Book Review: The Rockin’ Chair by Steven Manchester

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The Rockin’ Chair
by Steven Manchester
on Tour July 1 – August 31

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester

Book Details
Genre: Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Number of Pages: 242
Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin’ Chair is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

Read an excerpt:

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked.

While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear.

Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously.

Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice.

Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek.

Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears.

“Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention.

Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face.

“When?” he asked.

Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.”

“In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking.

Elle nodded again.

Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said.

Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it.

Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.”

Though delayed, Tara burst into tears.

As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”

 

Author Bio:

Steven ManchesterSteven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, and several other books. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early
Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Catch Up with Steven: rss_512 facebook_512

 

Tour Host Participants:



Reader review . . . 

At the end, all we have are our memories.  As John’s wife Alice lay dying, Alzheimer’s had taken even that from her, so it’s up to him to remember for both of them.  After her death, their family gathers  for the first time in years.  Together, they face their memories, good and bad.

Steven Manchester has outdone himself with this novel of regrets, memories, love and anger.  The McCarthy family, like so many others, has been splintered apart by things said and unsaid.  Each family member looks at the past from their own point of view without understanding the point of view of others.  This, of course, has brought them to an almost irreparable breach.

At times, the story is almost too painful to read.  It is almost as though the reader is eavesdropping on private conversations.  While reading the novel, one can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities and misunderstandings in their own past.  However, I don’t mean to dissuade anyone from reading this excellent fourth book from the author.  Read it and apply the lessons learned to your own life; don’t wait until it’s too late to reach out to those you love, and above all, never fail to appreciate your memories, both good and bad.  Your past made you what you are today.

5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Providence Book Promotions. 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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