14 June, 2014

#BookReview :: Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester

Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige`s father nearly destroyed Abby`s spirit. 

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they`re hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She`s very protective of the life she`s made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn`t know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you`ve dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart. 

Can two people connected through their past, struggling in their present, come together to complete each other? 

Rick and Abby has a shared past but circumstances had torn them apart. Now years later, their experiences since then have changed them both. Going through divorce is a difficult thing and as these two get reacquainted, their relationship is different this time round. On one hand Abby’s spirit is completely broken. On the other hand Rick has no experience in raising or even dealing with kids. Will this odd couple, with their shared history, be able to find their way to each other again?

The protagonists’ characters were drawn very close to real characters that we know in our lives. As such their little nuisances and quirks made them very real to the readers and it was easy to relate to them. I felt for Abby really. Her ex-husband had left her broken, yet she had to put up a brave front for her daughter. I applause her for getting out of the abusive relationship in time to save herself and her daughter as I understand that it is a very difficult thing to do. The book changed POV from time to time and though at times it felt real sudden and took time to catch with the change, being able to read from both POV really helped getting to know the characters up, close and personally. 

My only wish is that the author would give bit more details about the different settings. Other than that this novel was full of emotions and drama that kept my pages turning till the very end.

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers, Twelve Months and The Rockin` Chair. He is also the author of the critically-acclaimed, award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian, as well as A Christmas Wish (Kindle exclusive), Pressed Pennies (due out May 2014) and Gooseberry Island (due out January 2015). His work has appeared on NBC`s Today Show, CBS`s The Early Show, CNN`s American Morning and BET`s Nightly News. Three of Steven`s short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. 


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