Book Club Picks: The Mother Keeper

So as you all know I started a book club, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time the book club member chose:

The Mother Keeper by Paula Scott

So in my last book club book review I had chosen The Far Side of the Sea by Paula Scott and our book club actually got to meet her!

Afterwards, we all started following her on instagram, facebook, etc. One book club member spotted this on facebook and afterwards wanted to read it.

Paula Scott told us that she started writing this years ago and tucked it away, bringing it out later when her daughters wanted a romance as she wouldn’t let them read Twilight (thank goodness).

She tweaked it here and there and rewrote it-this being the finishing product.

Jenny McBride and her husband Kevin, live in Colorado, are celebrating New Year’s Eve and ecstatic for their pregnancy. They can’t wait or the baby, dreaming of all the things they would like to do.

Both are Christians and strong leaders in their church. That night Kevin had a drink, something Jenny does not approve of, and she insists on driving them home in the snow. A car comes careening their way, and crashes into them. Jenny loses her uterus, Kevin his leg, and both their baby.

Nooooooooooooooo

Jenny can’t believe this happened to her, her whole life she has been a good Christian and this is what happens to her? She is hurt, depressed, and angry.

Noooo!

Meanwhile, in the country areas of Tennessee, teenagers Ellie Ryan and her boyfriend are making plans for the future. Jamie is a big football star and will get a scholarship, while Ellie can get one with her amazing grades. However, there is one wrinkle-Ellie is pregnant.

That is not good,

She doesn’t tell her boyfriend, she just breaks up with him. She then heads to the pregnancy crisis center where her sister had gotten an abortion before she took off to California. Ellie hasn’t heard from her since.

At the center, Ellie meets Patsy Klein, a pastor’s wife, who invites her to come stay with her and take part in their church’s Mother Keeper program. The Mother Keeper program, is when a family takes in a pregnant teen and helps take care of her until she has the baby. Sometimes they adopt the baby, help arrange adoptions, or just help them until they can figure out their next step. They pay the food and medical bills through church funding/fundraising.

Ellie stays with Pastor Klein, Patsy, and their three boys-Shawn, Seth, and Stephen. For Ellie, this a dream come true as she is finally part a perfect family.

Shawn is upset when he hears that a pregnant girl from Sutterville-Sucksville-is going to be living with  them. He has enough on his plate with football, a scholarship to Vanderbilt, his beautiful girlfriend Jill who desires him. But meeting Ellie and spending time with her-Shawn realizes that the life he has been living isn’t what he wants at all, but what does he want? Now, he doesn’t know.

Hmmm….I need to rethink my life’s choices

As Shawn and Ellie grow closer, Shawn wants to marry her and raise the baby together. But the assistant pastor contacts his sister Jenny, she having gone through a spiritual battle and grief, is ready to adopt-Ellie’s baby. What will Ellie decide?

Many more decisions will be made as secrets are brought out in the open: a secret affair, true parentage revealed, murder, rape, and a fight over who will adopt Ellie’s baby.

Wow!

This was a a fantastic story and a real page turner. Paula Scott doesn’t pull way from anything, but hits the truth hard.

What?

It’s funny because it certain characters reminded me of ones from Desperate Pastor Wives and The MasterpieceThat was completely unplanned by us. In DPW, Jennifer Shores too has lost a baby, and becomes angry with God; having to go through her journey, getting close to God, and figuring what is next in the future. In The Masterpiece, Grace Moore is kept by a family until she has her child, and goes through a similar battle over who will adopt her child, along with having family issues she has to work through.

It was a fantastic book, and I strongly recommend it.

For more Book Club Picks, go to Book Club Picks: Far Side of the Sea

For more by Paula Scott, go to Book Club Picks: Until the Day Breaks

For more Christian novels, go to Book Club Picks: Desperate Pastors’ Wives

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Save the Last Dance For Me: Dirty Dancing (1987)

Romantic Moment #13

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Dirty Dancing (1987)

Let’s face it, you all knew this was coming. This one absolutely had to be on the list, I mean how could I not talk about the wonderful film Dirty Dancing?

Actually this is a film I always associate with Valentine’s Day as my sister and I would always watch it and eat heart-shaped pizzas from Papa Murphy’s, brownies, and candy. Lots of candy.

I miss being able to do that with her. She’s always my perfect valentine.

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Dirty Dancing is my sister’s favorite movie, and I mean what’s not to like? First of all you have the very, very attractive Patrick Swayze y. I mean Patrick Swayze is amazing: he can sing, dance, and is good-looking. A perfect package.

So romantic!

Second, the film has great music; Be My Baby by the Ronettes, Hungry Eyes by Eric Carmen (love him), Love is Strange by Mickey & Sylvia, She’s Like the Wind by Patrick Swayze, and (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.

So the story of Dirty Dancing, (set in the 1960s), is that Baby, (Jennifer Gray), is 18 years old and enjoying a summer trip before joining the Peace Corps. She is staying at a resort with her mother, father, and older sister Lisa. When she gets there, we find out that there is a segregation between the workers.

What?!

The waiters are allowed to mix with the rich guests, but the dancers are looked down on and seen as not worth enough to mingle. Baby attempts to cross the barrier and go over to “their” side. She meets Johnny, (Patrick Swayze), and is completely blown away by his confidence and good looks.

One day Baby sees one the dancers, Penny, upset. She tries to comfort her and discovers that Penny is pregnant. And to make it even worse, the father of Penny’s child is the same guy dating Baby’s sister.

As the guy, Robby, won’t help Penny, she has decided to get an abortion. However, she doesn’t have enough money to pay for the illegal operation. Baby is able to get her the appropriate funds, but it doesn’t solve anything as Penny has an important dance exhibition that she and Johnny do at another hotel, and they can’t find anyone to cover for her. Baby volunteers, and her and Johnny grow very close while practicing for the show; ultimately falling in love.

The two have to hide their love as Baby’s father will disapprove, and Johnny could be fired. Their love is tested when Johnny gets accused of stealing and no one believes his alibi. But if Baby tells the truth will it hurt her family and cause Johnny to lose his job anyway?

Most Romantic Moment: Save the Last Dance for Me

***Spoiler Alert***

Baby has told the truth and saved Johnny as she couldn’t see him fired for nothing. But while she saves him from jail time Johnny is let go, as he “broke” the rules. He receives his summer bonus, but can’t do the last dance of the season and will not be hired again next year.  Baby and Johnny say good-bye, and it is so sad! ;(

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So they have the talent show, ending on a very tame song instead of Johnny’s razzle-dazzle. Baby is just sitting there, fenced in by her parents in the corner; sad, lonely, and bored.

But then, Johnny comes storming on through the room, he goes to Baby and says some of the best lines ever:

Then he takes Baby up onto the stage and the two dance. They dance the best they ever have. Baby even does the dance move, “the Lift”. Before she failed, but now that she isn’t doing it for any other reason than her love for him, they perfect it!

But the most romantic thing is that he CAME BACK for her! He came back so they could do their final dance together. So they could finally express their love out in the open!

So romantic

So romantic

I WANT A JOHNNY!

And the song they use to at the end! It’s so romantic and uplifting. Such a great scene.

Of course being so great of a scene, it gets referenced in other works. In Crazy, Stupid, Love Jacob tells Hannah that his best line to get a girl to sleep with him is that he can recreate the Lift from Dirty Dancing. She insists on him showing her.

And in the TV show Wedding Bands, the band is hired to play at an Adult Prom Party Wedding Renewal. One of the hosts, Bobby has been secretly learning the dance moves, and that night requests the song and surprises his wife by having them dance to it.

To start Romance is in the Air from the beginning, go to Boom Box of Love: Say Anything (1989)

For the previous post, go to Bringing the World to Your Backyard: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

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