Hometown Ties - Melody Carlson (Christian Fiction)
Released September 2010
Childhood friends are now all back in their hometown of Clifden, Oregon, becoming reunited with one another and dealing with the problems facing them in their middle years. Hometown Ties focuses on each friend, but it is Caroline who features prominently in the second Four Linda's novel.
All heroines in this novel are in their fifties and moving into a new stage of life. Caroline's back from California to care for her mother, who's in the latter stages of Alzheimer's. Caroline's stressed to the max but determined to meet her mother's wishes about living the remainder of her life at home and not in a facility.
Janie is a widowed lawyer who wants to move forward, but isn't sure how to do it. She was married for so long that dating seems foreign.
Marley's done with her abusive marriage and is moving on. Her recent bout with painter's block is less than pleasing. As she throws her artistic nature into her home renovations and her painting, she isn't sure she has the inspiration to keep up with her art.
Finally, Abby's daughters have all moved on and her husband is becoming more and more distant. Marriage counseling seems to be Abby's last hope, but she's not sure she can trust her husband, a man who's constant belittling and hints that he may be having an affair have worn thin.
The ages of the heroines were a little beyond me, but I still found the story worked on so many levels. I am starting to experience the panic of your parents not being the same lively people from your childhood. The worries about health, injury and such weigh heavily from time to time. I also found myself able to sympathize with Abby because I, too, have devoted much of my time to raising kids and am now branching out into my own business ideas and the likes. I still have a ways to go before I'm in their age group though.
Nevertheless, I found myself engrossed in their charming coastal town and their lives. At the end, things did seem a little rushed and pulled together too quickly for me, but others may have no issue with it.
I am intrigued enough to find the first story in this series and make sure I keep up with the rest. I'd like to see if Abby's dream career takes off and what happens to the rest of the women.