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Stuck in the Middle (Sister-to-Sister, Book 1) Paperback – February 1, 2008

Book 1 of 3 in the Sister-to-Sister Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith (Just As I Am) provides all the standard elements of inspirational chick lit in this first installment of the Sister-to-Sister series. Joan has been dumped by her long-term boyfriend, lives at home, has an unexciting job and can't quite figure out what to do with her life, until a single doctor (who is of course terribly good-looking and very serious about his faith) moves in next door. As the title suggests, Joan is the middle daughter and feels dwarfed by her older sister's happy family and her younger sister's beauty and success. She struggles with feeling abandoned by her father and angry that her mother forced him to leave when she was young. She wonders if there's more depth to her faith than she initially thought, and learns more about God from her new doctor friend. And she tries hard to take care of her elderly grandmother to prevent her from being sent to an assisted living home, though that may prove to be the best place for her after all. Naturally, this is the realm of happy endings, and readers won't be disappointed. The sisters are spirited and fun, and if the story takes a while to get going, it soon quickens the pace and entertains. (Feb.)
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From the Back Cover

Joan Sanderson's life is stuck.

Her older sister, Allie, is starting a family, and her younger sister, Tori, has a budding career. Meanwhile, Joan is stuck at home with Mom and her aging grandmother. Not exactly a recipe for excitement--or romance.

When a hunky young doctor moves in next door, Joan sets out to catch his eye. But it won't be easy. Pretty Tori flirts relentlessly, and Joan is sure that she can't compete. But with a little help from God, Allie, and an enormous mutt with bad manners, Joan begins to find her way out of this rut and into the life she's been hiding from.

Book 1 of the Sister-to-Sister series, Stuck in the Middle combines budding romance, soul searching, and a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that is sure to make you smile.

"A gentle story of one young woman's season of growth, deftly blending the tangle of family relationships with gifts of whimsy and revelation. A joy to read."--Sharon Hinck, author of Renovating Becky Miller and Symphony of Secrets

"Virginia Smith has created a charming and humorous novel that celebrates small-town life, generations of women caring for each other, and the value of finding a deeper, more active faith."--Sharon Dunn, author of the Bargain Hunters mysteries

Virginia Smith is a writer of humorous novels, a speaker, and an avid scuba diver. She launched her career as a novelist with the release Just As I Am in 2006, and has been writing fiction ever since. She and her husband, Ted, divide their time between Kentucky and Utah, and escape as often as they can for diving trips to the Caribbean. Visit her website at

"Prodigal Son" by Danielle Steel
New York Times best-selling author Danielle Steel tells a brilliant, suspenseful story of suspicion, betrayal, and a life-and-death struggle for survival. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Sister-To-Sister (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800732324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800732325
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (970 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,693,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

VIRGINIA SMITH is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels, an illustrated children's book, and over fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Her books have been finalists in ACFW's Carol Award, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence in Mystery/Suspense, the Maggie Awards, and the National Reader's Choice Awards. Two of her novels, A Daughter's Legacy (2011) and Dangerous Impostor (2013) received the Holt Medallion Award of Merit. Learn more about Ginny and her books at

Customer Reviews

How refreshing to read a great story that reminds us of God's faithful love!
Bailey Gray Tate
I really wanted to like this book but the plot and characters were very predictable.
Yvonne M
The story made me laugh and cry, relate to the warm characters, and cheer for Joan.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Stuck In The Middle is an aptly named book revolving around Joan Sanderson--whose life has been put on hold while she looks out for her Grandma, who is wedged between sisters that Joan thinks are far more gregarious and personable than she is, and who is stuck in a superficial relationship with God. Stuck, that is, until a handsome, single doctor with an intensely personal relationship with God rents the house next-door and involuntarily drags Joan out of her rut.

As Joan struggles to break free, the reader is blessed with the genuine interactions between sisters, and family as a whole that Smith has woven into the story line so well. The dialogue is strong and realistic, the situations true to life and sometimes quite comical, and Joan, though a dejected character in many ways, is likeable and one you cheer for right from the beginning.

This alone would have made the book an enjoyable read, but Smith along with entertaining the reader reinforces the need for a personal relationship with God. She takes Joan, a Christian who has had a superficial relationship with God into discovering how to connect on a deeper level. Smith also does an excellent job of portraying the fear that Joan's sisters have of the kind of Christian Joan wants to become simply because they don't understand it.

Stuck In The Middle is not different than many other Christian fiction titles in that is has a spiritual message, but often, that message is dealt with in heavy handed and stilted way. Not Stuck In The Middle. This is the sort of book that while you read it you find yourself pleasantly entertained, seriously not wanting to put the book down even when you should be doing other things, and in the end you are surprised when you come away with a strong spiritual message.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Keep Smiling on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
Viginia Smith does it again in "Stuck in the Middle". Her characters are realistic, artfully crafted, and endearingly flawed (aren't we all?) and will pull you right into the story from page 1. Here's a warning, though -- don't give the book as a gift unless you're prepared for trouble. Now I have several friends calling to complain that they're chomping at the bit to read the next installment in the series. Please bring us book 2 soon!!!
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63 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Sophi301 on September 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want to first say that, I am a believer and a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. I, however, am really disappointed in, not only this Christian "romance" but all the others Ive read.

I'm tired of these single Christian women moping around, waiting for Mr. Right to come along and sweep them into a full fun life. GET A LIFE!! don't wait for sum man to show up to get inspired. That's so far from real life (I guess that's why they call it fiction). The women in these novels don't have any depth and hardly ever think beyond finding the right man.The only good part of the book was the doctors encounters with the 10yr old boy, it was believable and genuine. There first and only date was nice. We are left to assume that they eventually get married.

Joan was the last straw. A 25 yr, college educated woman, sitting around doing absolutely nothing until a handsome doctor comes along. It was clear from the beginning that she was confused and had some serious "daddy issues" but that's no excuse for not living. She was stuck because she was a fool and for no other reason. So what sum guy dumped you...happens everyday. She had no friends, no activities or interests other than work and taking care of Granny. I didn't care for how Joan suddenly didn't understand Christianity until she conversed with the doctor.

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35 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Indygirl on August 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm very glad I got this for free, it was billed as a romance but it should have been categorized as Christian fiction. I found the main characters very tedious. I am a Christian however I despise those who bemoan their lot in life and look to the sky asking God when they'll get theirs without putting any effort into it. I thought the male lead was exceptionally obnoxious and extremely critical of how others choose to conduct their relationships with God. I will definitely steer clear of this author in the future, I could barely make it through the book.
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168 of 229 people found the following review helpful By North on December 1, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Joan, the middle sister, feels overshadowed by her two, more succesful sisters. She still lives with her grandmother and her mother, does a job that bores her and has been jilted by her fiance. Also, she still misses her father, gone since her parents' divorce.
The grandmother is getting old and there is talk of moving her to a assisted-living facility, something Joan is vehemently against.
A young doctor, Ken Fletcher, moves next door. Joan is interested in him but so is her younger sister. Who will he choose ?

I am sure that the christian content (some of the book is about Joan's seach for God) will be appreciated by some. For me, it was just too much of a good thing. I don't want to preached to when I'm reading romance novels.

But mainly, I found Joan really annoying. She spends most of the book complaining (about her name, the fact that she is quiet, her job, and even her relationship with God) and feeling sorry for herself. Ken is not much better. He almost rejects Joan because she does not seem religious enough. I found the scenes where the two sisters flirt and buy new clothes to attrack Ken corny and childish. You should'nt have to gilt the lily to be appreciated. I kept waiting for Joan to get a grip and grow-up.

I'm happy I got it free and would not pay for other novels by the same author.
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