William Estep

My journey to retire and sail. Writing, reading, technology, programming, photography, coffee, equality, sailing, and the oxford comma.

"Back Home Again" Melody Carlson

Category: ClubReading
Tags: booksreview

Back Home Again is book one in the "Tales from Grace Chapel Inn" series by Melody Carlson.  Three mature sisters reunite at the old family home in Acorn Hill, Pennsylvania, following their father's death.  They plan to renovate their large old home and list it on the local historical register...and then open a bed-and-breakfast.  They battle opposition from their own aunt and the townfolk.

The three sisters are so different from each other the townfolk have said it's hard to believe they are sisters.  It is questionable whether or not they can work together to accomplish their goals with the bed-and-breakfast.  Louise has been a widow for 5 years.  She is an accomplished pianist and made her living in Philadelphia giving piano lessons and an occasional concert.  Jane, the youngest was divorced a year ago.  She was a highly respected chef in San Francisco.  Alice never married.  Instead she made her home with her father and remained with him until his death.  She is a nurse at the hospital in Acorn Hill.

Do you ever identify strongly with one of the characters in a book?  Of course!   We all do that!  I read books two and three of this seriest first.  Of the three sisters, I identified most with Alice, though I could not have said why.  In book one Alice is the main character.  I am learning a little more about her, and now I know why I identify with her.

First...Alice is the middle daughter--not the eldest or the baby.  Ditto here.

Second...Alice is relatively attractive (very relative here(, but does not play up her looks.  She wears her nurse's uniform at work and jeans and a chambry shirt at home.  The other sisters call her dowdy, but she prefers to think of it as more concerned with others than herself.

Third...Alice is the peacemaker.  Maybe that comes along with being middle-born.  Who knows?

Fourth...Alice stresses over small t hings.  I'll let this quote explain (italics are mine).

Alice sent up a silent prayer as she hurried toward home.  She didn't feeling so alarmed over such a seemingly small thing, but she knew better than anyone her own tendency to worry too much about 'small things.'  Her compulsion to fret was also one of the biggest reasons for Alice's fervent and active prayer life.  She found herself constantly running to God with her worries--both large and small.  She reassured herself that she was doing exactly what the Scriptures taught.  Besides, as Vera was kind to point out, perhaps it was simply the way God had made her, a natural result of Alice's very sensitive nature. She just tended to feel things more deeply and intensely than most people.  Alice liked to see it in this positive light, but to be perfectly honest, she felt it was both a blessing and a curse."

Fifth..Alice feels personally responsible for everything that goes wrong.

Like so many other things in life, Alice felt personally responsible for this too.  If she hadn't encouraged her sisters to develop the inn, or if she simply minded her own business and kept her mouth shut....  But then, Alice wondered, was keeping everything the same really for the best?"

"Tales from Grace Chapel Inn" is a pleasant, light-read series that I enjoyed.  I hope you will also.

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