When Marlene Queens returns from settling her late aunt's estate, life as she knows it falls apart! Her crazy elderly relatives are more eccentric and demanding than ever, and her old flame is acting mayor and recently widowed. But when citizens of the town want to put up a statue in memory of Marlene's father, she finds herself struggling to hold on to a secret that she's spent her entire life protecting. Lori Copeland, softcover, 329 pages.
Average Customer Rating:
(21 Reviews) 21
Rating Snapshot(21 reviews)
12 out of 1486%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Just finishing this book and found it very interesting and never lacking in imagination and humor. It is a bit weak on it's spiritual contents and rather "general" on the gospel message of salvation,but not on ones need for a dependency on Christ. It is strong in showing the folly of living your own life, without Christ's direction.The characters are vivid and display a unique reflection of where each one is in their faith. I like this author and will seek to read more of her books
I will go two different directions with my review of this book. First, I think it was well written - my first Lori Copeland book, and I enjoyed her humorous style of writing. It was a fun read. I started it late in the evening, and stayed up until I finished the book - a good part of the night. So obviously I enjoyed it. She brought in several interesting, thought provoking points. For one, what it is like being a child growing up with a parent who is "different" from most and from all the parents of one's friends. Two, learning to see things from a different perspective - if we are willing to be open to it. Three, how we create a co-dependent relationship that we later regret; four, how to cut the apron strings to make our overly dependent adult children grow up; five, forgiveness, and healing of relationships. The family dynamics in this book were very interesting and learning to accept family members who are eccentric or "different". There was only one thought nagging in the back of my mind as I finished this book, and that is where I will go somewhat in a different direction. I have read only a couple romance novels, but I suspect my first concern is one that would apply to many of them, not just this one. I think many times, though not always, those drawn to romance novels are those who are in unhappy relationships - or no relationship - and who are longing for a true, deep love - like they find in the pages of a romance novel. This is understandable, but not necessarily healthy. Many times as we long for the love experienced by the characters in a book, it makes the DISsimilarities of that love and what we have in our own marriage painfully obvious. It is easy to start longing for...... what we don't have, becoming discontent with what we do have. And while that is most likely an issue with most romance novels, not just this one, there was one aspect of this particular novel that especially concerned me. That is, how both the wife of the hero and the husband of the heroine both conveniently met untimely deaths through accidents, freeing the hero and heroine to find their true love, their soulmate. This concerns me, as it becomes easy for a reader in an unhappy marriage to start wondering if maybe God will do the same for them.....remove the spouse someway, freeing the reader to find their soulmate. I worry this is not a good vein to allow one's thinking to travel down, but it might be very easy to do if in an especially unhappy marriage. But beyond that concern, it was a good book and enjoyable to read.
I very much enjoyed this book and plan to share it with my daughter and our church library. The story was good, the characters were believable and engaging. I laughed out loud on many occasions. She is great with the turn of phrase. I plan to read more of Copeland's books.
Normally, I like Lori Copeland's books. I have read several of them. The title of this one caught my attention and I had to read it. It was a big disappointment, the author just kept repeating herself saying the same thing over and over again. I kept thinking get on with the story and stop with the repeats. When we finally got past that the story got interesting but just couldn't hold my attention. I had to force myself to finish the book.
An easy to read who-dun-it with good moral message
Date:April 8, 2011
This book made me ponder about why different people react to handicapped people the way they do. As the Grandmother of an adorable Downs Syndrome little girl, I have experienced the many varied and different reactions to people with special needs. The book is not just about handicapped people - it's a mystery, it's a love story, it's about personal hardships and growth- just and over-all enjoyable read!
A humorous, adventurous read. At times it felt like reading this book had me in a whirlwind, but at others, I was intrigued with how the author handled the circumstances. Marlene's two parents were handicapped, and this story deals with how the young woman handled it as a child and an adult. Worth reading if you are looking for something a little different and a little eccentric.
I enjoyed this book simply because it follows a sweet story line (perhaps a bit predictable) and allows the reader to become involved in the unusual perplexities facing the protaganist. Happy endings, just the way I like them! I've recently discovered the medium of Christian fiction (I veered away from it for years, thinking it would be dull, boring or unedifying), but upon the recommendation of a friend, found myself thoroughly enjoying the diversion of a clean, godly and enjoyable storyline right before bedtime! Much better than TV!!!
Lori Copeland's "Simple Gifts" is just that - a wonderful gift of a novel about a woman who never believed she could come home again, her overbearing daughter, and the man she left behind. When Marlene returns home to sell her deceased Aunt's house, she learns a valuable lesson about giving and receiving forgiveness. This book is beautifully written and full of humor. There are also action sequences that keep you on the edge of your seat, and a romance woven throughout that will captivate you. Bravo, Miss Copeland!
I found Simple Gifts to be too odd to be believable. This is the first book I've read by Lori Copeland, and I'm not sure I'll pick up another. The main character in this book has so many unbelievable things happen to her, from comic to tragic, that she doesn't seem to be a real person with whom I could identify. The story was a little disjointed, and several times I had to thumb back through the book to refresh my memory about Marlene's history. The family relationships didn't make sense. For example, Marlene had always wanted a grandfather, but it was clear that Eugene was her grandfather - her father's father. Yet the author portrayed him as a remote, philandering uncle. I appreciated the humor throughout the book, and the themes of unconditional love, acceptance, and forgiveness were valuable, but the overall writing was poor.
I enjoyed this book for it's many different complexities. For one person to have so much going on that she misses seeing the people around her who love her. I did have to laugh about the incident with the coke stand. The love in this book shows you how what once was a true love can still live in your heart. It reminds us that the lies we tell others about us so that we don't look bad only end up worse in the end. When we are free from all of those things we can see our heart again and hear what it is telling us it wants. Even when it pertains to family. Enjoy this book in all of it's twists and turns. In the end everything is where it should be.
I purchased this book a couple weeks ago from CBD. I finished it a few days ago. It was okay and a fun read but yet I found myself not warming to Marlene just because I have a difficult time with someone who lies as much as she does. The book actually made me nervous waiting for her to stop lying. She has lived her whole life as a lie because of pride and I realize that is the essence of the book but it's not until the last few pages that she finally apologizes to the man who has loved he all her life. Besides the lying, she allows her daughter who is spoiled rotten to manipulate her and be at her beck and call. That was another part I never understood; Marlene won't marry the man she has always loved and who loves her because he will want children and she is afraid they will be like her parents, so she runs off with another man and has a child with him. I didn't understand that reasoning. I like all the other characters in the book and Lori Copeland's humor. I especially liked Vic's character and wasn't sure Marlene deserved him but then he forgave her just as God did but she threw so many years away, you just wanted to shake her. All in all, it's still a good book. It just bothered me that the lie went on so long. Sorry, I have zero tolerance for people who lie. For Marlene to keep her secret, it's lie piled upon lie. You just kept wondering when it would end. In fact I skimmed to the end at one point to see if she ever came clean. Ha! Then I went back and read the rest!