Roxy Burke left home vowing to become a country-western star. Now she's back---dreams shattered, inheritance squandered, her life messed up. Her father tenderly embraces her, but her sister Elena harbors resentment and and anger. Even more problematic is Roxy's former boyfriend, Wyatt, a rebel-turned-Christian, is now engaged to Elena! Can they each accept God's grace?
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No sister wants her sister's castoff lover. The dad, Jonathan is so far off target with his parenting he's encouraged the problems between his daughters. Elena appears desperate in her seeking a spouse and that is not the way God gives partners. Wyatt is weak in not addressing Roxy's return. Elena dumps Wyatt [yeah], but then crawls back asking his and Roxy's forgiveness - so wrong. I get the part about God's grace, but not with this cast of characters.
(My review as seen in ACFW's E-zine, the August edition.)Return to Me by Robin Lee Hatcher is a powerful example of the ideal Christian fiction novel. It parallels the story of the prodigal son and was so engaging that I finished the story in one day. I just couldnt put it down. I identified with Roxy despite her many flaws.Roxys change of heart when she discovered Christ in an unlikely setting reminded me of my own personal experience. I remember the same still, small voice calling out to me until I finally gave my heart to the Lord. Of course, Roxys older sister Elena decided Roxy needed to experience additional consequences for her sin. Like what Roxy had naturally suffered as a result of squandering her inheritance hadnt been painful enough, and not realizing, of course, all that her sister had already lost because of her poor choices. Ive never seen a better example of how self-righteousness wounds new believers and destroys relationships and trust.Return to Me is also a wonderful illustration of the emotional and spiritual fallout resulting from manipulative rejection, and the believers need for a close walk with the Lord in order to resist pride and jealousy when new Christians succeed where they may have struggled. Thus the spiritual arc of the characters comes across as very genuine, especially when it comes to the older sisters attitude.There are some gritty situations in this story, but nothing I wouldnt let my teenager read. Overall, its a fabulous example of the regrets people experience as the result of poor choices, and the subsequent struggle to forgive ones self. The author concludes by portraying the Scripture that refers to all things being possible through Christ Jesus. I highly recommend this story because of the life-changing lessons within.
Return To Me by Robin Lee Hatcher is the story of two sisters in love with the same man--or are they? Your typical triangle on the surface, but this complicated "Love me, love me not, three-way relationship is not. Roxy leaves her family to seek fame in Nashville, TENN, while Elena stays home to continue being the dutiful daughter, waiting for Roy's former wild guy,Wyatt, now reformed, to forget Roxy and love her. What are Wyatt's real feelings and who will he choose? Does he, in fact, get a choice? He hasn't seen Roxy for seven years. Nor have her family. When she returns home, broke and ashamed, doubts fly all over the place as to where his affections really lie. The story is good but I found myself liking Roxy more than I did Elena until the very end of the book. Roxy was honest to a fault, Elena, in spite of her devotion to God, seemed shallow in some places. But perhaps this is the way Robin Hatcher wants us to see her. To realize that devout Christians can "slip" too. The ending? Expected, but as it should be. To end the story any other way would have been disappointing.
Kept me guessing how it would turn out till the very end. A wonderful story, wonderful reflection of the story of the prodigal son, with a message that will touch people from all walks of life! I'd waited a long time for this book to finally come out, and it was definitely worth the wait! Robin Lee Hatcher remains one of my favorite authors.
There is a little Roxy in each of us, and we can always hope for grace to be extended. Robin Lee Hatcher tells a wonderful story that is an encouragement to readers. She reminds us that as we receive grace, so must we extend the same to others. Readers will enjoy characters that remind them of themselves and others....the situation that Roxy and family find themselves in, may be similar to that in our own families, and as with all Robin's books, a biblical lesson is set before us. Great read! A must for the summer. Thank you once again Robin Lee Hatcher for another wonderful book.
WOW!! This book is deserving of all the superlatives I've seen in other reviews, and then some! I've read many retelling of the Prodigal Son, but never one that captured my heart as this one did. Not only did it touch my heart, it made me think. Like others have said, we all tend to identify most closely with one particular character in the story, but Robin has a knack for helping readers relate to all the characters. Please don't miss this one- it is a must!!!
"What about grace?" In "Return to Me" Robin Lee Hatcher creates yet another twist on the age old story of the prodigal child. What a wonderful question to ask ourselves when we are being jealous and self-righteous or when we feel life is unfair. I completely identified with Roxy's story of making bad choices and having to live with the consequences. She needed grace and through the course of this wonderful book you witness this journey of personal growth and searching for an answer to what was missing in her life. Finally she comes to believe in God's never-ending grace, love and mercy. What I loved most though was her sister Elena's journey. How many time have I been jealous and uncertain of those I love? How many times have I questioned their judgment because I "didn't approve" or understand, leading to my own anger and resentment? "What about grace?" is what we should all ask ourselves every time we are faced with those feelings and doubts. I want to thank Robin for giving me such a wonderful tag line for my life. I will be forever grateful to this skilled author for being brave enough to bare her characters souls to daringly ask the question and to be able to see the answer unfold in some wonderful storytelling. I could not put this book down and I recommend it highly. What a wonderful redemptive tale. Thanks again Robin. I can't wait for the next book.
If I knew Robin Lee Hatcher personally, Id think she wrote this book about me. But, I think that is what is appealing about Robins writing. She crafts stories that we can all identify with in one way or another. You may be the parent who feels the pain of a child leaving, worrying about them, praying theyll return. You may be the sibling who misses their brother or sister, yet feels like the one who left and eventually returns reaps rewards that are undeserved. You could be the lover or friend who loses that someone special and must move on. Whichever you are, this book has something for you. <br /><br />This is the first book Ive read by award winning author, Robin Lee Hatcher. Several of her books will be on my Summer Reading List, the hard part will be deciding which of the over 50 it will be. The skillful way in which Robin weaves her tale made me feel as though I was an eye-witness to each scene. When Roxy returns home the author writes "It was the reception shed longed for but hadnt dared hope to receive. Roxy didnt deserve his love. She wasnt the woman hed raised her to be.", I was in tears. "God takes my mistakes, my stupid choices, my failures, and even my successes and the pride that can go with them, and when I trust Him with it all, He turns it into good results in my life." The key word for me here is trust. "Its not easy, this walk of faith. But the walk is good and so is God." Amen.Pick up a copy, find yourself in the story, and see Gods love for you, no matter who you are or where youve been. Luke 15:32 says But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found. Thats what lifes all about folks, being found, returning to Him!
Return to Me takes you through the trials and tribulations of a family. Roxy, who is the prodigal daughter who returns to the family she left for fame & fortune, only to fail at it all. She then returns home, only to feel ashamed and accepted unconditionally by her Dad. Then by faith and God's grace she finally finds her way back to her true Christian ways. I love the way God's words intertwine with the character's thoughts. PTL for writers like you, Robin. A faithful reader, C.J. Kleckner, Meridian, Idaho
Robin Lee Hatchers RETURN TO ME puts a twist on the parable of the prodigal by making the returning child and the sibling female and by dropping the story into contemporary times.Roxy Burke left for Nashville seven years ago determined to make it big. Now shes returning to her family and her hometown feeling smaller than a worm. Her father receives her with open arms and celebrates her arrival. Her sister, Elena, doesnt really see anything worth celebrating. Its obvious to everyone that Roxy made very poor choices with her life, right? Why should she be rewarded with a job, a place to stay, and a chance for salvation? Shouldnt Roxy be punished for her past? Elenas done everything right. Worked her way up in the family company. Gotten a college degree. Supported herself financially and made wise investments. Even kept herself pure for her future husbandwho just happens to be Roxys old fianc, Wyatt. So why the big fuss over Roxy? Is it because everyone, Wyatt included, loves Roxy more?I found myself identifying with Elena, because she isnt as righteous as she seems, and with Roxy, because she returned home without achieving her dream. Ive been writing for eight years and remain unpublished in novel-length. Chances are the readers of Return to Me have faced a failure of their own. Roxy provides an awesome example of what can happen when we overcome the fears that make us hide from others and honestly approach the challenges of defining success in a new way.Knowing the parable of the prodigal so well, I worried the story might feel old. Hatcher starts in the midst of the actionthe wayward childs return homeand continues through a fresh, engaging, sometimes unconventional story. Hatcher had me wondering, Which woman will Wyatt choose? at times rooting for one and then, a few pages later, rooting for the other.The ending satisfied, tying up the ends just tidily enough to be true to real life.
I just finished reading this book and I would say it is one of Robin Lee Hatcher's best. Once again she has an amazing way of explaining God's grace in such a simple way that it hits you right between the eyes. Return to Me is in a way a modern day retelling of the story of the Prodigal Son. While one sibling goes off and squanders her inheritance and life, the other stays home and does all the right things. Yet the story shows that each child is still in need of God's grace and forgiveness as are we all. I found each of the main characters in the story so easy to identify with. I could see myself and therefore was reminded of God's love and grace for me and that when I am like Roxy when "she envisioned herself dragging around the sins of her past, like a ball and chain clamped to her ankle." I only need to remember that dragging around is not necessary because of God's grace. This is a good truthful uplifting story. You will enjoy it!
The story of the prodigal son is a familiar story to almost everyone, even if you didn't learn about it in Sunday School. I always sided with the older brother because I thought it was really unfair of the dad to give all the attention to the younger brother. Yes, I know that the older son will get everything in the end, but the father never acknowledges that he appreciates what the older son does. So it always seemed to me that as Christians we seem to be taken for granted by God. In this book however, I found myself siding with Roxy. Her story made me rethink about the way I felt about the prodigal son because I felt for her and wanted her to be able to start over again. Elena came across to me as being overly paranoid and would jump to conclusions without talking to others first. The scene that really got me was when she tried to dissuade Roxy from singing in church and how she wasn't believing Roxy could become a Christian. It was really sad at how bitter Elena had become especially after reading about the sisters' past. Reading the flashback stories really helped to shape the characters and allowed me to understand why they acted a certain way.I really liked Wyatt and enjoyed reading how his life changed from before to he was saved to after and how it affected both sisters. The story feels fresh and even though I know how the ending is going to be, I still wanted to read to see how it all played out. This was my first Robin Lee Hatcher novel and I was very pleased with it. This book is highly recommended for those who know the prodigal story, those who don't and especially for anyone that has a sister.
I found Return to Me a great read. I knew it was a retelling of the prodigal son. I have experienced the heart-breaking reality of a child tearing herself away from her family. I was wonderfully reassured when Roxy, her father, and her sister were so authentic and genuine. Each one was a three-dimensional character with understandable feelings and reactions. Roxy's father was the ultimate picture of unconditional love and forgiveness as is our heavenly Father. I highly recommend Return to Me.
I lovvvvvved this book. It is my current favorite book by Robin Lee Hatcher. I did not know at first if I would like a book in this setting because everyone knows the story of the prodigal son. This book is amazing! Robin puts a new twist by making it the return of the prodigal daughter. I related most to the older sister but all of the characters stood out on their own. I cannot say enough good things about this book. I highly recommend it. It has a permanent place on my bookshelf. P.S. Don't forget the prequel novel "A Carol for Christmas".
How does it feel when you've hit rock bottom, squandered your money, lost your dreams, and have no choice but to limp home defeated? How does it feel to be a good girl, the one who's done everything right, only to watch your loser party-girl sister steal your spotlight and seemingly never have to "pay" for her sins? How does it feel for a parent when a grown child leaves home in anger and disappears without a trace for years on end? With keen insight and a light contemporary touch, Robin Lee Hatcher explores these questions in her new book, <I>Return to Me</I>. <br /><br />If you've ever had the slightest bit of empathy for any of the three main characters in the biblical prodigal storyor if you've never even heard of the prodigal storythis book will touch your heart. Deep and universal themes resonate throughout this tale of a Nashville-bound singer with dreams of stardom and the talent to match, who loses everything through her own rebelliousness and immaturity. Forgiveness can be so difficult to accept. Grace can be so hard to offer. And when things in your life don't seem to be working out just the way you've planned, it can feel impossible to figure out what to do, or where to go next. <I>Return to Me</I> is a beautiful illustration of the truth that no matter what the problem, LOVEof God, for God, and for each otheris nearly always the answer.
The story of the prodigal son is one of the best-loved of the parables Jesus told - and for good reason. Each of us can relate to at least one character in the parable - maybe even more than one at different times in our lives.There is the loving Father, who longs for his wayward son to return to Him. When he does, his Father welcomes him with open arms and words of forgiveness.The prodigal - a reckless, wasteful, pleasure-loving sinner. He takes his inheritance and squanders it on sinful living and is left begging for scraps from the pigs.The older brother - righteous, steadfast. He stayed with his Father, always doing the right thing. When his younger brother comes home and is welcomed with open arms and a huge celebration, Older Brother is bitter and jealous. Why hasn't he ever been honored that way? He was the one who stayed, after all!In Return to Me, Robin Lee Hatcher takes this well-loved story and brings it to life in a new, modern way.Roxy Burke left home seven years ago to become a star in Nashville. She was armed with her voice, her looks, and a sizable inheritance from her grandmother. Her father and older sister asked her not to go, recognizing in Roxy a recklessness that would lead to her destruction.Now Roxy is destitute. She's behind on the rent, hasn't eaten in days, and has squandered her chance at stardom. With no choice but to go home to her father and sister, Roxy borrows enough money for a bus ticket and heads back to Boise.When Roxy arrives home, her father welcomes her back with love, grace, and forgiveness. Her sister Elena, though, is not so quick to forgive, nor so happy to see her.Whether you have been a prodigal, an older brother or sister, or a parent waiting for your wayward child to come home, you will find someone to connect with in this story. As Roxy learns to receive forgiveness and Elena learns to give grace, you will be reminded of how faithful God is to forgive us and make us new.
A tale of two sisters united by birth, bound by love, and distanced by loving the same man. Journey through a tumultuous tale portrayed through both sisters eyes as they first handedly recount their emotional paths causing the title to explode with symbolism. Elena is a typical first born child; the one others deem perfect; the dependable one. She does what is right just because it is right. Meet Roxy; demanding, spoiled, selfish, easy on the eyes, and gifted with an amazing talent for singing. Wyatt at different times is in love with both sisters, proposes to both, and in the end must choose the one most suited to accompany him to seminary. Readers will journey with Roxy into a tailspinning, heart wrenching lifestyle into the music industry, and watch her make bad choice after bad choice. Her desire to go home, and the acceptance she finds is akin to the biblical prodigal story. Roxy must embrace forgiveness as the title explodes with symbolism.Hatcher lures readers into empathizing with each sister, and longing for them each to heal from their hurts. Tugging at the heartstrings, readers relate to both Elena and Roxy finding themselves cheering for the two of them; rejoicing when finally they shed past failures, recriminations, visads, and experience genuine acceptance and the bond of sisterhood transcending any and all former or future strongholds all the while reminding us God accepts us just as we are; all he asks is that we come.