Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An Achingly Beautiful Book

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Things Worth Remembering

Bethany House (October 1, 2009)


Jackina Stark


Jackina (pronounced with a long “i” to rhyme with China) Stark recently retired from teaching English at Ozark Christian College to spend more time writing and traveling.

Jackina says: "Although I loved my subjects and my students, I retired to do more writing and speaking, to spend more time with my family, and to travel with family and friends (including trips to encourage two missions in Cambodia). I have also spoken nationally and internationally at many retreats and seminars and enjoy running into many readers and former students. I have written frequently for both Christian Standard and Lookout, periodicals of Standard Publishing. Years ago I wrote two non-fiction books, published by College Press, but currently out of print. These days, I’m exploring fiction. My first novel, Tender Grace, was released by Bethany House January 30, 2009, and Things Worth Remembering, is the second. I’m working on new projects, including a third novel, as time permits. Whether speaking or writing, I love the opportunity to tell about Him whom Jesus called “Holy Father” and “the only true God.”

She has been married to her husband, Tony, for forty-two years. They live in Carl Junction, Missouri, and have two daughters and six grandchildren.


Kendy Laswell and her daughter, Maisey, used to do everything together--until one fateful summer when Maisey witnessed something she shouldn't have, and their relationship fractured. Now, Maisey is back home to get married and Kendy realizes this is her last chance to reconnect with her daughter. Will Kendy and Maisey be able to reclaim the bond they once shared?

Maisey asked for a bride doll the Christmas she was five, mesmerized by her aunt's wedding the fall before. Since then I've been dreaming of the day, or days, we would shop for her wedding dress. A mother helping her daughter find just the right creation for that momentous walk down the aisle strikes me as one of life's happiest endeavors. The night she called to tell us she'd bought her "dream of a gown," I sat beside Luke on the couch, a striking contrast to Maisey's exuberance.
My dejection seemed a tad inappropriate. "Being hurt because I wasn't included is silly, isn't it?" I asked.

"Not so silly," he said.

Will I ever quit longing for the Maisey who was once mine?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Things Worth Remembering , go HERE

I'm not sure I have ever read a book that has touched my heart quite like this. I sat in bed with my little book light into the wee hours, unable to put it down, my eyes stinging with tears and my heart aching for both Kendy and Maisey. For Kendy, whose heart has been shattered by her once-adoring daughter's animosity. And for Maisey, who has harbored the secret of what she inadvertently witnessed so many years ago and allowed it to fester and grow. Oh, what unintended and long-reaching effects our sinful choices have! Even when we have repented and received forgiveness, the ripples set undercurrents in motion of which we are not always aware. Jackina Stark has crafted a beautiful tale of unrecognized consequences, fractured relationships, destructive bitterness, unrelenting love, and the importance of forgiveness, Biblical truth, and taking every thought captive. This is a must-read!


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quilly said...

Oh. You have a talent for making every book sound like a must read!

A Stone Gatherer said...

You've hooked me again! Off to the library to see if I can get it yet!

Andi said...


I'm having a tough time with this one. I don't like Maisey at all! I think she is a spoiled little brat, who has no respect for her mother or her future husband. I am so hoping it turns around.

God Bless,

Heidi said...

You give the best reviews. I am supposed to be posting a review for TN, but I am late and don't know if I am even still in the program. *sigh*

I'm checking on this book, though I don't like to cry in bed at night before going to sleep, so I don't know.

Suzanne said...

Sounds like a book to put on the list! ~Suzanne

Lisa Spence said...

I'm intrigued! Sounds like a wonderful book. I really liked her novel "Tender Grace".