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Customer Reviews for Thomas Nelson Sweet Sanctuary

Thomas Nelson Sweet Sanctuary

Without the storm, how would we know the sweetness of shelter? -Ruth

Out of the clear blue, Wren's Grandma Ruth arrives on her doorstep, dreaming of a grand party to celebrate her 95th birthday. Wren and her young son Charlie love the idea, but it quickly gets complicated: Ruth wants Wren's estranged siblings to attend and she wants Wren to sing her all-time favorite song: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." It's the very song Wren sang one fateful day during her childhood . . . and Wren hasn't sung a note since.

Though she's glad to have Grandma back in her life, Wren's sleeping on the couch in her own house now . . . and worried about the expenses piling up. After all, her job at the community library is in jeopardy after budget cuts, and the fancy music program she wants for her son is getting farther and farther out of reach. What's more, Paul-the guy she's drawn to yet avoids-ends up being a major part of an important library project. With family arriving and old wounds resurfacing, Wren's about to fly when she discovers something special-a gift of grace beyond her wildest dreams.

Average Customer Rating:
3.833 out of 5
3.8
 out of 
5
(12 Reviews) 12
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10 out of 1283%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Sweet Sanctuary
Review 1 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Christian fiction that's a bit different...

Date:October 6, 2011
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Iola
Location:New Zealand
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Wren is a single mother, raising 10-year-old Charlie alone after his father abandoned them both when Charlie was three months old, signing over his parental rights along with the divorce. She has struggled over the years to reclaim her faith and to survive financially, and is now working as a librarian in a small town in coastal Maine. The two live in the caretakers’ cottage on the property of the family holiday home, which has been unused since Wren was a child. She is surprised on morning by an unplanned visit from her grandmother, Ruth, who wants to get her three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren together for her upcoming 90th birthday party, in an effort to heal the family relationships that were broken long ago.
Meanwhile, Wren is preoccupied by problems with Charlie and problems at work. Charlie is an accomplished violinist with the opportunity to study at a prestigious music school in Boston, but that would mean moving and be a financial challenge. Charlie is also having problems with his best friend at school, whose mother happens to be Wren’s prayer partner. Wren is surprised to find that Derek, her ex-husband, has been in contact with Charlie without her knowledge or permission, and wonders how she is meant to deal with the fact that he appears to want a relationship with them. She is also surprised to be asked out by a man from work, and unbelieving at the workplace gossip that Paul, the handsome café owner, might be interested in her. As the novel progresses, Wren is encouraged by others to trust in God, and challenged around some of her long-held beliefs about family relationships.
This book was written entirely from Wren’s point of view. I found it a refreshing changing to find a modern writer who does not engage in ‘head hopping’, or continually changing points of view from character to character. Changing point of view, when done well, can add immeasurably to the understanding of the different characters in a novel, but when done badly I find it confusing. By writing exclusively from Wren’s point of view, I gained a deeper understanding of her problems, including her questions about her interactions and relationships with other people. It was also nice to see her relationship with Paul develop despite her concerns.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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Review 2 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A good book...a few GREAT lessons!

Date:September 7, 2011
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Sands0113
Location:Berea, KY
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
My most recent book from Thomas Nelson Publishing was Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma. The following is from the back cover of the book: ~From the back cover:
In tiny Cottage Cove, on the coast of Maine, Wren Evans is raising her gifted son, Charlie. A single mom, she's fought hard to give Charlie a stable, secure home life. When a prestigious music academy in Boston expresses interest in Charlie's talent, Wren is willing to move them again to make his dreams come true.
But Wren doesn't know that Charlie has been praying for her. And the answer to her son's prayers will change both of their lives. As Wren plans their move to Boston, life in Maine begins to fall apart. Her job is threatened with budget cuts, and Wren's grandmother, Ruth, arrives unnanounced, with an outlandish request.
Ruth wants the family gathered together one last time, at the summer home, where, years before, an accident shattered Wren's peaceful childhood. In the tumult, Wren finds a friend in handsome, kind-hearted local, Paul Callahan.
When the family gathers in Cottage Cove, old wounds will be healed, new love will blossom, and the innocent prayers of a child will be answered in a most unexpected way.
I truly enjoyed this book. I found that it was a little hard to get into but once I gave it a try (and actually focused on the book), I was surprised!!! :) I enjoyed the way that the authors wrote the story and I loved the idea of the main character holding onto her faith even when there were some rocky times, which spoke to me on a personal level. The overall idea of the book was well written and the characters were well written. Personally, I was pleased with the book and I enjoyed some of the prayers lifted up by Wren, the main character.
“Please, God, help me time just right and not mess it up by being hasty and impatient like I usually am.”
“ God, thank you for this moment, here at the beach with this gift of family that I’d given up on. Thank you for never leaving me as I so often leave you.”
This book reminded me that sometimes God messes everything up, just so He can show us His plan. It's not about our plans, but HIS!!! :)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher'ss (Thomas Nelson Publishing) BookSneeze blogger review program, however, I was not required to write a positive review. ALL thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Review 3 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Sweet Story of Forgiveness

Date:August 24, 2011
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Organic Shoes
Location:Oklahoma City, OK
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Sweet Sanctuary by Shelia Walsh and Cindy Coloma is an amazing story of forgiveness and giving everything to God. The story follows Wren, and the struggles she faces that came about after a family reunion went terribly wrong and left her family just barely on speaking terms. Wren struggles with having to plan a party that will bring all the siblings together for the first time in years while trying to figure out what is best to do for her 10 year old son she is raising on her own.
Walsh and Coloma capture you from the beginning with each character and their stories. As Wren tries to avoid the upcoming party and family problems she is positive she will encounter and working to a promotion amidst budget cuts she realizes that she cannot do it alone, and that just maybe if she trusts God fully, He will make take care of everything, in ways that Wren would never imagine.
This was the first time reading a Sheila Walsh book and I am in love with her writing and characters, before reading this I was just not in the mood to read it, but once I started I could not put this book down, I love the characters and the setting of the store and find it easy to relate to what Wren is going through. This book is truly captivating.
I received this book complimentary through the Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are all my own.
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Review 4 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A sweet story

Date:August 15, 2011
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Mariliz
Location:United States
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Out of the clear blue, Wren's Grandma Ruth arrives on her doorstep, dreaming of a grand party to celebrate her 90th birthday. Though she's glad to have Grandma back in her life, Wren's sleeping on the couch in her own house now and worried about the expenses piling up. After all, her job at the community library is in jeopardy after budget cuts, and the fancy music program she wants for her son is getting farther and farther out of reach.
I think that the characters are well written, and the story is believable, although a little drawn out. There were times when I wondered why the author added certain events into the story, it was an easy read and I liked Fern and Charlie and most of the other characters in the story.
+1point
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Review 5 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Highly Recommended!

Date:August 8, 2011
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EvaK
Location:Canada
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I’ve had some great experiences with reading Women of Faith fiction in the past, most recently Quaker Summer, so I was looking forward to having at this book, knowing that most likely it wouldn’t disappoint. (I’m most definitely beginning to think that ANY book which bears the Women of Faith logo is worth me looking into.) Sweet Sanctuary was no exception.
Every single word was lovingly placed on the page resulting in something that's incredibly sweet, and altogether uplifting and inspiring.
The message it contained concerning family, the imperfectness of them and how reconciliation from past wounds CAN be found when we're willing to 'let go and let God'. The novel exquisitely paints what it means to find comfort, to find sanctuary, in God's promises when the lifestorms threaten to overwhelm us. Isn't that a message/reminder we need so often?
I was completely blown away by the following passage. It's just a very short example of the superb writing that makes up the story:
The sea also helped, as it always did. If only Wren could capture this moment of peace the sea offered, bottle up the waves, the scent of the sea, the sense of escape from reality when eternity fell within reach ad reality was of little importance beneath the grandeur of forever.
It's one of the those rare books that has the perfect combination of faith-talk and lifelessons, real characters, romance, happy endings, etc. to equal a beautiful, well-rounded book.
If, when, you come upon this book, don't hesitate to to pick it up and become immersed in a story that's altogether simply charming. Highly recommended!
+1point
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Review 6 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 1, 2011
Customer Avatar
ramblings
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I recently received the book “Sweet Sanctuary” by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen-Coloma. The book drew me in from the very first page. I just love it when a book can do that. The main character is a lady named Wren and her musically gifted son Charlie. Wren and Charlie make a cute team and are very well-developed characters. Wren has an eclectic family and they each have their own secrets…secrets that are bound to come out when Wren’s grandmother gets involved. Wren’s grandma shows up unexpectedly and demands a huge 90th birthday party! It turns into quite the occasion…even if Wren was not all that excited about it. Also, in case you were wondering, there is a love interest in this book.
I loved “Sweet Sanctuary” and upon reading it immediately passed it onto my mom for her to enjoy. If you need a great summer read, then hurry and get this book today!
+1point
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Review 7 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A great uplifting ending!

Date:August 1, 2011
Customer Avatar
DavidsMom
Location:Louisiana
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Sweet Sanctuary has a slow beginning but once you get past that the ending is truely uplifting!
It begins with the life of a single mom that has blamed herself for years over things that happened in her childhood. Once everything begins to unfold you see that God gives us trials in life and in HIS time he makes everything perfect. When her grandmother just shows up unexpectedly, you just have to laugh because you never know what grandmas will come up with.
I love the lessons that each family member learned about themselves. It gives some encouragement in life. By the time Wren gets to bringing up the song, "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" I had tears in my eyes. The song is a very good outline of the meaning of lessons learned in this book and has always been a favorite song of mine.
I would and will recommend this book to others. The ending is a great lesson we all need to be reminded of in life.
I received this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.
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Review 8 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great story

Date:July 24, 2011
Customer Avatar
cathy
Location:Kansas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Sweet Santuary is a story of a single divorce mom, Wren, raising her musically gifted young son, Charlie. She has a full life raising him and has just about sworn off of men since her marrage. She has returned to her hometown to raise him because of financial difficulties and the family home being unoccupied. Throughout the book there are hints of being the family outcast because of a childhood experience but until the end we don't know the full story. This is a story of family trials and love. This is a story of a small community loving a young family and how they support her in the everyday life raising a child.
I loved this book. It is a sweet Christian love story that is not predictable. It has the twists and turns of family life with an exciting ending. How refreshing. I loved the characters and felt like they seemed like someone you might meet in your own hometown (if you come from a small town in America). It does make single motherhood look doable without glossing over it or making Wren look sappy and sweet. I like that this book has us Christians look normal and not goody two shoes. Christians just doing the best they can with all the problems of the rest of the world. Christians relying on God through prayer for our help but sometimes getting no for an answer.
I recieved this book for free for this review.
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Review 9 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A Book About Family

Date:July 21, 2011
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Wanda Myers
Location:Dublin, TX
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh & Cindy Martinusen Coloma
Wren Evans has a complicated life. She is working hard at the local library to make ends meet and support her gifted son while trying to get him into a music school. She has the full load of responsibility as she has been divorced from her son’s father and has not heard from him in almost ten years. Then all of a sudden he is in the picture, wanting to get to know his son. Throw in a man or two who show a romantic interest in her and life is just about as full as it can get. Add to that the fact that Wren’s grandmother turns up on her doorstep and wants to plan a family reunion with Wren and her siblings who barely speak to each other and you have more than one person can handle. Wren finds herself trying to balance all the different aspects of her life while also trying to learn to let God be in control. Not an easy task.
I found the writing of the book to be good and the story flowed easily enough to allow me to read it in one sitting although I did notice a few grammatical errors that were not caught in editing. As the pace stepped up and moved from event to event I found myself just wanting to get to the part of the story where I would connect with the characters and become emotionally involved. Unfortunately this did not happen. Bottom line, I did not find it a compelling read—instead I found my reaction to the family dynamics leaving me feeling rather depressed and let down by the end of the book.
I received this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson Publishing through their BookSneeze program. A positive review was not required and the opinions expressed here are my own.
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Review 10 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Beautifully written novel

Date:July 16, 2011
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
During summer vacation when Wren was a child, an unexpected tragedy forever alters her relationship with her family. Years later, Wren's grandmother Ruth determines to bring the family together in the hope that the past can be overcome. In the process, Wren learns to forgive and be forgiven, and she begins to break down the walls that have protected her heart, finding new love and the courage to sing again.
Wren's story is beautifully written, gently drawing the reader through her past hurts and disappointments and towards a satisfying conclusion. I did find some parts of the story slow to develop and somewhat predictable, but those readers who appreciate a contemporary novel told at an unhurried pace will enjoy Sweet Sanctuary. The plot managed to keep my interest, and the elements of faith in the story were deftly handled. I found my own Christian walk challenged when Wren was reflecting on how fully she'd allowed God to receive her and realizes “she thought she'd given her life to Him, but it was like jumping into a pool and clinging tightly to the side”. How often this seems true of all of us who are pressing onward to the prize. This novel is a solid recommendation. 4 of 5 stars.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes via Booksneeze and netgalley.
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Review 11 for Sweet Sanctuary
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

sweet Sanctuary

Date:July 16, 2011
Customer Avatar
Jagette
Location:North Carolina
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
I chose Sweet Sanctuary by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen-Coloma mainly because of the cover, the title and that it was a Women of Faith book. This has the makings of being a very good book. My view of this e-book is very disappointing.
The story line is very good, a single mom trying to raise her son on her own, with loads of guilt from the past, siblings that never contact one another, etc. The flow of the story is nowhere near what I would have expected from Sheila Walsh and Women of Faith. There were several mistakes in the story line. One time a friend brought a ladder to fix a spot on Wren’s roof and then after they finished Wren’s ladder was put back in her garage.
The story does make good use of how God can and does take care of us. Even when history seems to repeat itself, God and family are there to comfort all of them.
I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars. If my friends asked if I had read this book, I wouldn’t recommend it to them.
A review has been posted on www.cbd.com and www.goodreads.com.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. 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.”
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Review 12 for Sweet Sanctuary
This review is fromSweet Sanctuary - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Sweet Sanctuary - A Sweet Story

Date:July 26, 2011
Customer Avatar
noblecharactergirl
Location:Somewhere, USA
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Without the storm, how would we know the sweetness of shelter? -Ruth
Out of the clear blue, Wren's Grandma Ruth arrives on her doorstep, dreaming of a grand party to celebrate her 95th birthday. Wren and her young son Charlie love the idea, but it quickly gets complicated: Ruth wants Wren's estranged siblings to attend and she wants Wren to sing her all-time favorite song: "His Eye Is On The Sparrow." It's the very song Wren sang one fateful day during her childhood . . . and Wren hasn't sung a note since.
Though she's glad to have Grandma back in her life, Wren's sleeping on the couch in her own house now . . . and worried about the expenses piling up. After all, her job at the community library is in jeopardy after budget cuts, and the fancy music program she wants for her son is getting farther and farther out of reach. What's more, Paul-the guy she's drawn to yet avoids-ends up being a major part of an important library project. With family arriving and old wounds resurfacing, Wren's about to fly when she discovers something special-a gift of grace beyond her wildest dreams.
My Review
This is the second e-book that I've gotten, and I have to say this one was better than the first.
Wren is a likeable young lady who is hard-working and dedicated to giving her son the best she can. I also like the fact that she loves books and her son plays violin. ;-) And she's trying very hard to make the right decision about a husband for herself and father for her son. For that I give her credit. And everyone loves her grandmother, Ruth, who has very strong values and a great faith.
However, there are a couple things in the book that are a little weird. For example, her sister's husband and Wren have an awkward moment on the beach. To Wren's credit, she does the right thing and tries to steer clear of him.
All in all, I think the book was sweet, and had a great moral. I would give it 4 stars however, because of the couple weird things in it and I might recommend it to a friend, depending on the friend. Recommended age: 16+
I am required by new laws to say that I got this book for free from www.booksneeze.com in exchange for review. I am not required to give a positive review.
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