The Rockin’ Chair by Steven Manchester
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.
John and his son Hank had a falling out years before and have never mended their relationship, but John and Alice stayed close to Hank’s wife Elle and their children. Grandpa John loves his wife Alice more than life itself, and when she’s nearing her death he sends for their grown grandchildren, who have moved to other states, to come home. They do come, but sadly they don’t make it in time. The tensions between John and Hank, and Hank and his kids disrupt what should be a very solemn, loving time.
This is a story about family. It’s a message that no matter the problems you have with a loved one, no matter how long the rift has been there, relationships can be restored if someone takes the first step toward mending what caused the problem. After losing Alice, John realizes how precious life is and is determined to mend all the problems his family members have, and in doing so he brings everyone closer.
I loved the part about the rockin’ chair. I wish I’d have had one and done what Grampa John did. What an amazing thing to pass down from generation to generation.
This is a book that most anyone would enjoy. It’s full of sadness, relationship problems, anger and forgiveness, but mostly love.
It was a fairly short read, but packed full of stuff that keeps you reading until the last page.
I would definitely read this author again.
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.
Thanks to Providence Book Promotions for sending me a review copy.