Saturday, June 30, 2018

Review: A Place to Call Home by Merrillee Whren

A Place to Call Home
By Merrillee Whren
Front Porch Promises #1
Independent, 2013


Starting over …

After serving six years in prison for the false charge of manslaughter in the death of his wife, Kurt Jansen must overcome a world of bitterness if he wants to start a new life. But his first priority is securing a restoration job to pay a private investigator to find the real killer and a lawyer to get his kids back.

Hiring a convicted wife-killer isn't what kind-hearted Molly Finnerty bargains for as part of the prison ministry she supports. However, she begins to believe Kurt's claim of innocence and gradually finds a great deal to like about him—perhaps more to like than she should.

Can they overcome the past and find forgiveness and love?


My thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming story, book #1n the Front Porch Promises series. Life is messy, and that’s the realism that Merrillee Whren incorporates into her stories. But spiritual themes of hope and the grace of God always shine through as she uses her characters to inspire readers.

A Place to Call Home, featuring the future Hawthorne Valley Inn of Hawthorne, Massachusetts, touches on themes of spousal abuse, prison, drugs, unsolved crime, and child custody. Kurt and Molly are sympathetic, likeable characters who are both grateful for second chances. I felt that I understood these two and really connected with them. Molly has a heart for helping ex-prisoners, and follows that heart in hiring Kurt to restore her bed & breakfast inn. From his determination to secure the job, to the bitterness and anger that often welled up inside, Kurt’s emotional and spiritual journey was heartfelt.

A Place to Call Home is about forgiveness and second chances … essential for both giver and receiver, but just as in real life, never easy to come by. As Kurt worked to restore Molly’s inn to its former beauty, I could easily imagine the beauty of the spindle staircase, woodworking, furnishings, etc. But I also felt that his restoration project had a deeper meaning for him personally – and for us – pointing toward the abundant grace and restoration we find in Christ.


I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Merrillee Whren is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author who writes inspirational romance. She is the winner of the 2003 Golden Heart Award for best inspirational romance manuscript presented by Romance Writers of America. She has also been the recipient of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award.

She is married to her own personal hero, her husband of forty- plus years, and has two grown daughters. She has lived in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Chicago and Florida but now makes her home in the Arizona desert. She spends her free time playing tennis or walking while she does the plotting for her novels.

Please visit her Website and signup for her newsletter and connect with her on Facebook.

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