The Wells family is falling apart. Essie is burning the candle at both ends as she juggles motherhood, her job, and her impulsive husband, Jack. Meanwhile Hamilton---the patriarch---has taken up residence in a dilapidated sailboat on Lake Lanier, trying to forget his past. They're all searching for significance---but who has the answers? 320 pages, softcover from Kregel.
I liked this book. We are privy to the life and thoughts of two characters: Essie and Hamilton. Essie in her 30's is the mother of 2 and 3/4 children, a wife, and a corporate team member. Hamilton is her father-in-law. A man who lives an apparent lazy life on a boat and is estranged from his son. Essie views herself as a failure since she is positive that she has disappointed her mother because she isn't a stay-home-mom and she doesn't see herself as a Proverbs 31 woman. Ham has opted out of life because it threw him some curves in his early adulthood. The story is how they come to terms with their current life and discover just what it is that God wants of them and how to change their view of what it means to be successful in God's world. The book is well written, the jumping between the two main characters is accomplished smoothly and with relevance to the flow of the story. An easy read with some thought provoking passages.
My Review: Essie is a busy mom of two children and a hard worker, trying to juggle many things when she finds she is expecting their third child, her husband is going through some kind of mid-life crisis, her mother does not understand her and her errant father-in-law reappears on the scene. Add to this, her struggle to support her husband, gets her a giant Hummer to drive with the toddlers, tantrums and pregnancy changes.....This book was a story that was different to try to follow. You get to see Essie's life view and her father-in-law's, who has really messed up in his lifetime, but is trying to make it right. He would love to be involved with his son's life now and his grandchildren. He lives on a boat and is a little odd though. You feel for Essie as she does not want to hurt her husband, but a Hummer for a family car?? She struggles with it, but decides that she loves her husband and letting him do this, well, it will be okay, it will not kill her and that impressed me most about this book as I thought it was the perfect example of great submission in a marriage.The story was a bit hard for me to follow, actually. I really enjoyed pieces of it, but others I felt like I needed to go back and re-read in order to figure it out. In fact, I thought I had finished it and then realized I never had and finished the story later. It had a wonderful redemptive story between the father and son and forgiveness, doing what is right when you have really messed up though. It was not your typical chick-lit, sad me book. It was a great book about a real life mom, husband with struggles and how the wife handled them and how understanding and dealing with difficult parents and understanding them as well. There was a whole lot about family relationships in this one. While it was not my favorite, I feel it does deserve 4 stars as it was well written and had some great points, a great read that could get you thinking about alot of things.
This book was quite a surprise to read. From the front cover and description, I immediately assumed this was going to be another mommy-lit book where the wife has the unruly children and the husband seems to be oblivious to his wife's struggles. Luckily though I was in for a treat as this was not the case. Yes, there is a pregnant mom trying to juggle her kids and her life but there's a twist. She's a working mom and not a SAHM . Essie is a character that you immediately like as you read about her tackling life out in the work force and how to take care of the kiddies back at home. Meanwhile she has to watch her husband face a midlife crisis as he actually goes out and buys the stereotypical Porsche. An incredibly funny scene happens when Essie comes home one day and finds her beloved SUV replaced by a hulking Hummer. The story is also about Jack's estranged father Hamilton and how his life has become unfulfilled. He's had numerous wives that have come and gone. His new catchphrase could be "I'm on a boat!" as that has become his permanent home. He has found out that his so called easy way of life has completely alienated himself from getting to know his only son's family. It's interesting how living on the boat is a metaphor for how unstable and unpredictable Ham has made his life.The story is very entertaining and it's filled with lots of humor. There were times when I would get a bit miffed with Jack and his lack of concern for Essie's life at times. However their marriage is quite healthy and it's refreshing to see a family who actually enjoys spending time with each other. I believe this is the author's first novel and I really enjoyed reading it. It's fun, light, non preachy and teaches one what's meaningful in life. I'll be looking forward to reading the rest of Majorie's books.
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Review 4 for Essie in Progress
Date:June 10, 2009
To be the author's first novel, she weaves a story rival of a seasoned author. You reach ino the lives of the characters she cleverly creates. You find yourself saying, wow, I have gone through this. My favorite character is the Grandfather. The reader follows him through many life changes. His search for peace in his life is pleasantly unraveled throughout the story. Find yourself a cozy corner and enjoy a few hours with these sweet, gentle and caring characters! Highly recommend!!