Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester (Book Review)

In association with Providence Book Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Rockin' Chair by author Steven Manchester!

Book Review

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Format: Paperback - 272 pages / Kindle - 548 KB / Nook - 669 KB
ISBN: 161188067X
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: The Rockin' Chair

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions.

Book Description:

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.

Book Excerpt:

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked.

While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear.

Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously.

Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice.

Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek.

Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears.

“Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention.

Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face.

“When?” he asked.

Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.”

“In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking.

Elle nodded again.

Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said.

Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it.

Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.”

Though delayed, Tara burst into tears.

As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”

My Book Review:

The Rockin' Chair is the poignant story about the strong bonds of family, love, forgiveness and precious memories. "In the end, all we have is our memories ... good or bad." ~ Grandpa John McCarthy

Author Steven Manchester has written another amazing story about family! The Rockin' Chair is an inspirational story that reaches out and tugs at the reader's heart strings and penetrates their soul.

Set in the picturesque mountain valley setting of Montana, the reader follows the McCarthy clan as their journey of coming home to make peace with the past is achieved through love and forgiveness at the urging of the family patriarch, Grandpa John, after the death of his beloved wife Alice from Alzheimer's. Grandpa John's mission was to bring his family together and help mend their tattered lives, so that they could renew the strong bonds of family through the wise old adage that the passage of time heals all wounds, for all that is left will be the precious memories that have been made. As each of the family members' trials and tribulations unfold, their story comes full circle at the hands of a gentle man who had lovingly carved their family legacy on the seat of his beloved rocking chair.

It is a beautiful story that every reader can relate to, the author provides the reader with a chance to reflect upon their own families, and leaves them with the gentle reminder that in the end what is important and matters the most is family. I can't say enough about this masterpiece, the author has a wonderful way of weaving a story that is rich in detail and descriptions that easily transports the reader into the McCarthy family's world.

As a licensed NJ Nursing Home Administrator, who has worked in the long term health care field for nearly twenty years, I applaud the thoughtful attention that the author gives in his depiction of Alice's decline due to Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is a merciless disease that slowly progresses and steals a person's mind, diminishes the recollection of their life and their memories, leaving them to become a mere shadow of who they used to be. It is devastating and heartbreaking for the family, knowing that there is nothing they can do but sit and watch their loved one decline. Kudos Mr. Manchester, your accurate depiction was spot on, it is an unfortunate situation that occurs every day to families throughout the world.

With a wonderful cast of characters who you can't help but fall in love with, and a tender storyline that will keep you reaching for the box of tissues, The Rockin' Chair is a powerful and compelling story that is a must read, it will resonate with the reader for a very long time.

The Rockin' Chair is a tenderhearted, emotional, and inspirational story of family, love, loss, faith and life lessons. It is a story that will remind you to take the time to appreciate your life and family, for time goes by so quickly, before you know it, it is over in the blink of an eye.


About The Author

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestseller Twelve Months, Goodnight, Brian, and several other books. 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 Manchester’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Providence Book Promotions

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  1. Superb review! I am a huge fan of this author and thought he hit this one out of the park! So glad you enjoyed it! Very much enjoyed your take on this book! Thank you.

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you for your kind comments, I appreciate it. I am a fan of this author too, his books captivate the reader and has a way of making them feel the full gamut of emotions.