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Sisterchicks Down Under (Sisterchicks Series #4) Paperback – March 31, 2005


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Sisterchicks Down Under (Sisterchicks Series #4) + Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La! (Sisterchicks Series #5) + Sisterchicks in Sombreros (Sisterchicks Series #3)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Publishers; First Edition edition (March 31, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159052411X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590524114
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #675,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Jones Gunn grew up in Southern California and began writing for publication in 1985, when her children were young. Her storytelling turned to writing novels for teens as a result of being involved with her husband, Ross, in full-time youth ministry for over twenty years. Recently, Robin began writing the Sisterchick novels for women who are ready for God to meet them in new ways as they enter the next season of life. Robin and Ross live near Portland, Oregon, and have a twenty-year-old son and a teenage daughter.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Prologue

Age is just a number, right?

That’s what I thought until three years ago when my younger brother opened his big mouth. He was on his way to Mexico to settle the legal details on some property his wife had inherited when he stopped by our home in southern California. His life seemed brimming with new adventures, while Tony and I were riding the overly-committed-to-the-schedule freight train we had been on since we got married.

Over dinner my brother joked about his receding hairline. “You know, Kathleen, you’re halfway there yourself.”

“No I’m not.” I pulled at the strands of my straight brown hair to prove that my dependable mane wasn’t falling out.

“I meant your age,” he said. “You turned forty-five last month, right? You could be halfway done.” He seemed to wait for me to do the math.

I always hated math.

I felt as if an equation had etched itself on the chalkboard of my mind: 45 + x = ?

I didn’t know the answer.

What had my forty-five years added up to so far? What was the value of x that would fill the remaining years? What would the sum of my life be? And what risks was I willing to take to solve the equation?

Apparently God can use all things—including math—to prepare a hurried heart to respond to Him when He’s about to do a new thing. If I hadn’t been pondering the “value of x” for so many weeks after my brother’s visit, I don’t think I would have been ready for what followed.

In the middle of the night, Tony’s old boss, Mad Dog, called from Wellington, New Zealand, to offer Tony a three-month position film editing at Jackamond Studios. Ever since the success of The Lord of the Rings, Wellington had become the location for up-and-coming filmmakers. Tony saw the job as the big break he had been waiting for. I saw it as an opportunity to step off the edge of my well-padded nest and take a free fall into the unknown.

After all, our daughter was in college, and we were no longer financially responsible for my mother-in-law’s convalescent care. Tony and I could do this. We could leave everything for three months and have the exotic travel experience we had only dreamed about during our college days.

I always do my best thinking while shaving my legs in a tubful of bubbles. The two weeks prior to our departure for Wellington, I had the smoothest legs and the most wrinkled fingers in all of Los Angeles.

I’d thought through every detail and confidently arrived at the airport with everything I needed. Everything, that is, except one item I hadn’t tucked in my suitcases or sent ahead in the boxes. I didn’t pack a single friend. After spending most of my life in the same city, same church, and same circles, I suddenly was minus my built-in community of friends.

Looking back, I now see how unnatural it was to change a well-established migratory route in the middle of life and expect my wings to start flapping in rhythm as soon as I took the free fall. It shouldn’t have been such a surprise that I fell so hard. After all, everything in my world had flip-flopped.

I think it was necessary, though, for me to tumble as far down under as I did. Otherwise, I never would have stumbled into the Chocolate Fish on a fine fall Friday in February with feathers in my hair. And that’s where I found Jill.

If Jill were the one telling this story, she would say that’s where she found me. But I’m saying that’s where I found her. It had become clear that to solve the math problem written over this season of my life, I needed one more whole number. That little number was one. One new best friend. Jill.

Jill likes math. She sees math in art and nature and isn’t afraid of the unknown equations. Two years ago when she and I stood in front of a painting at an Australian art museum in Sydney, she opened my eyes to the beauty of balance and symmetry, and that’s when I began to make peace with math.

But before I flutter through our story, I will add one more important point. I believe the reason I found Jill wasn’t so much because I was looking for her, but because she was waiting for me, hanging by her painted toenails on the edge of her own empty nest.


One

During the two weeks before we left for New Zealand, every day felt like a storm at sea. My husband turned into a ruthless commander, as the intensity of it all swept us through our final days in California. When the storm subsided, I found myself washed up at an unfamiliar airport on the underside of the globe.

The only comforting sight was the grinning face of Tony’s boss, Marcus, aka “Mad Dog,” who met us at the baggage claim in Wellington. He punched Tony in the arm. “What did you think of that flight? Was I right about its being a marathon film fest? How many did you watch?”

“Five. No seven. No, I think it was five.” Tony’s adrenalineinduced gaze seemed frozen on his face.

Mad Dog adjusted his frayed corduroy cap. “Do you want to eat something first or go right to your new place?”

“Home,” I said, as if it were a secret password that would lead me into this new world. All I needed was my new space around me so I could start fluffing up things the way I liked. Then I would be ready to remind myself why this had been a good decision.

“Home it is. Hope you guys like this place. I told you how hard it is to find housing near the studio, didn’t I?”

“You did,” Tony said. “And we really appreciate all you did to find us a place. I’m going to owe you big time.”

“You can pay me back with a few hours of overtime.” Mad Dog loaded our luggage into the back of a van he had borrowed from Walter Jackamond Studios.

“How many hours are a ‘few,’ Marcus?” I asked.

He let out a single gut sound that resembled a cross between a cough and a guffaw. In the twelve years we had known him, I still hadn’t gotten used to his laugh.

“You have to start calling me Mad Dog,” he said. “No one here knows me as Marcus. And when I say a few hours, I mean…”

He didn’t finish his sentence, but I realized I already knew the answer. For the next three months, Jackamond Studios would occupy my husband’s every waking hour. Not only because they were behind schedule on the project for which they had hired Tony, but also because my husband never did anything halfway.

“Hey, it’s Gollum!” Tony pointed to the roof of the terminal. An enormous model of the bald, grim-faced Middle-earth icon peered down on us, looking like a gigantic alien that had fallen to earth and gotten his foot stuck through the roof.

“I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto,” I said.

Tony gave me a gratuitous wink at my attempt to make a joke. I gripped the car door’s handle. Not because of Tony’s wink or Gollum’s glare, but because Mad Dog was driving on the left side of the road.

Tony laughed. “This is wild!”

“You’ll get used to it,” Mad Dog said. “Only took me a week when I moved here. Maybe less.”

I expected an oncoming car to ram into us any moment. Everyone was going the opposite from what my brain said was correct. Mad Dog drove past a row of low-rise buildings, and I tried to take it all in. Stop lights, a normal-looking city bus, lots of small cars, billboards—and all of a sudden an Esprit store. All the evidences of Western civilization were here; yet it felt so different.

“There’s the Embassy,” Mad Dog said with reverence. He pointed to a pale yellow vintage square building. Fixed on the roof was another creature born in Tolkien’s imagination. This one looked like a swooping black dragon with a long neck.

“How strange that the U.S. Embassy would have a dragon movie prop on top of it,” I said.

Mad Dog and Tony both looked at me as if I were an alien creature who had just stuck my foot through the roof and landed in the same car with them.

“What?”

“Kathleen,” Tony said patiently, “that’s not the U.S. Embassy. That’s the Embassy Theatre. And on the roof that’s a fell beast ridden by a Ringwraith.”

More About the Author

"Forever With You", Robin's newest book is available from her Online Shop at shop.robingunn.com. This first book in the Christy & Todd: The Married Years series picks up where the last Katie Weldon book ended.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I have enjoyed all the sisterchicks books that I've read.
reader for life
The story line was full and united common fears and wonderments of most women across our great world.
Taiwankiddo2
This book made me want to take a leap of faith (and I did)!
D. Bennett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on April 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Andrea Sisco

In SisterChicks Down Under by Robin Jones Gunn, Kathleen, an empty nester from Southern California, and her husband Tony fly to New Zealand for a three-month adventure. Or is it an adventure? Tony has his work for a film studio in Wellington and Kathleen has, well, Kathleen has a garage apartment without a car, television, telephone or clothes dryer. Her only daughter is in the United States as are all of Kathleen's friends. There are days in New Zealand where it's difficult for Deb to get up in the morning.

Just as Kathleen is contemplating her plight and a strong desire to return to the United States, she meets Jill at the Chocolate Fish Café. Although the women are different in many ways, they share a faith in God and a Sisterchick heart. The bond of friendship takes them on a journey where they learn the importance of friendship, acceptance and forgiveness, all with God's help and guidance.

SisterChicks Down Under is a novel that celebrates friendship and God's relationship with all of us. I found myself wanting to have a special adventure with my women friends.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mandi on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
I sat down to read some of this book, and wound up reading it all in one sitting! As always Robin has given us a wild fun adventure to call our own.

Out of this series of book this is probably my second favorite. I will definatly read it again. A great transport to another place!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on August 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sisterchicks Down Under by Robin Jones Gunn is another fantastic entry in this Christian series. When Kathleen and her husband head to New Zealand for three months, he fills his time with work. Kathleen finds herself alone like never before until she meets Jill at the local coffee shop. The relationship between Kathleen and Jill is so natural as written by Gunn that it's easy to suspend disbelief in the improbabilities. Together they explore the beauty of New Zealand and God, and both grow as people and friends. This book is everything good chick-lit should be: quick reading, extremely enjoyable, lovable characters, with just a sprinkle of Christianity. Can't wait for the next book!
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Format: Paperback
Sisterchicks Down Under does not live up to Sisterchicks Do the Hula. I credit the author with writing woman-positive story interwoven with Christian themes. In this book, the author explores the Crucifixion, with what could be a powerful climax. (Biblical passages and themes support the story throughout.) However, I was so bored by the end that I totally missed the climax.

Descriptions of New Zealand and Australia were impeccable. I felt like I was the one on vacation! I actually want to visit both countries, or at least tap into their cultures via the world wide web! What bored me was the dialogue. It was completely lackluster. The dialogue is often filled with jokes between Kathy and Jill, our heroines. But, to me, the jokes weren't funny, and I couldn't believe that two grown women would find them to be. The joke on the flight to Australia was incredibly lame; I was embarrassed for them (and they're fictitious!!!). Kathy's incident with the bubbles quickly grew stale. I was constantly put to sleep by this book. In fact, I wanted to drop it, but I'm one not to do so.

Chick lit isn't for me, even when it's Christian themed. I give this book three stars because it's perfect chick lit for women who want to read something "clean cut" as opposed to the usual trash sticking up the genre. The author knows her "land down under" culture, introducing new colloquialisms throughout the text.

Another reason for three stars? The book doesn't have a syruppy ending. It's quite realistic, but you'll have to get to the very last chapter to find out why!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Trudy Lynn on May 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
i have read all of Robin's books and i think this is the best one yet! humor and fast paced fun. what a wonderful vacation and friendship Kathy and Jill shared.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danna S. Bridges on August 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I loved this book. Robin Jones Gunn is quirky and witty with kernals of truth scattered throughout like chicken feed!
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Format: Paperback
2 Middle-Aged Mom Chicks hailing from the same Southern California suburb miraculously meet & have Kiwi & Aussie adventures together.

(With the exception of the unspeakably boring shopping scenes), be prepared to don thy walking shoes & rev up thy pogo stick & commence a season of bountiful bouncing between the deeply profound & the hysterically funny in this prototype (or perhaps I should say: "pogotype"?) meandering-with-a-message-type novel ...

& (without giving anything away), the bathtub scene is quite possibly the best thing on the menu & most certainly takes the whole idea of "bathroom humor" to a new & ... um ... sudsy level ...

:P
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Format: Paperback
This is another fabulous book by Robin Jones Gunn. With incredible writing skill and insight into a woman's psyche, Robin has done it again! This book makes me want to visit New Zealand and Australia; it makes me want to repeat the adventures of Kathleen and Jill. Whenever I read one of these Sisterchick books, I laugh, I cry, I get goosebumps, and I am so grateful for the sisterchicks in my life, not necessarily in that order. To be part of the larger sorority of sisterchicks everywhere, I recommend a visit to sisterchicks.com. Great fun, with discussions, pictures, and journal entries by Robin and other sisterchicks.
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