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The Rockin’ Chair by Steven Manchester Review & Giveaway

The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester

About The Rockin’ Chair

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.

My thoughts:

The Rockin’ Chair is a beautiful and engaging story of a family dealing with loss, misunderstanding, personal demons and most importantly a story of a family coming together.

The story opens from the point of view of Alice, who is approaching death and living with Alzheimers.   Manchester masterfully pulls the reader into the confusion brought on by this devastating disease by at first allowing the reader to believe she is a young girl only to reveal the truth that she is reliving a dismembered memory of the past. 

When Alice passes on, her husband, John McCarthy, calls his family home and so the story really begins as we are introduced to each family member and their own struggles.  Grandpa John regularly doles out loving wisdom in an effort to heal his family.

This is a truly emotional and healing book, I was left feeling uplifted and yet still oddly sad.  This family could be any family, and Grandpa John’s wisdom applies to us all.  The Rockin’ Chair is a wonderfully well written novel and I just can’t recommend it enough.

Read an excerpt:

Elle picked up Evan, Tara and Lila at the airport. As she approached the threesome, she gasped at the sight of her emaciated daughter. For a few moments, Tara’s eyes scanned every inch of her mother’s face before she spread her twig-like arms. Elle hugged her, then pulled away and peered into her sunken eyes. “Are you sick?” she asked.

While Tara shrugged, Elle grabbed Evan for a hug. “I’ll explain it on the way,” he whispered in her ear.

Lila stood there, looking up at her grandmother—curiously.

Elle bent down and smiled at the baby. “Hello, my love,” she whispered, “Grandma’s waited much too long to meet you.” The little girl was a living doll. She had Tara’s strawberry blond curls and the same dark eyes as Alice.

Lila grinned. “Hi, Gramma,” she said, and never flinched when Elle scooped her up and kissed her cheek.

Elle looked back at Tara and could feel her eyes swell with tears.

“Grandma?” Evan asked, grabbing her attention.

Elle shook her head, the tears beginning to cascade down her tired face.

“When?” he asked.

Elle reached for his hand. “Last night…right in Grampa’s lap.”

“In the rockin’ chair?” he asked, his voice cracking.

Elle nodded again.

Evan’s eyes filled. “Where else?” he said.

Elle noticed the confusion in her daughter’s eyes and thought, She’s so out of it.

Before Elle could explain, Evan leaned into Tara’s ear and filled it with the bad news. “We’re one day too late. Grandma passed away last night.”

Though delayed, Tara burst into tears.

As they left the airport terminal, Elle walked alongside Evan. “How did you find her in New York?” she asked in a whisper. “Her cell phone’s been turned off for weeks.” She looked back at her daughter, who was already lagging behind.

“It wasn’t easy,” he said, and shook his head. “Let’s just say…thank God I did.”


About Steven Manchester:

Steven ManchesterSteven 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.
Win it:  One Frugal Mom Eh reader will win a copy of Goodnight, Brian by Steven Manchester.  Giveaway is open to CAN/USA and Ends August 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.
Disclosure:  The Above mentioned book was provided free of charge in order to facilitate this review.  All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

amy lovell

Sunday 3rd of November 2013

This sounds like such a heartwarming book.

Teena in Toronto

Saturday 31st of August 2013

I enjoyed this book.

Dorothy Deakyne

Friday 23rd of August 2013

My Grandma's Quilt

kristin sims

Friday 23rd of August 2013

the moment my son was born...

Maureen Stein

Friday 23rd of August 2013

The 1st time I held each of my sons when they were born!