Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere

Overview from Barnes and Noble:

In this full-length novel from the New York Times Bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series Donna VanLiere has written a beautifully rendered and poignant story about one woman's unlikely path to motherhood and the healing power of love.

 Tennessee, 1950:  Still single and in her early thirties, Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid; a label she takes with good humor and a grain of salt. But when her mother dies, leaving her to live alone in the house she grew up in, to work the farm she was raised to take care of, she finds herself lost in a kind of loneliness she hadn't expected.  After years of rebuffing the advances of imperfect, yet eligible bachelors from her small town, Ivorie is without companionship with more love in her heart and time on her hands than she knows what to do with.  But her life soon changes when a feral, dirty-faced boy who has been sneaking onto her land to steal from her garden comes into her life.  Even though he runs back into the hills as quickly as he arrives, she's determined to find out who he is because something about the young boy haunts her. What would make him desperate enough to steal and eat from her garden?  But what she can't imagine is what the boy faces, each day and night, in the filthy lean-to hut miles up in the hills. Who is he? How did he come to live in the hills? Where did he come from? And, more importantly, can she save him? As Ivorie steps out of her comfort zone to uncover the answers, she unleashes a firestorm in the town-a community that would rather let secrets stay that way.

 The Good Dream is a pitch perfect story of redemption and the true meaning of familial love—Donna VanLiere at her very best.

My thoughts:
This book touched me and really made me think.  How much are we willing to leave our own comfort zones to help others and how much discomfort and how many negative actions are we willing to suffer to do what we think is right?  I recently read a blog post by a woman whose son went to the store in a pink head band.  A large man came up to them, yanked the head band off, smacked her son and told him that real men don't wear pink and he will thank him for this later.  The woman was amazed that not only did the man feel he was justified in his actions, but that no one else in the store came up to her afterwards to see if she was okay.  That everyone just went back to what they were doing and ignored what had happened.  How often do we ignore things we know aren't right?  How much of this is out of fear?  Just this week I read a different story about a man who tried to tell the parents of a child that the child was making graffiti on a public building.  The parents blew up at the man because he put his hand on the boys shoulder and had had the audacity to touch their son and ignored that their son had been breaking the law.  Where is the line between protecting our children from harm and also instilling in them the moral compass that will lead them to do the right thing even when we aren't around?

Ivorie is at first annoyed at the wild animal that is messing up her garden.  That is until she discovers it is a young boys, who is dirty and wild looking, who has been visiting her patch of vegetables.  In finding out who the boy is and why he is eating from her garden Ivorie makes a whole lot of discoveries about herself, the nameless boy, the town and love.  The road to motherhood is not the same for everyone, but when you become a mother you make a big shift in your thinking.

There were heart breaking moments in this story as well as uplifting moments.  It follows two unforgettable lives as they become a family.

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250031877
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 7/30/2013
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320

Meet the Author

Donna VanLiere is The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Finding Grace, The Angels of Morgan Hill and seven Christmas books, including the perennial favorites The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope. She travels as a speaker and lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband and three children.

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