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Born and raised in Nebraska, Robert Kerr has called Iowa home for more than thirty years. He attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, The University of Kansas at Ft. Hays, and the University of Northern Iowa. He holds a master’s degree in psychology, and his career path has led him through stints as a welder, a carpenter, a mental hospital attendant, a mortician’s assistant, and a general Man Friday for an electrical engineer. Since 1976, he has been a school psychologist in Central Iowa. He and his wife, Joan, have rehabilitated five houses, including a Victorian-era house that inspired Completely Restored. The father of two grown children, he lives with his wife in Ankeny, Iowa. Completely Restored is Robert’s first novel.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Robert Kerr has called Iowa home for more than thirty years. He attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney, The University of Kansas at Ft. Hays, and the University of Northern Iowa. He holds a master s degree in psychology, and his career path has led him through stints as a welder, a carpenter, a mental hospital attendant, a mortician's assistant, and a general Man Friday for an electrical engineer. Since 1976, he has been a school psychologist in Central Iowa. He and his wife, Joan, have rehabilitated five houses, including a Victorian-era house that inspired Completely Restored. The father of two grown children, he lives with his wife in Ankeny, Iowa. Completely Restored is Robert's first novel.
Generally " time travel" novels are not ones I pick up to read, but Completely Restored gathered my interest and peaked my curiosity the more pages I turned.It was nice to read about an American family who cared for each other and which came together,not pull apart, to solve different dilemmas. Robert Kerr seems to have the knack to intertwine suspense with history. Not only did I find myself wanting to know "what is going to happen next" but I learned more about the history of 100 years ago and of life in a smaller midwest town. I wonder what his next novel will be about?
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Like the old Victorian house purchased by fictional characters Joe and Linda Murphy, Robert Kerr's first novel, COMPETELY RESTORED has a lot of potential.
When I first started the book, I was a bit distracted by the overuse of exclamation points. Thankfully this did not continue throughout the book. I was also a bit confused with the titles of the chapters. Several, but not all, had headlines from newspapers which enabled the reader to follow the timeline. Unfortunately the headlines did not necessarily coincide with the language within that chapter. Then there were a couple of storylines that seemed to trail off (i.e. the key to the front door).
The story does have a nice underlying message: the importance of family and the affect that modern life has on the family unit. All of us at some point or another wish for simpler times and this book does just that: it takes a family back to simpler times. But with simpler times come a different set of problems for the modern family that we all take for granted: transportation, clothing and modern medicine. Mr. Kerr is doing a noble thing through his work by making the reader appreciate what he or she has. And in this crazy world, balance is key.
I think that Mr. Kerr's book has a lot of potential. What a fun concept: restoring a house only to be taken back 100 years! But as the doctors of 1909 may have prescribed, there is a need for a stronger skeleton and more muscle. I would have liked to see the characters developed a bit more, perhaps more storylines. For example, many things could have happened to the modern teenage Murphy children being thrown back to 1909 to provide humor, concern...whatever Mr. Kerr as our entertainer chooses to provide.
I imagine Mr. Kerr to be a great storyteller in person, and encourage him to continue writing.
This is a time travel story, but a heart-warming one at that. So expect the standard conventions of both a Back to the Future movie, and a Richard Paul Evans book. Keep in mind that this book is heart-warming, not mind-bending, so the paradoxes are kept to a minimum. Enjoy the ride, without a headache.
As I read, I fell in love with Kerr's symbols. The Grand Central Symbol is the Completely Restored house. This enchanted house parallels the re-enchantment that the aged and weathered family undergoes as they travel back 100 years. Again, families do not need to go back 100 years to experience the good things that 100 year old principles and practices do for families.
For me, the key scene was Christmas 1909, sans tinsel and Gold Cards. Our little trinkets and baubles are as out-of-date as the living antiques the family bought one another in their temporal flashback.
So expect a book with a healthy message about families, and what we need to to to save society and the world.
There are two things that kept this book back. The first was that the ending was rushed. We get this rapid-fire ticking time-bomb scenario, and then the story is resolved in a flashback. It didn't work for Harry Potter, and it doesn't work here.
The second is the language. Here and there words creep up that might offend my grandmother's soul. The editrix should have caught these and been hard-line.
This book is worth a revised edition to iron out these two flaws. It would make a great holiday Movie of the Week, and could spawn several squeals.
The premise is good, but the character development falls flat and fails to be believable. The voices of the characters weren't different enough from each other to make me think of them as real people. Plus, the family drops back in time a hundred years and is just kind of...fine. They drop into school and work and domestic efficiency with scarcely a hiccup. They just happen to know how to cook everything from scratch, and figure out how to harness and drive a team of horses just by watching a bit. I'm more willing to believe that the house dropped back in time than that they would all adapt perfectly. The plot is almost consistent, but there are points that are made out to be huge for a chapter or two that then get totally forgotten.
I would like this book much better, I think, if it had a few revisions with a really competent editor.
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I very much enjoyed reading this story. Kerr did an eloquent job of capturing elements of history and heritage balanced with valuing present day ideals. It was entertaining and easy to read. I was drawn into the life of the characters as they transitioned from their hectic lives into the richness of old time family bonding. The suspense and mystery held my attention and made it hard to put the book down. I was very satisfied with the ending and felt a bit "restored" myself having read it.
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