Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ann Tatlock - Winning Sites

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been working on reviews, and still need to give them priority. But here's a quick Winning Sites contest. No book giveaways this time, but it's something to hold you over until the Robin Lee Hatcher contest early next month.

Ann Tatlock is a gifted writer whose varied novels showcase her deep characters and poignant description. Gina Holmes recently interviewed Ann over at Novel Journey, and since I'm reviewing Ann's latest novel, now seems like the perfect time to brag about her talented writing.

This contest is simple. Which of Ann Tatlock's five novels is your favorite, and why? If you haven't read the books, read the descriptions below (and browse the links for more info) and tell which novel's premise intrigues you the most, and why? Post your answer in a comment, and you'll be enter in a drawing to have an approved site of your choice listed under "Winning Sites" on this blog.

A Room of My Own

The daughter of a prominent doctor, loyal and imaginative Virginia Eide lived in an idyllic world a world of youthful notions of romance and hours spent daydreaming with her best friend. But Virginia's dreams are forever altered when the Depression sweeps in with crippling unemployment, strikes, and riots. Virginia soon follows her father into a whole new world a world of shanties built along the banks of the river, where out-of-work men and their families struggle to survive. It is here, working as her father's medical aid, that Virginia learns the real lessons of life. The down-and-out people of "Soo City" rise above their circumstances, displaying an uncommon spirit of generosity and love that brings Virginia's wealthy family a much-needed gift of hope.

A Place Called Morning

Mae Demaray's life in an old clapboard house on a quiet Minneapolis street had been rich with the hues of security and love, beauty and faith. It carried the scent of flowers, the sound of quiet at daybreak, the laughter of children, the touch of God all giving her the satisfying sense of living life to its fullness. But that was before the March day when Mae's world was shaken at its very center.

The ordinary days leading up to that unforgettable moment were but a quiet prelude to the mad song that followed. Unforeseen and shattering events invaded her well-ordered life and silenced her joy. Unable to make sense of her torn-apart world, Mae retreated from life as she had once known it.

How quickly life had changed. How quickly the colorful became colorless, dressed in shades of black and white, no longer reflecting the light. Yet surely a new day would soon break, with light rising gently, giving hope for restoration. Surely there must be- A Place Called Morning.

All the Way Home

Played out against the backdrop of two critical eras of American history, this beautifully written story imparts powerful lessons of forgiveness and reconciliation that will linger long after the last page is turned.

Augie Schuler is desperate for love, the kind "normal" families provide. And when she meets Sunny Yamagata and her family, Augie knows she’s found what she’s looking for in spite of cultural differences. Together, the two girls pursue the fanciful dreams of youth—and a sometimes humorous search for God—beneath the bright California sun.

When the dark days of World War II and the Japanese internment camps tear them apart, they vow never to forget each other. Reunited years later, the two find themselves offering healing and hope as they triumph over the pain of their years apart.

I'll Watch the Moon

"This is my mother's story. This is Josef's story. This is my story. There is no way to unravel the threads. All strands become one.

"I will tell all to the best of my ability. I will recreate the story from my own memory, from what my mother told me, and from the notes that she kept of what Josef told her. But you must accept that, while I can lay out the events, I can't always give the reason why certain things happened. I only know that they did, as painful as they were, and sometimes, blessedly, as marvelous as they were. But that's the whole point really. Always there remain those questions that no one can answer. But what I cannot yet understand in this our story, I leave to God, who understands all."

Thus begins this gracefully woven novel, the story of Nova Tierney who desperately longs for a father. It also is the story of her mother, Catherine, angry at a God in whom she no longer believes, and Josef Karski, an Auschwitz survivor whose trusting spirit refuses to be subdued, even by his heart-wrenching past.

Nova's tender reminiscence, charming and authentic, breathes life, love, and warmth into a St. Paul, Minnesota boardinghouse where forgiveness is in short supply.

Things We Once Held Dear

Like an artist working with small chips of colored glass, Christy Award–winning novelist Tatlock takes multiple characters and fragments of their stories and pieces them together into a tranquil mosaic of commitment, faith, love and homecoming.

When artist Neil Sadler's wife dies suddenly in New York City, he is drawn back to Mason, Ohio, the hometown that he fled almost three decades before. He spends the summer helping remodel an old "Gothic Horror" farmhouse into a bed-and-breakfast, trying to reconnect with his past and his cousin Mary Beeken. After a childhood spent caring for an invalid mother, Mary is trapped in a 23-year-old marriage to a troubled, alcoholic cop and feels her life has never quite gotten started. Mary's mother's murder years earlier and questions of innocence and guilt cast shadows on the lives of several Mason families. As Neil and Mary try to make sense of what has happened to their lives, they both discover that "you don't have to understand something completely to know it's true."

2 comments:

Becky said...

Well, I think All the Way Home appeals to me most. The protag has a definite external goal as well as an internal one.

I also think there's a lot of relevance in that era to today's no-Arab-shall-own-our-ports mentality.

BTW, Katie, where are your reviews posted? Or do you write them for various other sites?

Becky

Katie Hart said...

Thanks for entering, Becky! I write my reviews for different sites (except for the blogging alliance ones, which I post on this site). Some of them you need a subscription to read, but all the ones for Christian Book Previews are available - click the titles under "Review Links" on the sidebar to read them.

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