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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Forney Hull: Makes Stalking Adorable

I don’t know how many of you out there have seen the film Where the Heart Is, but it is an amazing film. It’s about 17 year old Novalee Nation, who is scared of fives (bad stuff happens to her when fives abound), who is pregnant, and has a loser boyfriend. Her boyfriend ends up dumping her off at the Walmart in the middle of nowhere. There Novalee lives in the Walmart, eventually having her baby there. The film chronicles her starting a new life there in Oklahoma, and all the characters she encounters. There’s Sister Husband, the Christian who takes her in; Moses Whitecotton, a photographer who helps Novalee achieve her dreams, Lexie Coop the ever fertile woman in search of the perfect man, and Forney Hull, the educated, caring best friend. The film also chronicles what happens to Novalee’s deadbeat boyfriend as he goes from prison mate to rising country star. Novalee goes through many twists and turns until she discovers true love and the meaning of friendship. To watch the trailer click here.  To see the first half of the film go here. Sorry but that’s all I could find online.

Forney Hull is one of the best characters in the book  and the film. In the beginning he is seen as a harsh, rude character; but we see him soften as we learn more about him.

He genuinely cares for Novalee, and takes care of her in the novel. He cooks her dinner everyday, and brings her books to read about mothering. However he also follows her.

While stalking someone is creepy, when Forney does it,  it’s cute. He first becomes her friend, and then follows her not because he is a creep; but because he is worried about her. He knows she is alone and pregnant in a new town. In the movie, however, they don’t show that relationship and it instead looks a tad more creepy than caring. He ends up saving Novalee’s life and her baby by delivering it himself. He comes crashing into the Walmart, it is such a great scene.

From there Forney becomes not only Novalee’s best friend, but also Americus’, Novalee’s baby, quasi-godfather. He also is deeply in love with Novalee and tries to tell her how he feels. He is always there for Novalee and Americus no matter what.

Aw! So cute!

And he is so good with kids. The way he is with Americus is just darling!

“Americus: Forney, if you give a cow chocolate will you get chocolate milk?
Forney Hull: Yeah. And if you spin a cow around real fast you’ll get whipped cream.
Americus: Wow! You know a lot.
Forney Hull: Well, I work in the library!”

As the film progresses we hear that Forney has a sad backstory. He was studying to be a history teacher when his father died. He then had to come back home, and take care of his alcoholic sister, the librarian. When she dies, Forney is given the freedom to do whatever he wants, but the only thing he wants to do is stay in Oklahoma with Novalee. He is willing to work in a plastics factory, just to be with her and Americus.

Forney is the all-around perfect man. He is kind, caring, loving, sweet, intelligent, etc. Novalee ends up letting him slip through her fingers, scared that she could never measure up. But Forney doesn’t care that she didn’t finish high school, or that she got pregnant at 17 and was living in a Wal-Mart. He cares about Novalee as a person, loving her and her spirit.

The end is so adorable! They finally get reunited and Forney’s dreams come true!

Novalee Nation: It’s too late, isn’t it, Forney?
Forney Hull: Too late for what?
Novalee Nation: I lied to you, when you asked me if I loved you, and I said no. Remember?
Forney Hull: Yes.
Novalee Nation: I lied. It wasn’t true, I-I love you. It’s just I lied because I thought you deserved something better.
Forney Hull: Something better than you? Novalee, there isn’t anything better than you.
[they kiss]

Here’s the end scene. Sorry it is not of better quality.

hearts banner

For more films based on books, go to A Fright on Halloween Night

For more non-Austen films, go to Insults

For more bookish posts, go to Darcy’s Dream Date

For more on guys who can cook, go to Squeak, Squeakity, Squeak-ems

For more on the perfect guy, go to My New BF