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About the Book:
PENNY WISE (Book 3 in the Windy City Neighbors series) introduces us to yet another family in “the neighborhood”-the Jaspers, busy with demanding jobs, busy with church, busy volunteering, parents of three active teenagers, juggling sometimes crazy schedules. All good things. Until all those “good things” feed into a series of crises that affects the whole family. Something’s gotta change! PENNY WISE is a contemporary peek at an urban family wrestling with the spiritual and practical challenges of real life. The series employs the innovating storytelling technique of “parallel novels,” each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters’ lives become intertwined with their neighbors and affect one another. Welcome to Beecham Street-a typical, isolated American neighborhood that is beginning to come out of its shell . . . for better or worse.
About the Authors:
Neta and Dave Jackson, husband and wife writing team, are the authors or coauthors of more than 120 books that have sold over 2.5 million copies. They are best known for Neta’s award-winning Yada Yada Prayer Group series and their forty-volume Trailblazer series. They live in the Chicago area, where this novel is set.
If there ever were authors that I’d recommend that doesn’t revolve around Amish fiction, Dave and Neta Jackson are who I’d tell you to read, seriously, they are that good. I’ve read all the Yada Yada series, SouledOut Sisters (Stand By Me and Come To The Table), Lucy Come Home and The Windy City Neighbors series with that being said next to read is the Harry Bentley and the House of Hope series (as of this review I have also completed the Harry Bentley and the House of Hope series too). The Jackson’s write what are called ‘parallel novels’ meaning that all the books interrelate to one another on some level so Yada Yada feeds into the House of Hope series and Harry Bentley (see their website for which order to read this in) – just like our real lives run parallel to others, at the same time you’re doing dishes another friend may be out feeding her goats while another is reading a book to a child – and at some point our lives intersect with one another. Before I began Penny Wise, I ran to the library and grabbed books 1 and 2 that I hadn’t read yet and I’m glad I did, while they could stand alone it helped to read these in order – while these are Christian fiction books I will mention that there were two instances that I counted the use of the word p**sed, when one of the characters were angry, so just a warning.
I sort of knew what was going to happen before Michelle figured it out, what with the extreme fatigue, sensitivities to smells and aversion to food – anyone who has been pregnant before will be like DUH! you’re pregnant – but not Michelle, there is one scene that she and her husband are having marital relations and she uses her protection, so they are actively trying not to get pregnant. Their lives are running full steam ahead and stress is the norm with both working different shifts, volunteer, school stuff for their children then summer activities, and church obligations so it’s just stress related, until Michelle goes to the dr. This is the part of the book that angered me, Michelle, a volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center contemplates having an abortion, no one will know since she hasn’t told anyone! I can understand the feelings of being overwhelmed, in her 40’s she and her husband are ships passing in the night and she has teenagers, but the thought of aborting your child. These feelings may have been very strong for me right now as I’m struggling with figuring out why God would give someone a child who doesn’t want one but yet I’ve yet to have another after almost 8 years!
With that being said, the Jackson’s books aren’t ones that one can read and then put aside and forget, they make the reader think and they may even uncover some feelings that may not feel so good. Like me, being angry with Michelle – of course when tragedy strikes their family she realizes then just how precious life is (even working as a post abortion group leader, doesn’t truly hit home) and she finally tells her husband who is shocked at first but happy. I must say despite my feelings I really enjoyed this book and read it through in 2 days, would have been quicker but I wasn’t feeling good and I would definitely recommend it but be sure to read the series in order so you know what is going on! I’m really looking forward to book 4, Pound Foolish, which is about a homeschool mom and her husband and two children.
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(c) 2014, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws