Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Blog Tour/Review: My Father's House by Rose Chandler Johnson

Genre: Christian, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication date: March 13, 2016
Number of pages: 314

Growing up, life is idyllic for Lily Rose Cates due to her one constant – her father’s love. But in her sixteenth summer, all that changes without warning with her father’s sudden death. There begins Lily’s struggle to find herself and a life she thinks is gone forever.

Marriage to her prince charming promises fulfillment, but their happily-ever-after barely survives the honeymoon. Beneath the sophisticated fa├žade lies a brooding man who hides dark secrets. When all Lily’s illusions of happiness shatter, she must make hard choices – abandon her husband or risk losing much more than her marriage. She flees their home in Detroit and sets out on a fearful journey to a house in Georgia that her husband knows nothing about. . . .​

In spite of heartbreak and regrets, will she find the strength to survive whatever comes? Or will her husband find her and shatter all her hopes . . . again. This is one woman’s compelling tale of love and survival as she finds her way back home to faith and who she’s meant to be . . . in her father’s house.

My Father’s House is Rose’s first novel. Her devotional journal, God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments won the Georgia Author of the Year Finalist Award in 2014. It was also awarded the Selah Finalist Award in the same year. Rose enjoys writing for her blog, Write Moments with God and engaging with her readers. A native Georgian, Rose has lived in a suburb of Augusta for the last thirty years. Before retiring from Georgia’s public school system, Rose taught English, French, and ESOL. She is currently an adjunct English instructor at a community college. In addition to reading and writing, Rose enjoys cooking, sewing, gardening, and spending time with her six children and their growing families. And yes, sweet iced tea is her beverage of choice.

1. Writing the story was a process of discovery.  More than once an unplanned element burst onto the page.

2. Memories from my own life and travels informed the settings in the story.

3. I explored small towns in order to create my own.

4. While poking around a small town, I spied an old DeSoto in a ramble shack car shelter.

5. The novel was four years in the making. I put the manuscript away for a year when writing the story reopened some old wounds.

6. I laughed out loud writing parts of the story.

7. I always wanted to travel cross country in a big rig.  I’ve never had the opportunity, so I gave one of my characters the ride I never had. YouTube videos were a go-to resource.

8. My Aunt Frances and Grandma Bronnie were front “porch dwellers”, who offered kindly words of wisdom while we spent many a serene hour rocking on the porch and sipping sweet iced tea.

9. My daddy had a trunk from his WWII days, and he loved to tell stories about his childhood, just like Lily Rose’s daddy.

10. In the South, hospitable folks always offer guests a glass of sweet tea.  So, you’ll see lots of it being served in My Father’s House.

I received a copy via Singing Librarian Books for an honest review
My Rating=4 Stars

This book starts out with an overview of the life of Lily Rose Cates. She has great memories of her father and is devastated by his death. After graduating from college, she takes a trip to New York City to visit her cousin Maggie and meets Manuel Valenti, a handsome Italian waiter. They have a whirlwind romance and get married but she quickly realizes that she made a mistake. She loves him, though, and is willing to work things out with him, but she has some tough decisions to make.

This book started out slow but then picked up and held my interest until the end. I became invested in Lily. Her life was full of sadness and disappointment so I wanted her to have a happy ending. There was one point that Manuel's behavior baffled me and wasn't consistent with the type of character he was portrayed to be. For Lily's sake, though, I was glad that the situation resolved quickly and fairly easily.

I liked Lily but she didn't always make great decisions. She was a bit lost after the death of her father, though, and had to learn some things the hard way. There are mature situations in this book, like spousal abuse and rape (nothing graphic) and divorce. Overall, I enjoyed Lily's story and how she was able to thrive despite the hardships and trials she endured along the way.

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Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thanks so much Mel for having me on your blog and hosting the giveaway. I do so appreciate you.

Becca said...

What a fun post!!

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Thanks Becca.

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