Monday, February 19, 2007

I Love Claire by Tracey Bateman

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When we first met Claire in "Leave It To Claire", she's struggling with the issues of being a divorced mom of four kids, the fallout of the divorce as it pertains to her children, dealing with the new wife in her ex's life, and learning her way through her new found faith.

A bout with carpal tunnel slows down her writing career, and the laughter, tears and trials that followed just made me love her. In book two, "Claire Knows Best", Claire falls in love with Greg, her neighbor and worship minister from her church. But then the worst happens...he is called into the ministry and decides to go to seminary. It's the worst because, Claire being Claire, she just doesn't feel like the minister's wife type. Their courtship of errors is hilarious and heart-tugging as well.

So, naturally, "I Love Claire" is the culmination of the romance of book two, along with the healing brought about in book one...right?

Well, sort of. Things roll right along until Greg gets offered a temporary pastor position, postponing the romantic honeymoon Claire has dreamed of...and pushing up the nightmare of trying to fill the shoes of a pastor's wife.

Then there's the dream wedding dress...which potentially turns into a nightmare...or does it?
Dog walking, assisted living, and that stubborn Hawaiian honeymoon "dog" Claire until she surrenders to God's will for her life. And it's a fun journey from start to finish.

As a minister's wife, I identify with her struggle to "be all she can be for God and church". Sometimes, we put expectations on ourselves that are unrealistic and that no one else would put upon us. But it's hard to be the one that all the other women seem to look to....or do they?

I also loved her honest struggle with her kids. Not one of them is perfect...they all have their issues from the divorce, but her love and honest battle to love them into who they are to become is a delight to read.

This is a fictional character with real woman issues, and a wild and wacky life for sure! I would LOVE to have Claire as a neighbor, or a sister in the trenches of ministry...we would do well over Starbucks lattes...oh, the chats we'd have!!

Enjoy the "Claire Everett" trilogy from Tracey Bateman from start to won't want to miss a page...and I'm excited about her new "Drama Queens" series, beginning in June of '07.

Happy Reading!


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