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Clouds (Glenbrooke, Book 5) Paperback – May 14, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Publishers (May 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590522303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590522301
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Jones Gunn is the award-winning, bestselling author of more than 45 books, including 8 in The Glenbrooke series. She is also the author of the nonfiction work, Mothering by Heart. Robin and her husband, Ross, live in Portland, Oregon, with their teenage son and daughter.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Shelly Graham placed her hand on the doorknob and turned it slowly. A creak echoed from the hinges, and she smiled. Everything about this room felt familiar, friendly, welcoming. She stood in the doorway and surveyed her childhood bedroom. Two twin beds with white wrought-iron frames stood their ground as they had for more than twenty years, like faithful soldiers guarding the window between them.

Shelly noticed the new blue-and-white bedspreads Mom had bought after Shelly and her sister Meredith had both moved out. The painted pine desk in the corner was the same as it had always been. The white wicker chair hadn’t been moved from beside the closet. Even the color of the room was the same: sky blue. On the ceiling, the white clouds Meredith had painted there eight years ago hadn’t moved an inch in their journey across the solid, latex-covered heavens. Shelly gave these familiar images only a sweeping glance.

It was the window that beckoned to her. Sheer, ivory curtains billowed in the afternoon breeze. The cobalt blue glass vase that held a giant snatch of color from Mom’s garden rested on one of Grandma Rudi’s lace doilies. The vase was placed in the center of the old pine bed stand that stood under the inviting window. Shelly drew closer. The daisies, snapdragons, and carnations shivered their greetings as the breeze came through the open window, brushed past the bouquet, and, with invisible, feathery fingers, touched Shelly’s long hair.

She stood before the window, eyes closed, face tilted toward the breeze. The sun slipped over the neighbor’s rooftop and spilled its hot gold all over Shelly without the slightest apology. She didn’t mind a bit the way it instantly stained her white shirt a glorious, pale yellow. She remembered this feeling. She remembered these fragrances.

From down the street came the ripple of children’s laughter. The squeals escalated when the faint melody of the ice cream truck came the children’s way. Shelly couldn’t see it, but she knew the white ice cream truck had just rounded Sycamore Drive and was headed up the hill to Duchess Place.

437 Duchess Place. This was home. Just as it had been from the day Shelly was born until five years ago, when she moved from Seattle to Pasadena, California, and began her career as a flight attendant. And now, due to a transfer, Shelly was home again.

She opened her eyes and gazed out the window at the Renfields’ house next door. Nothing had changed there either. It was still gray with white shutters and that wonderful oval attic window that faced her bedroom. For years a rope had run between her bedroom window and the oval attic window. For years a green plastic bucket had hung from that line. The bucket carried messages, candy, and secret treasures from one best friend to the other.

“Jonathan,” she whispered. Shelly could almost see his face there in the attic window, his light, sand-flecked brown hair, about the same color as hers; his gray, stormy eyes; and the mouth that never stopped smiling.

Shelly tried to remember the codes to their secret whistles. She puckered up and blew. Two short, one long whistle, with the long one a note lower. That meant “Come to the window.” She tried again, this time blowing one long, one short, and one long, with the short one a note higher. Her whistle echoed off the side of his house, and she remembered its meaning. “Meet me at the tree house,” she said softly.

There were other signals, other whistles. But she had forgotten them, just as she had forced herself to forget so many other things about Jonathan.

A wash of uneasiness came over her. Without meaning to, she had opened a treasure chest of memories that had been locked up for many years. Shelly wasn’t willing to open it any farther. Instead, she tried to tuck all the memories neatly back inside the chest where they belonged. Only it seemed the chest was refusing to be shut and was spilling its wealth all over the hardwood floor of her childhood bedroom.

There, shining in her mind, was the memory of her third birthday party. It was time for the cake. The candles were lit, and all her little friends were singing. She was just about to blow out the birthday flames when Jonathan Renfield leaned forward and, with one mighty puff, blew them out first.

Shelly remembered crying and refusing to be consoled. Her mother had tried to explain that the party was for Jonathan, too, since his birthday was three days after hers. It didn’t matter. As far as Shelly was concerned, this was her party, and Jonathan should go have his own party and blow out his own candles at his own house.

Her dad had captured the scene on his old movie camera and had it transferred to a videocassette along with Shelly’s fourth birthday party. This birthday was celebrated with Jonathan also. Only this time the mothers had wisely provided two cakes. Jonathan and Shelly both stood on their chairs and blew out their own candles. Then they turned and, unprompted, gave each other a not-quite-on-target kiss. The parents had laughed hard. Jonathan had smiled that unstoppable grin of his, and Shelly had adjusted her gold birthday crown for the camera.

A gentle rapping on the door brought Shelly back to the present. “How’s it going up here?” her mom asked, stepping into the room. Shelly felt as though her mother had just stepped on the spilled-out memories, squashing them as she walked across the floor.

“You okay?” Mom asked. Ellen Graham was a tower of a woman, in stature and in character. At five foot eleven and a half, she stood several inches taller than any of her four daughters. Shelly was the third in birth order and resembled her dad more than her three sisters did. Mom was strong, old-fashioned in her ways, as practical as a pair of loafers, and as soft as a cupcake. She made the perfect pastor’s wife, and for thirty-one years she had proved that.

“It’s strange being back here,” Shelly said, facing her mom and noticing that she had changed into a skirt and pastel blue blouse. “Are you going to church?”

“No, we’re having dinner at Meredith’s. Did I forget to tell you?” Mom looked out the window as if trying to see what Shelly had been gazing at. Shelly knew her mother didn’t see anything.

It wasn’t that Mom hadn’t tried to see the things Shelly had seen throughout her life. Maybe Mom tried too hard. She had the same difficulty with Meredith. Mom never quite saw what Shelly and Meredith did. The two girls were the dreamers and the opposites of Megan and Molly, the two older Graham daughters. All their lives Shelly and Meredith had been kindly left to their own world of imagination.

“If you’re too tired from your trip to come to dinner, I’m sure Meredith will understand.”

“No, I’m fine. When are we supposed to be there?”

“Meri said about seven. She has some big news for us.”

Shelly looked at her mom for a hint. “Did she meet someone?”

“She didn’t say.” Mom sat on the bed and surveyed the room. “Are you going to be okay here? Would you like the room changed around?”

“No, I love it just like this. What else did Meri say? Any clues at all?”

Mom shook her head.

“What if I unload the car and trailer tomorrow?” Shelly sat on the opposite bed and faced Mom. “Most of it is going to have to be stored in the garage anyway.”

“That’s fine. How are you feeling about this move? I know it won’t be easy for you to adjust to being back home. Dad is as busy at church as he always was, and I have a full calendar, too. If anything, the three of us will probably have to schedule time to see each other.”

Shelly smiled. When she did, the worry lines in Mom’s broad forehead began to disappear. Shelly’s smile had that effect on people. It was one of her most distinctive features. Her full lips and wide, straight teeth gave her a smile that blasted out, “Apple pie, Mom, America!” It was a nice feature to have as a flight attendant. She could put elderly passengers at ease and make crying babies coo.

“I’m going to be fine, Mom. I really appreciate you and Daddy letting me move back in. It’s only until I straighten out my finances and get on a regular flight schedule. I’ll hardly be home at all.”

“We’re glad you’re here,” Mom said. “And you know you’re welcome to stay as long as you want.”

“Thanks.” Shelly brushed away the insecure feeling that floated around her. None of her three sisters had ever had to move back home. Megan and Molly were both married and lived on the East Coast. Meredith worked in Seattle and had her own apartment across town.

More About the Author

Tales of Christy & Todd continue in Robin's new series "Christy & Todd: The Married Years". Book 1 "Forever With You" and Book 2 "Home of Our Hearts" are both available now. Book 3 "One More Wish" is coming in summer, 2015.

You are warmly invited to visit Robin's website at www.robingunn.com. Be sure to sign up for the Robin's Nest Newsletter and have a browse in the Online Shop.

Over the past 25 years Robin has written over 85 books with over 5 million copies sold. She and her husband have two grown children and live in Hawaii.

Her best-selling, award winning novels include the Christy Miller series for teens as well as the Sierra Jensen and Katie Weldon series.

The popular Glenbrooke series features eight gentle love stories and her Sisterchicks(R)novels are a favorite among midlife readers who enjoy the emphasis on travel and friendship in the series.

Robin's standalone novels include "Gardenias for Breakfast", "Under a Maui Moon", "Canary Island Song" and "Cottage by the Sea". Her newest release, "Victim of Grace" offers a personal glimpse into her life as a wife, mother and writer. Other popular non-fiction includes "Praying For Your Future Husband" and "Spoken For".

Customer Reviews

The book was a light and easy book to read.
Mary Barrett
This book wasn't overly mushy or anything, overall it was just a nice story.
turbobirdo
Shelly Graham and Jonathan Renfield were best friends growing up.
mamaof4

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
I personally love the book! You really need to read the Christy Miller series first. THEN Secrets, Whispers, Echoes, Sunsets and so on. They are my personal favorites and being 14 I don't get to read them that often! :) I hope you enjoy it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beverly on February 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
Shelly and Meredith, sisters from a close, loving family, are both experiencing career changes and decide to move in together. Unsatisfied in her career as an airline stewardess, Shelly begins considering other opportunities around her. Also unsastified that she is rapidly approaching thirty and still unmarried, Shelly cannot forget the boy whose heart she broke many years earlier. Needing to take some time off, Shelly accompanies her sister on a fateful trip to Germany, where she encounters Jonathon, whose proposal she had turned down years before. Instead of rekindling an old romance, like she had hoped, he introduces her to his fiance'. It takes Meredith and the Lord to make Shelly realize that her life can go on and that she can become fulfilled in her career and as a Christian. Clouds is a wonderful Christian romance with a great surprise ending!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nat Yancey on June 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Clouds is a fantastic book! Such a sweet story, and one of the best books I've read in a long time. This book is part of a series. I only read Secrets first (which is not quite as good as this one) and was not lost in the story. I would have rather read them all in order, but I will definitely read the rest of the series ASAP!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Esperanza Perez on July 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
To really understand this series you need to read the Christy Miller Series. Then you'll already know some of the characters because all of Robin's books are connected. I actually haven't finished this yet, but I'm almost done. I can't wait to see what happens next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Maybe it's because i didn't have a high school sweetheart and i couldn't relate to the storyline but I really didn't enjoy this book as i have the other ones. It wasn't a bad read but the characters also didn't seem to have as strong a build-up as the other stories i have read by her. Especially Jonathan --- his character seemed kind of weak and didn't peak my interest. I know that all the other reviews are strong and I respect them but I have to be honest here on this particular one. But I love Robin's work and think she is an awesome writer. I can't wait for her to do a new book since the only one i haven't read yet is waterfalls...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
Clouds is an, inspirational, realistic, modern,& extraordinary book. I read an uncommon amount and very seldom do I find something that I can read over and over again and never get tired of. But this is it, I believe strongly that God does pick that perfect person out for us and this book demonstrated that perfectly. Excellent Job Ms. Gunn!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
The reality past stories of Shelly growing up with Jonathan are memorable with no doubt. Her love for him never died and she found him once again but he was no longer her's. I reccomend you read this book for you will soar in to the clouds and never come out until the last paragraph.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm sad that I'm giving this book 2 stars and it's not based on the author her writing, just the story/character.

Shelly Graham is forced to return home with her parents after her job as a flight attendant doesn't work out. She enjoyed her career for five years, but now she feels as though she's at square one. One thing she thought she'd never face is her first love, Jonathan. Their break-up back before she left to be a flight attendant was painful and messy. It's something she's regretted at times over the past several years. When they meet in Germany, by what she considers chance, her feelings resurface but Jonathan's is now engaged. Will Shelly ever find direction and what God wants in her life, and how will she recover from losing Jonathan all over again?

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The concept of this book was good, but let me say, maybe I didn't like it because Shelly's character in Sunsets (book 4) seemed too perfect. Plus, she wasn't around very much then and I never felt like I connected. That being sad, I found it hard to believe that she would be best friends with a guy all her life and then dump him like nothing. Maybe it was the way she handled things, but it seemed pretty harsh. I get that she wanted to pursue her dreams, but still. So, that combined with the fact that I never felt connected to her as a character made me basically skim through this book to get it over with. As a huge RJG fan, that isn't like me. I think some readers may really enjoy this book, but it just wasn't for me!
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