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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Family Way by Michelle Levigne

The Family Way: A Tabor Heights Novel by Michelle Levigne
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Inspirational
Length: Short (149 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Lisa thought she walked into her marriage with her eyes wide open, aware of the hard task of getting the approval of her cold, domineering father-in-law. When she discovered she was pregnant, she thought she would finally be accepted, but Todd's reaction to the news was the last thing she expected: "Is it mine?"

She had endured his father's constant criticism because she thought Todd loved her, but now she wasn't so sure. Maybe Todd had never loved her, and he was more like his father than she dreamed. To protect her baby, should she leave him, and refuse to continue the Montgomery family tradition? Where did being a 'good Christian wife' end, and the need to protect her sanity and her baby begin?

In an honest illustration of real life people, this inspirational story clearly shows the power of redemption.

What stood out most for me in this book was the ‘bad guy’ Arthur Montgomery! He is not featured significantly, and yet his presence hung over the plot like a vulture circling its prey. I admit to struggling to like Todd, the hero, until I remembered that, as an inspirational I had to dig more deeply into the story. I never got to truly like Todd, but I did get the message of redemption that is an integral part of the story.

Ms. Levigne's heroine, Lisa, is not your typical strong, self-contained heroine either, and yet her capacity for loving, caring and compassion flows off the page. She is full of flaws and those flaws lend her the strength to work through the problems the author puts in her path in a realistic and believable way. And that got me thinking again about Todd. He, too, is portrayed in a realistic way. We are not involved with a macho super-hero here. We are shown a self-centered man who has as many lessons to learn as his wife.

Every character in the story has a pivotal role to play in bringing Lisa and Todd together. The emotions and reasons for those characters are the fuel behind the words the author has penned, and the words created vivid pictures of the well loved and familiar Tabor Heights of the A Tabor Heights - Ohio Novel Series.

Whether you have read the other stories in the series or not, I am certain you'll still enjoy reading about Todd and Lisa as each story stands easily alone.

This is a powerful story and one well worth reading.