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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Rockin' Chair

Once again Steven Manchester has done it. He has caused me to cry quite unexpectedly without any prior warning before reading his latest novel, The Rockin' Chair. I will warn those of you that prior to jumping right into this one, grab a box of tissues as well as a notebook or highlighter. There is so much amazing quotes that you will want to remember long after you finish the final page, or if you're like me, you bookmark them by turning down the corners of your favorite pages. It makes them much easier to find!

This is a novel that you won't want to rush through, but one you will want to find a nice quiet place and savor the story as it begins to unfold. The first couple pages are a bit confusing as the details of the story jump around a bit, like fragments of someone's memories that they are catching glimpses of, and that is just what is happening. Alice McCarthy has once again wandered away from home suffering from the long time effects of Alzheimer's and simply can't remember where she is or for that matter what age she is. Her hands convince her she is much older than her memories at the present and that is what is causing most of her confusion. Not only that but the people she meets now, she has no memory of them. Even as her daughter in law Elle, tries to convince her to come on home.

Remaining faithfully committed to her, her husband John is overwhelmed with knowing how to properly care for a wife, that seems more comfortable with her childhood memories that all the love they have shared over the years. Fearing that she may in fact be living in her last moments before the illness completely consumes her, he reaches out to the estranged family members and tells them it's time to come home and say goodbye to Alice.

This is a wonderful heartwarming novel that takes you by the hand into each of the family member's lives now that they have since moved away from the family farm in Montana. John and Alice were only blessed with one child, Hank. He married Elle and they had three children, George who is now serving in the armed forces, Evan is searching for a way to make a big break in the world of publishing, and Tara is searching for the stars in the Big Apple hoping to become one of them. As time draws short, we get a sense that the family wishes to be closer than it is, and the relationships between father and son, and even father and his children are at best strained. The only close relationships are between Elle and John, who has spent as much of her time helping John care for Alice so he can still get work done around the farm.

I received The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester compliments of Partners in Crime Tours and The STory Plant Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review. This is such a beautifully written story because I believe we all have had times in our lives where our own family relationships were at odds, where past issues kept us apart instead of allowing us to work through them even though both sides wanted them worked out. There is literally something for everyone to be found within the pages of this novel. Perhaps some of my favorite parts were the ones written from both sides of the Alzheimer's illness. We get a peek at what Alice is dealing with as well as what it is like from John's eyes. Yet the one thing that remains through all the relationships is a deep seeded love for one another even if they can't always see it. This is my third book by Steven Manchester and he is already on my must read list as everything I've read from him has been life-changing. He makes me simply forget I'm reading a novel and am instead living it. In my opinion that makes it a 5 out of 5 stars in my book.

For more information about The Rockin' Chair, Steven Manchester, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:

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You can read more reviews on The Rockin' Chair from the Partners in Crime Tours by clicking here.


The Rockin' Chair

by Steven Manchester
on Tour July 1 - August 31
The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester
Book Details
Genre: Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Number of Pages: 242
Purchase Links:  


Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.
A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

Read an excerpt:

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked.
While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear.
Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously.
Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice.
Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek.
Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears.
“Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention.
Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face.
“When?” he asked.
Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.”
“In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking.
Elle nodded again.
Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said.
Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it.
Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.”
Though delayed, Tara burst into tears.
As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind.
“It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”

Author Bio:

Steven ManchesterSteven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, and several other books. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early
Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Catch Up with Steven: rss_512 facebook_512

Tour Host Participants:

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review. Mr. Manchester is also on my "must read" list. He is a truly amazing author. Very nice post. Thank you for sharing your insight on this book.


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