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A Return to Cedar Cove

The fourth book in Cynthia Ulmer’s, The Cedar Cove Chronicles is a good one! The tile character Trudy is one that you find in the first book for a brief moment, her story begins with a brutal domestic violence ridden marriage to Mark Gideon. Trudy has finally found the courage to escape a loveless violent marriage once the violence escalates and now includes her son.

The story brings you back to Cedar Cove and all of your favorite characters. As Trudy reunites with her family and begins to heal from the emotional and physical wounds inflicted on her she begins to find herself attracted to the first book’s main character, Todd. The feeling is mutual but they both understand that the relationship cannot proceed until Trudy is able to divorce Mark, and he cannot be found.

Once her husband Mark realizes that he has been left, he begins to search for her and as he realizes he has no control over the situation any more, he begins to slip mentally into paranoia and delusions. It’s always “fun” to see a character start to lose connection with reality and in this case, it could not happen to a nicer guy.

Through a series of events, Mark finds himself working with Bob who has recently moved from Cedar Cove after he and Nancy broke up. As they become friends Mark finds out that Trudy is now in Cedar Cove and makes his way there, so he can give her a good beating and collect the money he feels his father-in-law owes him, because he married his daughter.

Violence follows with Mark and he ends up trying to rob her father and this ends with Mark shooting him in the process. Now the race is on to find Mark before he can find Trudy. There are several twists that you won’t see coming and this especially includes the ending (no spoilers here!)

The novel does a great job of furthering the characters and I like the plot line. My only complaint is I thought there was a little too much attention given to Bob and Nancy, several times I wanted to reach in and shake Bob, I also felt Mark’s mental disintegration could have been a few pages shorter.

This book was given to me by the author Cynthia Ulmer for my honest review.

 

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The Cedar Cove Chronicles –Book Two; Clyde and Wanda

Cynthia Ulmer’s second book in her Cedar Cove Chronicles is continuation of the story; however the main characters in this volume are Clyde and his wife Wanda. Clyde is now married with a child of his own and is a successful business man. Wanda, his wife, has had a very odd and hurtful childhood and as the story unfolds you find out that there have been many lies told and secrets kept throughout her life.

I enjoyed the journey of learning the truth of Wanda’s childhood and I liked how her family was brought together, I thought that some of it was a bit simplistic but it was a nice story line. This novel is well done and your favorite characters and villains all make an appearance. However, you must read the first novel if you want to understand the underlying history and understand each character’s way of thinking and motivations.

I really enjoy the way Cynthia develops the plot to her novels. They are well thought out and fit well within the time period of the book. I would say that my only disappointment in this book was the story line about Clyde becoming a deacon for the church. I felt that I never really understood his reaction and I thought there was going to be an introduction of two more characters, but that never really seemed too develop.

With that being said, if you loved the first book like I did, you will really enjoy the continuation of the story. You will see justice; you will see forgiveness and a strong Christian message throughout the book. I am excited to begin the third book in the series, so look for that review shortly.


This book was given to me by the author, Cynthia Ulmer for my honest opinion.

 

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Todd-Great First Book in the Cedar Cove Chronicles

Cynthia Ulmer is now on my list of “must read” authors. I had the opportunity to review the first book in her, Cedar Cove Chronicles, Todd. The setting for the book is in rural North Carolina and set during World War II. The narration is done in first person by the lead character of this book Todd Jansan who is a fifth-grade boy.

The book has a strong Christian message of hope, trust, forgiveness and redemption. Since this is the first book in a series Cynthia did a fantastic job of developing each character. Even her secondary characters such as Grandma Cal (who is my favorite) are expertly development. You will love the characters you should, and loathe the ones you should.

Some of the subject matter is a bit rough and there is some violence but there is nothing obscene or overly graphic but it is not a read for younger kids. The story line is true to both the time period and the setting it is set in. The Jansan family own a tobacco farmer and they are hard working, God fearing family. The neighbor, Horace Hammond is not. He is a loud mouth drunkard bully that terrorizes his wife, children and the entire community of Cedar Cove.

In this story you will see what happens when a good man and an evil man path’s collided in a way that neither can nor will back down from. The history between the two is long and the way the each of them handle the conflict could not be more different. You will see this conflict from Todd’s perspective and you will see grace, forgiveness, true friendship and how God will work things out even when during your trials it may not look or feel like He’s even listening.

This book was given to me by the Author, Cynthia Ulmer, for my honest opinion.

 

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