out loud There was just way overkill on the step by step play of the mundane I m guessing to make it relatable that had absolutely no importance to the book, which is too bad because it really distracted me from appreciating anything the book was really about.I did give it one star because I get the judge not and forgive morals in the story I need to do some of that myself right now evidently. A family planning a family reunion finds out they all have secrets Grandmother had a child out of wedlock and the man her daughter thought was her father was not She gets so wraped up in trying to find the real father it almost drives her and the rest of the family nuts Easy, fast read. Very badly written By the time I got to page 15 I knew if I saw the words birth certificates again I was going to scream I made it through the first few chapters, writing is all over the place and disjointed, just can t do it Off to the donate pile.
Award winning and bestselling author Lauraine Snelling has over 80 books published with sales of over 4.5 million Her original dream was to write horse books for children Today, she writes adult novels about real issues centered on forgiveness, loss, domestic violence and cancer in her inspirational contemporary women s fiction titles and historical series, including the favorite, Blessing books
- 322 pages
- Lauraine Snelling
- 20 October 2017 Lauraine Snelling