Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Moving to the Country May Not Solve Your Problems

Brad and Darlene move to Roundtop, Texas to find a more relaxed place to raise their family. Their oldest son, Chad, has been in trouble at school in Houston. They're hoping the move to a smaller community will change that. As with all changes in life, some good things happen: Chad seems to have grown beyond his bad crowd, Darlene finds a true friend, and Anesty gets her laying hens. However, everything is not wonderful in paradise. Grace, the second oldest, experiences severe problems, Darlene has to face whether she can work outside the home, or whether her family needs her full time, and Brad has to come to terms with keeping secrets from his wife.

The book is a good one for parents of teenagers, particularly if the mother is a stay-at-home-mom. The book tackles many problems of young adults: illegal drinking, emotional problems, and dating. It also raises questions about how much Mom has to give up to keep the family together. The book came down rather heavily on the side of Mom going back home, but I'm not sure that's realistic in today's world. I would have liked to see a more balanced way of dealing with the problem of Mom's job and the kids' needs.

The story is a bit diffuse. I thought Wiseman was trying to deal with too many problems and character types. The risk with too many characters is that some the conflicts go unresolved. That happened in this book, but may pick up in Part II.

I recommend this book if you're dealing with teenagers, or a mom deciding to go back to work. It's filled with reminders that we all need to talk to God. I found that very refreshing. The story moves quickly and is easy to read. You have to decide for yourself whether Brad and Darlene are making good choices for themselves and their children.

I reviewed this book as part of the Booksneeze Program.