Review/Giveaway (US): Under a Summer Sky by Nan Rossiter

Under a Summer Sky (June)

  • Title:  Under a Summer Sky
  • Author:  Nan Rossiter
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Christian Fiction
  • Published:  April 2014 – Kensington Books
  • Source:  Author

Synopsis:  The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.
Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too–her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer…  (publisher)

My take:  Nan Rossiter has done it again. She wrote a wonderful multi-generational story that will resonate with many readers. It certainly did with me.  I related most with Laney. She really has her hands full as she balances a job, motherhood and being wife of a minister. She even agrees to host a wedding at their home after her husband volunteers. As most mothers do, she quietly deals with other issues at the same time.

A side note:  when my kids were growing up one of our favorite TV shows to watch together was Seventh Heaven. If you’re unfamiliar with the show it was about the life of a minister, his wife and kids. This novel gave me the same feel as that show – which I think is high praise! We loved it and I enjoyed Under a Summer Sky just as much.

Noah, Laney’s husband, delivered a sermon that struck an emotional chord with me. It was about appreciating and being present in every moment – especially the small moments. You never know when the last time you do something will be the last time. Anyway, when I finished that chapter I had to stop and wipe my eyes.

Under a Summer Sky celebrates family connections and the truly important things in life. I’ll be sharing this novel with my sisters and close friends.

Recommended.

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More Than You Know by Nan Rossiter

more than you know - rossiter

  • Title:  More Than You Know
  • Author:  Nan Rossiter
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  April 2013 – Kensington
  • Source:  Review copy from the author

Synopsis:  Losing her father on the night she was born could have torn Beryl Graham’s family apart. Instead, it knitted them together. Under their mother’s steady guidance, Beryl and her older sisters, Isak and Rumer, shared a childhood filled with happiness. But now Mia Graham has passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and her three daughters return to their New Hampshire home to say goodbye.
Swept up in memories and funeral preparations, the sisters catch up on each other’s lives. Rumer and Isak have both known recent heartache, while Beryl has given up hope of marriage. But surprising revelations abound, especially when they uncover Mia’s handwritten memoir. In it are secrets they never guessed at–clandestine romance, passionate dreams, joy and guilt. And as Beryl, Rumer, and Isak face a future without her, they realize it’s never too late to heed a mother’s lessons–about taking chances, keeping faith, and loving in spite of the risks… (back cover)

My take:  When the three Graham sisters come together to prepare for their mother’s funeral they find out things they never new about her – shocking things. She left a memoir that told them everything and gave them a new perspective of her life. She raised her three daughters alone after a car crash took the life of her husband on the night of their 5th anniversary. They thought she never remarried because she couldn’t imagine loving anyone else but their father. Her memoir tells them the real story.

Though dismayed by what they’ve learned, they take to heart the lesson to never take life for granted and to appreciate especially the mundane events of everyday life. Timely advice because all three are at crossroads in their personal lives.

More Than You Know is a novel of faith and family that will resonate with many readers. I enjoyed it.

*Note:  At the end of the novel Nan Rossiter shared a couple of recipes made by the Graham sisters. I’ve made copies and plan to try both!

The Gin & Chowder Club by Nan Rossiter

Title:  The Gin & Chowder Club

Author:  Nan Rossiter

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  June 2011 – Kensington

About:  (Back of the book) The friendship between the Coleman and Shepherd families is as old and comfortable as the neighboring houses they occupy each summer on Cape Cod. Samuel and Sarah Coleman love those warm months by the water; the evenings spent on their porch, enjoying gin and tonics, good conversation and homemade clam chowder. Here they’ve watched their sons, Isaac and Asa, grow into fine young men, and watched, too, as Nate Shepherd, aching with grief at the loss of his first wife, finally found love again with the much younger Noelle.

But beyond the surface of these idyllic gatherings, the growing attraction between Noelle and handsome, college-bound Asa threatens to upend everything. In spite of her guilt and misgivings, Noelle is drawn into a reckless secret affair with far-reaching consequences.  And over the course of one bittersweet, unforgettable summer, Asa will learn more than he ever expected about love – the joys and heartache it awakens in us, the lengths we’ll go to keep it, and the countless ways it can change our lives forever…

My brief take:  I liked the idea of this novel. The setting is beautiful, the characters for the most part seem like normal, decent people, and two of them struggle with an epic moral situation. Nan Rossiter let it play out – and kudos to her for doing so. Given the Christian fiction tone I was kind of surprised by that. Because of the moral issues there would be a lot for book clubs to discuss.

I loved the book cover as well as the brief chapters. I read The Gin & Chowder Club in one day – I liked that I could set it down and pick it up without feeling the interruptions.

Source:  I won my copy from the author via a giveaway at Redlady’s Reading Room