Saturday, June 14, 2014

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge and Michelle Cox

About the Book:

Winner of the 2014 CLASS Reunion Kudos Book Award, fiction category.

After the tragic death of Butch Browning’s wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious—and fleeting—their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O’Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they’ve forgotten what they truly need.

With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?

As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.

My Thoughts:

Michelle and Rene pack a wealth of wisdom into this average sized novel about family life.  We see parenting through the eyes of people at multiple stages in life, and each provides a unique perspective.  One advantage to this particular novel: everyone who has had or will have children can relate in some way to the story.

Family dysfunction is brought into the story carefully and with skill, blending the reality of life with the story of fiction into a novel that is moving and informative without being preachy or condemning...or feeling like you just paid for a therapy session!

Through Michelle and Rene, we can see how the way we were or were not parented can have a direct impact on how we ourselves parent.  Something we know, but also something we need to see through the lives of these fictional characters.

Whether your children move out at 18 or continue to live at home, we truly only have "Just 18 Summers" to pour our lives into our children, and this novel encourages us all to make every moment count...even if we have to play Extreme Candy Land to do it!

My thanks to my friends at Tyndale Publishing for my advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  "Just 18 Summers" is highly, highly recommended.
Happy Reading!



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