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Livvie's Song (River of Hope) [Kindle Edition]

Sharlene MacLaren
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Life is far from a breeze for Olivia Beckman, owner of Livvie's Kitchen, a favorite of locals in Wabash, Indiana. The widowed mother of two is struggling to make ends meet-no simple feat, especially when her cook turns in his resignation. Yet she's determined to pull through on her own, just as she did when God failed to save her beloved Frank. Newly released from a ten-year prison sentence, Will Taylor is ready for a fresh start. With harmonica in hand-the only possession he values, aside from his Bible-he makes his way to Wabash, where a late-night meal at Livvie's Kitchen turns into a job opportunity when the outgoing cook learns about his restaurant experience. What he doesn't know is that the "restaurant" was a prison cafeteria. But Will became a new man behind bars, thanks to a Christian friend, and he credits God's providence with landing him a job he loves. Soon, he cooks and bakes his way into the stomachs of his customers-and the heart of his employer. Both are hesitant, though, still healing from past hurts. A recipe for love between them will require sharing secrets, braving dangers, and believing God for a bright future.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born and raised in western Michigan, Sharlene MacLaren attended Spring Arbor University, earning a degree in elementary teaching. In 1975, she married one of her childhood friends, and together they raised two lovely daughters. Now happily retired from 31 years of teaching,"Shar" enjoys reading, singing, traveling, and spending time with her husband, children, and precious grandchildren. Her novels include:
Three contemporary romance novels, Through Every StormLong Journey Home, and Tender Vow
Little Hickman Creek series (Loving Liza JaneSarah, My Beloved; and Courting Emma
The Daughters of Jacob Kane series (Hannah GraceMaggie Rose, and Abbie Ann
River of Hope series (Livvie's SongEllie's Haven, and Sofia's Secret)
Tennessee Dreams series (Heart of Mercy, Threads of Joy, Gift of Grace)
Shar and her husband live in Spring Lake, Michigan. They share their home with their white collie Peyton and their very spoiled Ragdoll cat named Blue.

Product Details

  • File Size: 570 KB
  • Print Length: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Whitaker House (June 2, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007R5U9JS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I will say that I read this series out of order. I am a real fan of Sharlene MacLaren's book however, I much prefer the 1800's ... and then when I was 1st looking at the reviews this 1st book didn't have wonderful reviews, so I started with the 2nd book. I loved "Ellie's Haven" and of course, that lead me to wanting to read "Livvie's Song". Now, I am not sure but maybe because I really knew Livvie and Will from "Ellie's Haven" ... I enjoyed this book more .. sure I knew the outcome but I didn't know all the twists and turns this book took ... and take them it did. Where I will always prefer my 1800's .. I am ever so glad that I took my trip along with Livvie and Will and am so looking forward to the 3rd book in this delightful River of Hope Series that will be soon out. I know I can always count on Sharlene for a great book that keeps me wanting more. I will say however, this book was definitely different from any of the others she has written .. but I am so glad I went along for the ride.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favorite! September 12, 2011
This book became one of my favorites from the first time I read it. :) The hero is amazing, and the heroine, sweet. Their struggles are ones that I sympathize with. Sharlene's writing is delightful. I really fell in love with each of the good characters, and I really abhor the bad one(s). You know a book is good when your heart hurts with the people in the story! I highly recommend this book to any and all lovers of Christian romance! It's amazing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another homerun from MacLaren! August 9, 2011
Just finished "Livvy's Song" tonight! Wow! LOVED the characters! Loved that Livvy wasn't a "perfect" woman with her crooked teeth and that Will was all the more charmed by that. And loved that Will was such a Renaissance guy... even for the 20s... and that he was growing so much spiritually that it overflowed to those around him. You hit a homerun again! :)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good not great September 12, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Firstly, let me say; I have loved every Sharlene MacLaren book I've read in the past. This one, though, did not captivate me like the others. It was an ok read. I love her use of scripture in her fiction. The story line was too simplistic. The characters were not rich like other characters in previous books. I will keep buying her books though, because I have enjoyed so many hours in the past reading her beautiful stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, Encouragement book August 12, 2013
Just at a time I was discouraged, I picked up this book to read. Every chapter lifts you and encourages you.
Olivia lost her beloved Frank and is struggling to keep restaurant going. Then along comes Will with a past he does not want to reveal. He gets a job as a cook as current one is leaving.
Will comes up with a way to keep restaurant afloat. But eventually his past is revealed.
Yet there is forgiveness beyond God's forgiveness. I wish I could say all churches forgive like one in this story. I have been in some that do and some that don't.
If you are struggling, read this book. There are three books in the series. This one can stand along but recommend you read it before moving on to others. Experience God's forgiveness anew and encouragement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Second Chances! July 17, 2011
Livvie's Song by Sharlene MacLaren is a really excellent book. It has so many things in it, but mostly it's a book about second chances. It lets you know no matter what happens in life you can start over and life can be fantastic.
I really like how close Will is to the Lord and how he helps others come into a better relationship with the Lord. Even when you are down and out you can learn something and make your life better. When bad things happen keep going, because good things are just around the corner.
Livvie is widowed with two sons and is trying to keep her restaurant afloat, Will just got out of prison after ten years and he happens to get a job at Livvie's restaurant. At first Will tries to keep his prison sentence a secret, but the past always catches up to you.
You will see the struggles, heartaches, joys and finally peace that come from this adventure-laced book. The ending of this book is packed with action and suspense. I really, really enjoyed it and can't wait for the rest of the series. Sharlene is such a fantastic story teller. I highly recommend that you read this book.

Thank you to Whitaker House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plain and Simple July 7, 2012
I love a good story from the 1920's. It was such a simpler time where the solution to a problem had to be thought out and then worked out. In this book MacLaren struggles just a bit to bring together a well-knit story. She captures the era, brings home the difficulty of Olivia Beckman, a widowed mom of two who struggles just to make it through each week. So when she fell in love with Will, an ex-con who cooks, I wasn't surprised. A solid story. Nicely written, just plain and simple. - Cindy Sproles, Executive Editor,
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not her best October 23, 2011
The first 200 pages are every slowly and I need to tell myself that it will get better and I must continue. And it did get better. The second half of the book is much better and I enjoy it. However I got all of Sharlene's books and this one is not the same as all her other books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed reading this book. The plot was well put together and I especially enjoyed Livvie's journey back to her faith.
Published 2 months ago by Alexis
5.0 out of 5 stars Livvie's Song
Another GREAT book by Sharlene MacLaren, who has become one of my favorite authors! This is the 7th book I have read by Sharlene and I highly recommend it! Read more
Published 9 months ago by dianaj
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story!
A wonderful story of two people seeking God's love and forgiveness in their own way.
Definitely a page turner that was hard to put down!
Published 12 months ago by Meadorsink
5.0 out of 5 stars Livvie's Song (River of Hope)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It seemed to have a little mystery as well as a little romance. I like books that make you feel as though you actually know the characters.
Published 13 months ago by Lolo
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet!
What a fun and very sweet story. I really enjoyed the characters. I have read many stories from this author and she is in my top five of favorites.
Published 14 months ago by Ja knee say
4.0 out of 5 stars Hopeful message of redemption
This is a romance with a deeper story than most. The characters of Will and Livvie are easy to relate to. The theme of the book seems to be overcoming the past. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Livvie's Song
I never purchased this book. Don't know why it is showing up for me to rate. I can't give it a rating.
Published 15 months ago by Kathleen Cota
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read!
This is a book to read on a lazy day, so you don't have to put it down. It's a good Christian book (no sex) that is so good you will never forget the character's, because they seem... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rita M D'Arrigo
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
I met this author personally, and she had told me about her dreams to do this series, thanks for letting it happen so quickly. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sandra Otto
5.0 out of 5 stars Livvie's Song
great book , I got this on my kindle and just loved it. Would recommend it to others to read.
Published 17 months ago by Ethelyn A. Gonsoulin
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More About the Author


Born and raised in west Michigan, Sharlene attended Spring Arbor University. Upon graduating with an education degree in 1971, she taught second grade for two years then accepted an invitation to travel internationally for a year with a singing ensemble. In 1975, she married her childhood sweetheart. Together they raised two lovely, wonderful daughters, both of whom are now happily married and enjoying their own families. Retired in 2003 from 31-years of teaching, "Shar" loves to read, sing, travel, and spend time with her family, in particular, her wonderful, adorable grandchildren!

A Christian for 45+ years, and a lover of the English language, Shar has always enjoyed dabbling in writing--poetry, fiction, various essays, and freelancing for periodicals and newspapers. Her favored genre, however, has always been romance. She remembers well the short stories she wrote in high school and watching them circulate from girl to girl during government and civics classes. "Psst," someone would whisper from two rows over, and always with the teacher's back to the class, "Pass me the next page."

In recent years, Shar felt God's call upon her heart to take her writing pleasures a step further and in 2006 signed a contract for her first faith-based novel; thereby, launching her writing career with Through Every Storm. With a dozen books now gracing store shelves nationwide, she daily gives God all the praise and glory for her accomplishments. 

Shar has done numerous countrywide book-signings, television and radio appearances, and countless interviews. She loves to speak for women's organizations, libraries, church groups, women's retreats, and banquets. She is involved in Apples of Gold, a mentoring program for young wives and/or mothers, and is active in her church as well as two weekly Bible studies. She and her husband, Cecil, live in Spring Lake, Michigan with their beautiful white collie, Peyton and their rag doll cat named Blue.

Awards and Accolades:

2006 Through Every Storm - American Christian Fiction Writers" Book-of-the-Year (now Carol Awards) finalist
2007 Loving Liza Jane - Road to Romance Reviewer's Choice Award
2008 Sarah, My Beloved - Inspirational Readers' Choice Award (3rd Place)
2008 Sarah, My Beloved - Road to Romance Reviewer's Choice Award
2009 Courting Emma - Inspirational Readers' Choice Award (3rd Place)
2010 Hannah Grace - Inspirational Reader's Choice Award (2nd Place)
2011 Abbie Ann - Inspirational Reader's Choice Award (3rd Place)
2011 Tender Vow - Retailers' Choice Award Finalist

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