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Sweet Sanctuary - Sheila Walsh

Posted by Gina Schwartz on November 1, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Sweet Sanctuary

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.

Summary from Goodreads

My Take

There is a quote from this novel that really stuck with me.  Grandma Ruth says that "Without the storm how would we know the sweetness of the shelter".  I really loved that and it struck a chord with me.  I am not certain if this is a biblical quote but it is truly beautiful. It also reflects teh deep faith of Wren and her completed trust in God to help her ot weather any storm. 

I loved this novel from the first paragrpah.  I envied Wren her simple life with her son and the love that you can share with your only child with no fear of jealousy from other siblings.  I also loved the way the warm comforting presence of her grandmother was worked into the story.  Everything about Grandma Ruth was wise and calming.

The author succeeded in telling the sotry of Wren's family in a way that made it seem very believable and highlighted the tragedy that it was and how easilty it could have been averted with clear communication and love between the family members.  The ending of the sotry is even more heartfelt because of this.  They have known the storm so they are content and happy in the shelter.

The romance part of the story was also handled beautifully and progressed in a wonderfully slow romantic way.  Paul seems to be the best thing that has happened to romance in a long time.

The one part of the novel that I thought could have been more successfully explored was Charlie's relationship with his friend Franklin.  Franklin is a child with special needs and while the author did a great job of showcasing a parent's labour of love in having to deal with a special needs child and the strain that this puts on all levels of relationships for the child and the parent, it would have been great to see more of the challenges of interacting with such a family.  There are really only two incidents explored in the novel.

Rating - 4 Stars

I was grateful to receive a copy of this novel for review from Booksneeze.

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