Monday, June 17, 2013

The Bookworm: The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester

  • Title: The Rockin' Chair
  • Author: Steven Manchester
  • Format: Paperback 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Story Plant
  • Published: 20 June 2013
  • Genre: Contemporary Fiction
  • ISBN 13:  9781611880670
  • ISBN 10: 161188067X
  • Source: Gifted for Review 
  • Buy: The Book Depository|Amazon|Nook


In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)

A wonderful book to share with the family, about a family facing years of adversity. A great Christmas stocking stuffer that reminds people about the importance of family and forgiveness. No matter how near or far, how shallow or deep.


Summary 

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.


 
My Thoughts

Firstly I must say I am very very thankful for this book. And for Steven's kindness in letting me review it. This book marks a big milestone for me as this is my first time reviewing a book before its published date! How exciting indeed! So, thank you Steven, for your wonderful gift.  

Goodnight, Brian was the first book of Steven's I'd ever read and so a small part of me will always compare it with his other books. Even more so because of how much I absolutely adored the former. The Rockin' Chair is a good book to start with for those who are new to his writings. It is not as intense as Goodnight, Brian and thus will probably be easier to read for some. It talks about a family that's full of regrets. Regrets stemming from their childhoods all the way to their futures. The book starts off slowly, as the author wants to let the seriousness of the situation sink in before proceeding to share bits and pieces of each small tale, that weave together to create the core of this book.

The main character is this book is no doubt Grandpa John, who at the beginning of the book loses his best friend in life, to Alzheimer's. As he grieves and longs to join her in the house of the Lord, he is sent a message, telling him that he has work to do before his time is up. It's just like a good ghost movie whereby they have some things to take care off before they can be at peace. And as such, he gathers the whole family for a bit of much-needed southern intervention.

The Rockin' Chair touches on illnesses of the mind and encourages strength from within. The characters in the book have to overcome drug and alcoholic addictions, tough relationships, beatings, and nightmares garnered from the pains of war among other things. Grandpa John dishes out sound advice left, right, and center without skipping a beat. The book gives us hope that no matter how painful or how deep the scars in our hearts, it can always be healed by the power of one's love. It reminds us that we are our greatest critics and that we have to forgive ourselves before we can forgive others.


"Anything that I have ever accomplished - all that I am - is because the Lord blessed me with your love
~ My favourite quote from the book.

Steven Manchester is a master at stringing together the simplest words to create messages with such strong hidden meanings behind them. Every turn of the page creates a brand new picture, his words, like brushstrokes on a painting, are a joy to visualize. You'll learn all of life's lessons amid the beautiful living, breathing Earth and its creatures. So sit back and enjoy life in all its simplicity and take a cue from Grandpa John.

The last chapter will have you in tears. I had to take breaks every handful of sentences as my vision kept fogging up and interrupting my reading process. The Rockin' Chair has messages that you can take away and use to enrich your own lives and pass down to others. Every Steven Manchester book should come with its own box of Kleenex. Believe me, you're going to need it!


Steven Manchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian). He is also written Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. 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 his short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.


Give Steven Manchester a buzz:



To purchase The Rockin' Chair


Check out Steven's other books:

Twelve Months - Amazon * Book Depository
Goodnight, Brian - My Review * Amazon * Book Depository 
Pressed Pennies - Amazon
The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy - Amazon 


Disclosure: I was sent the book for review but was not compensated financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.  

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