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Things We Once Held Dear (Legacy Series)
Things We Once Held Dear by Ann Tatlock
Like an artist working with small chips of colored glass, Christy Award–winning novelist Tatlock takes multiple characters and fragments of their stories and pieces them together into a tranquil mosaic of commitment, faith, love and homecoming. When artist Neil Sadler's wife dies suddenly in New York City, he is drawn back to Mason, Ohio, the hometown that he fled almost three decades before. He spends the summer helping remodel an old "Gothic Horror" farmhouse into a bed-and-breakfast, trying to reconnect with his past and his cousin Mary Beeken. After a childhood spent caring for an invalid mother, Mary is trapped in a 23-year-old marriage to a troubled, alcoholic cop and feels her life has never quite gotten started. Mary's mother's murder years earlier and questions of innocence and guilt cast shadows on the lives of several Mason families. As Neil and Mary try to make sense of what has happened to their lives, they both discover that "[y]ou don't have to understand something completely to know it's true." Tatlock moves back and forth between different characters and earlier time periods, sometimes confusingly so. But Tatlock is one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories. (Jan.)
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