Skip to main content

Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox

What a sweet read! If you are a parent this book is going to make you think. I think with raising five children with my husband and now being a grandparent, this book was all the more poignant for me. I could relate to most of the characters in one way or another. 

This story opens with a graduation and a party. Lets face it. Not every day is a party. Some stand out more than others. Some we wish we had a do over. Being a parent is a roller coaster ride. We see that through the characters in this story. Each family seems to be facing a different situation at the time. 

There is Butch and his daughter, Ava. Their home is now absent of the love of Butch's life and the mother that would guide Ava is so many ways. Butch doesn't exactly know how to be involved in Ava's life. He worked and counted on Jenny to be with his daughter. Now he is looking back and realizing just how much time he has wasted. We see how both are struggling in different ways with the death of Jenny. 

There is Charles and Helen. They are a super busy family and these parents love to gift their children. Can you relate to this? I think every parent can relate to this couple in one way or another. They love their children by giving them all they can. There seems to be nothing out of their reach. We see the struggles this family faces through the choices they have made. 

Tippy and Daphne are first time parents. As the story begins they are awaiting their first born. The sweet babe comes and now life has changed forever. They are anxious that they won't make all the right decisions. I too remember those days of bringing home my daughter all wrapped in pink. 

Larry and Beth are the parents I think I could relate to the most. The empty nest can be a transition that knocks you off your feet. With one leaving for college and one announcing she is getting married, wow, that's enough to bring a parent to their knees. 

This is one of those stories that is so eye opening and one that every parent and grandparent can relate to. There were parts that brought tears as I remembered our 18 summers and parts where I giggled with the reality these characters were facing. 

I love the message the Rene and Michelle share throughout this story. We have a choice. We can be involved and embrace every moment of our 18 summers or we can look back once the nest is empty with a heart of regret. Each summer seems to fly by. I hear parents saying how happy they will be glad when school begins. But those summers go by quicker than any of us realize. Pretty soon we are watching our grandchildren learn to crawl. 

I truly enjoyed this novel. The walk away gift from the message is priceless. It is not only a gentle whisper to embrace today, but one that brings forth every emotion possible. 

This novel was a gift from Tyndale for sharing my review with you. 


Michelle Cox is a speaker, songwriter, conference and webinar instructor, and the author of seven books.  She has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including Hannity, The Harvest Show and Focus on the Family. Most importantly, she's a wife, mom to three sons, and grandmother of five perfect grandchildren. Visit her websites at:
www.michellecoxinspirations.com and www.just18summers.com.


Rene Gutteridge is the award-winning and bestselling author of twenty-two novels, including her latest releases, Misery Loves Company (suspense), Greetings from the Flipside (comedy), and Heart of the Country (drama). Her recent suspense titles also include ListenPossession, and Escapement. She has novelized seven screenplays and movies, including two new releases due out in 2014, Just 18 Summers and Old FashionedNever the Bride, a romantic comedy with screenwriter Cheryl McKay, won the Carol Award in 2010 for best women's fiction.

Her indie film—the comedy Skid, based on her novel—is in postproduction and due to release in 2014. Rene is a creative consultant on Boo, a film based on her beloved novel series, which is in development at Sodium Entertainment with Cory Edwards attached as director and Andrea Nasfell as screenwriter. Rene is also a cowriter in a collaborative comedy project called The Last Resort with screenwriters Torry Martin and Marshal Younger. Find Rene on Facebook and Twitter or at her website, www.renegutteridge.com.


Comments

Michelle Cox said…
Robin, thanks so much for taking time to read and write a review for Just 18 Summers! I hope folks will also join us at our parenting blog at www.just18summers.com. How many summers do YOU have left with your child? Don't forget to make some memories.

Popular posts from this blog

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron

I want to begin this review sharing two reviews I was blessed to do. The Butterfly and The Violinand A Sparrow in Terezin. For me these two novels were masterpieces. Works of such exquisite beauty. They showed that Kristy Cambron is gifted with the pen, a master storyteller. They remain two of my all-time top favorites. 
It was for this reason I was thrilled to be receiving a copy of The Illusionist's Apprentice. Once again Cambron shows us a masterpiece of bringing a story to readers that speaks of faith and our Lord. Although throughout the novel these aspects are not boldly proclaimed, but are masterfully weaved throughout the story. 
Magic and illusion are not the same. I love how she brings this truth. Love that the main character was an apprentice to the master of illusion. She takes the use of being an apprentice and walks that road with integrity and hope. When we choose to walk with Christ we are His apprentices. We are to walk as the main character, Wren Lockhart walked…

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…