A budding romance novelist---and daytime legal secretary---Amy Clarke gets her inspiration for her books from her dreams. But when her visions suddenly become more disturbing and appear while she's wide awake, the safety of her family is threatened by a case at work. Could God be trying to tell her something?
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Robert Whitlow in his new book, “The Living Room” published by Thomas Nelson takes us into the life of Amy Clarke .
From the back cover: Amy Clarke’s dreams are coming true—and that’s the problem.
Legal secretary by day, romance novelist by night, Amy Clarke lives with a precious secret. For years, she has traveled to a holy place in her dreams—a sublime place she calls the Living Room. When she awakes, her faith and energy are supernaturally restored. And when she dreams, she receives vibrant inspiration for her novels.
As she begins to write her third book, the nature of her dreams shifts. Gone are the literary signposts. Instead, her dreams are studded with scenes that foreshadow real life. Before long, the scenes begin to spill over into her waking hours too.
As Amy becomes entangled in a high stakes case at work, her visions take on a dark hue—implicating someone dear to her, causing her to question everything. And convincing her to trust someone with his own shadowy secrets.
Things are not always what they seem. But as fiction, dreams, and real life begin to overlap, Amy must stop dreaming and act to prevent tragedy.
Suspense and intrigue abound in this new thriller by Robert Whitlow. I wasn’t sure exactly how Mr. Whitlow was going to get this going but he has a way of drawing you into the story and keeping you there, willingly I might add. For financial reason Amy has to go back to work as a legal secretary and there the dreams she has been having are beginning to take on reality. There is a place where we can all meet with God, some of us make use of it, some of us do not. Amy does and God has been giving her some truth that needs to come out. Now she s in danger until everything can be revealed. Robert Whitlow has written an interesting story that moves along at a remarkably brisk pace. “The Living Room” is full of interesting characters that keep us involved in the story. “The Living Room” is a powerful story and one that will keep you highly interested and flipping pages as fast as you can. I liked this book and recommend it to your reading list.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I have to say that I love Robert Whitlow. I have enjoyed all his other books. He's at the top of my list of authors. But I couldn't get into this one. I tried and tried to work my way through it. I usually never leave a book half finished but I just couldn't make it through this one. It was too boring.
First, let me say, that I have very much enjoyed Robert Whitlow as an author of Legal Thrillers. "The Living Room" was different from his other books and I did not like it very much. I was bored from the start and could never really get into the story. It was slow going. It was not about legal matters per say. It just centered around a legal secretary by the name of Amy who had dreams. In her dreams she traveled to a special place she called the Living Room. It was there that she would receive inspiration for her novels. But then, her dreams took on a life of their own. They begin to happen in real life. They affect the people around her. She wanted to stay home and only be a writer but finances forced her to go back to work.
When Amy takes a major case at her firm she has a hard time juggling her family, career, and that desire to be a full time author of fiction books. I suppose that women who do this all the time...juggle family and careers would be able to relate very well. Each area of her life has its own challenges. Eventually this various worlds collide and she learns some to trust and hear God. There are spiritual principles we can all learn from in the book.
I do believe that God speaks through dreams but not all dreams are from God.
Even so, I was just not drawn into this book like the author's other books. I just can't quite put my finger of what it is, but I will read the next book he puts out.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I kept wanting to accuse the daughter for something that she had not done. In this day in age, parents should not be so naïve. It is not normal for a teenage girl to attend a party at a male teacher's home. I mean, really? The Living Room is a good point of view for a stay at home Mom going back to work while being supported in many ways by her husband. Thanks Whitlow for a great read.
This book is full of twists and turns in the plot, it keeps you reading well into the night. Well developed characters and story. I highly recommend this book it is a must read for all you fiction lovers like myself.
Reviewing THE LIVING ROOM by Robert Whitlow This book was different from the other Whitlow books, and at first it was quite catching when you realized what the "living room" was and how it worked. I appreciated early on in the book when the statement is made, 'is your relationship with Christ your own or handed down from your parents'... That was an apt thought provoker for all readers and worthy of answering. Another interesting point was made with the statement, 'I'd rather be warned about a danger that can be avoided than have to pray for a miracle when disaster strikes.' I tend to like books that make one 'think' and this one did that. Later on in the story when the activities of a teen was in question, the statement was made 'it is important for ... her to know her father cares about what she does, where she goes, and who she is with'... I thought this was an excellent point, and appreciated that fact. More parents should be involved with their children these days and not be afraid to let them know that they are, and it's because they care. It is important to teach responsibility for actions, and if they know the parent 'cares' they might be more willing to listen to Godly advice. All this having been said, my ultimate impression of the book was that it was too repetitive, and you could guess where it was going. The 'ending' was predictable and only led you to believe it would go on and on and on... and I would not want to read a sequel! It has a beautiful cover! I was given this book to read for review without any restrictions on my opinion, by BookSneeze.
I read a lot of Robert Whitlow books in 2011 while I was having chemo. I discovered then that he is an author who makes me think! There is always a Christian theme running throughout, but also conflicts and mysteries on many levels. I was excited to find this book up for review on Book Sneeze.
Amy Clarke is the main character. She is married with two children, ages ten and fourteen. The ten-year-old is delightfully all boy and the fourteen-year-old girl is at the stage of pulling away from her parents as they try to protect her from dangers she does not realize are there.
Amy has a special relationship with the Lord that carries over into her dreams, where she feels the peace and restoration of God. She also receives inspiration for her books, and most recently, it seems God is warning her about future events in these dreams. Amy has finished two inspirational novels and is working on a third book, which is dealing with darker conflicts. She gets called back to the law office where she previously worked, to fill in for a maternity leave. When she has insights about the cases the lawyers are working on, she has to decide whether to talk about her dreams, and the lawyers have to decide whether to act on her dreams.
Meanwhile her daughter seems to be getting too close to one of her single male teachers, and has several episodes of unexplained loss of consciousness. Amy and her husband, Jeff, were interesting to watch in their parenting techniques, communication, and affirmations through the trials of life. I enjoyed Mr. Whitlow having his character Amy contrast her marriage communication with the communication of Amy’s fictional characters in her books!
All Mr. Whitlow’s books that I have read have had lawyers and law matters central in the plot. My understanding is broadened by all the information in the storyline.
I highly recommend and appreciate the clean, intellectual mystery writing and look forward to more books by Robert Whitlow.
Book Sneeze provided me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Having never read anything by Robert Whitlow before, I wasn't sure to expect. Parts of this book I really enjoyed -especially since it was a change from what I normally read- but there were a few things that bothered me about it. The thing is, the things that bothered me probably wouldn't bother most people. But I'm a very conservative person, so some of Amy and Jeff's lifestyle choices -though certainly more godly than most people- didn't seem to me the best option. Mainly, it was with putting their children in public school. Half of the problems they had with their kids made me think, "good grief, if they just homeschooled their kids, things would be so much better!" A lot people might hate me for that, but really, sending your children to a godless institution for eight hours, five days a week- and then letting them go gallivanting off the rest of the time- really bothered me.
However, the rest of the plot was interesting, and as an author who gets many of her ideas from dreams, that aspect of the story really intrigued me (and to tell the truth, the look at the publishing industry made me so much more grateful that I've decided to self-publish!). I found one plot twist rather predictable- I was expecting it nearly the entire, 400+ page novel- and the story wasn't quite as fast-paced as I thought it would be. However, it was still a nice change for my normal fiction fare, and it kept my interest the entire way through.
I received this book for free from booksneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.
Amy has, from a young age, visited a place in her dreams called the “Living Room”. This is a room that she has drifted to in her sleep that provides her with peace and comfort over decisions in her life. That is, until now. Amy has used these visits to help her with her writing and has successfully written two novels. The money from these books help, but aren’t enough for her to give up all thoughts of working a second job. When her replacement at her old law firm leaves on a maternity leave, Amy is asked to come in and work just while she’s gone. Knowing the extra money will help, Amy agrees. As Amy begins writing her third book, her trips to the “living room” take a different twist in the fact that some of them can be directly linked to happenings around her. Her best friend’s son is saved when Amy suggest that her best friend attend a field trip and keep him safe. She sees a vision of a client from the law firm but doesn’t act on it. When it winds up that she should have, she becomes more confused. Meanwhile, back at home, her daughter is swooning over a new teacher at school. Amy and her husband pursue every angle with the new teacher, trying to find any ulterior motives he may have with the students. Throw in a nasty inheritance case at the firm that may or may not involve a new friend of Amy’s and her life begins to unravel. Will she finish her 3rd novel? Will she have to make concessions to her faith background to get the book published? Are the attentions given by the new teacher truly innocent? Can the friendship that she has started be saved or will the inheritance case put it at risk? Tons of questions and no answers from me until you GO BUY THE BOOK! DISCERNMENT - 1: the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure : skill in discerning. 2: an act of perceiving or discerning something
I think this one word does a great job of summing up this book. We all practice some form of discernment when it comes to thoughts, feelings, dreams, etc. Can we use that to help us or to benefit us in our everyday life? Mr. Whitlow does a fantastic job of wrapping this story up as a lesson in discernment. He has written his novel in a way that is very fluid and transparent. While Amy seems to “have it all figured out”, her husband struggles with his day-to-day walk. Both of the parents, though, model a great Christian home in the fact that when there is turmoil, the both pray it and talk it through first. Again, Mr. Whitlow provides us a glimpse into how to use discernment in shaping our every day lives. We must be diligent in our thoughts and prayers and remember to focus on He who provides us with the discernment.
Is this a "guy's book"? There aren’t any overtly “guy” themes in this book. There aren’t dangerous car chases, city-leveling explosions or OK Corral gun fights. What this book does have, though, is an honest look into a typical family and how they work around all the different decisions and changes that come their way. I know that while I was reading it, it made me stop and reflect on how I may not always interact with my wife the way that I should. For that reason alone, I feel this is a book that every man should read.