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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
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    Women's Fiction with a Naval Bend

    This is a deeply moving bit of Women's Fiction that is sure to tweak your heartstrings. Much of it is based upon Naval Duty. Partly about the young mother at home trying to keep the pieces together. Part of it about the young Sailor who is trying his best to balance his duty and his family. Part of that is the sailor not telling his loved ones about the dangers and the parents never letting the children worry about war. All of this delicate balance is performed in concert with having a strong character, morals, and love of family and country. If I had written it, I would have added the strong Christian ethic that you find in military families. This is a wonderful book that I am sure to read again. I received this ARC book for free from Booksprouts and this is my honest review.
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    Must-read military family saga

    This is a beautifully written book that goes back and forth between two points in time. It is very well organized and each time and place is clearly marked so the reader is not confused. One time period begins in 1957, when Bobby, the main character, enlists in the navy. It takes us through his career, his meeting and falling in love with wife Rose, and his life as a married, military man with four step-daughters. It also tells of the meeting from Rose’s perspective and gives some of her story. The other begins in 2004 with Bobby’s death and is told from the points of view of each of his four step-daughters. As they gather for his funeral, they each go back in time remembering their childhoods and the influence this much loved man had on their lives. We get glimpses into their pasts as well as present situations and it ends on a very poignant note as two of the sisters begin a new chapter in their lives. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year for three reasons: Firstly, the amount of detail in this well-researched story; secondly, the well-developed characters. Finally, and most importantly, because the author forced me to read it with my heart. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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    Compelling read

    I received a free electronic copy of this self-published novel on November 1, 2019, from Netgalley & BookReviewBuzz and author Kathleen Varn and Gatekeeper Press. Thank you so much for sharing your hard work with me. I have read Gardenia Duty of my own volition, and this review reflects my personal, honest opinion of this work. I am pleased to recommend this novel for friends and family. This novel is well-paced with sympathetic characters and covers different time frames and three generations, written in both masculine and feminine voices, and makes simple the trials of life - especially of military family life (including a tour in Vietnam) and that of step-families and southern cultures. Add to that the effects of birth order of these daughters and you have a very interesting potpourri of trouble... That makes it sound complicated - it isn't. What it is, is a book that is compelling and ends almost too soon. Bobby and Rose are Boomers. It is a second marriage for Rose - and she brings 4 daughters to the marriage. Navy man Bobby is the main focus of that generation and the daughters carry us through the 70s and '80s, with their children following through into the present. If you are a military brat you will recognize your life in spades. If you are not, you will grow to appreciate more those who have experienced the constantly changing background of life on the move. pub date June 2019 rec Nov 1, 2019 Self Published

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