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This Side of Heaven: A Novel Paperback – January 6, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Tender-hearted readers beware! Karen has done it again! After you turn the last page of JUST BEYOND THE CLOUDS and put away the tissues, you will find yourself thinking of the characters again and again. Every time you do, you will smile."―Robin Jones Gunn, bestselling author of Finding Father Christmas on Just Beyond the Clouds
"JUST BEYOND THE CLOUDS was amazing. It captured me in the first chapter and never let me go. . . . Karen writes about the sort of love we could all use a little more of."―Richie McDonald, lead singer of Lonestar on Just Beyond the Clouds
More About the Author
Karen's newest novel, COMING HOME - The Baxter Family - releases June 26 and is the subject of much buzz on Karen's active Facebook page, where she had more than 250,000 friends. There is also great anticipation over THE BRIDGE, Karen's much-anticipated first hardback release with her new publisher - Simon & Schuster's Howard Books. THE BRIDGE is a love story set against the demise of the American bookstore.
In addition, Karen has ventured into the area of short pieces with her new non-fiction series - KAREN KINGSBURY, THE REST OF THE STORY. Her first piece, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, has touched the hearts of tens of thousands of readers interested in knowing more about Karen's personal life and the motivation behind her Life-Changing Fiction (TM). I CAN ONLY IMAGINE shares the story of Karen's brother, his struggles, and his quest for redemption.
Karen's novel LIKE DANDELION DUST is the subject of a major motion picture currently in theaters. Like Dandelion Dust stars Academy Award winning Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper, along with Cole Hauser and Maxwell Perry Cotton. The film has received more than 30 awards in the Film Festival Circuit including numerous Best Picture awards. Several of Karen's books are currently under theatrical development.
Karen's most recent series - the Bailey Flanigan Series, wrapped up in March. Coming Home - The Baxter Family - is a stand-alone novel about John Baxter's 70th Birthday and the tragedy that happens during June, 2010 with Take Four. The series is about two producers looking to change the world with the power of film. The Above the Line series also includes Karen's popular characters from the fictitious Baxter Family. The Baxters were first introduced to readers through the five-book Redemption series, and then the five-book Firstborn series, and finally the four-book Sunrise series.
Dubbed by Time Magazine as the Queen of Christian Fiction, Karen has also been a featured guest on the Today Show, Fox News, USA Today, and numerous other television programs and magazines. Her fiction has made her one of the country's favorite storytellers. Others of her emotionally gripping titles include the 9-11 Series, Even Now, Ever After, and Between Sundays.
Karen is also a public speaker, reaching more than 100,000 women annually through various national events. Karen and her husband, Don, live in Nashville, TN with their five sons, three of whom are adopted from Haiti. Their daughter Kelsey is an actress who has appeared in several Christian films. She is newly married to Christian recording artist Kyle Kupecky. The two also live in Nashville.
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Top Customer Reviews
Due to the accident Josh cannot work, and while he waits for the insurance company to award him a settlement, Josh hangs on to his faith because he longs to one day hold his daughter, Savannah. His parents, Annie and Nate, do not believe that Savannah is his, but deep within his entire being Josh has no doubt. Would Josh be able to finally hold his daughter? Would his parents finally be proud of him and all that he has done?
Normally, I do not talk about the cover of a book, but I absolutely loved the cover. The yellow had a calming effect on me. The little girl with the bright blue eyes made me smile when I read something that brought tears to my eyes. I became teary eyed at least twice while reading this heart-warming and eye-opening book. I enjoyed This Side of Heaven from page one until the very last page. I recommend this book to readers of Christian fiction and to parents.
Josh's mom, Annie, is a busy lady. Her plate is full with helping her husband get re-elected to the State Board of Education which means making sure people are happy and entertained. She knows how other people judge her son because he isn't as successful as he should be. But Annie can't really argue with them because deep down she feels the same way.
Josh is intent on finding his daughter, but can't afford to search for her until the settlement from the accident arrives. No one believes she is his daughter, but he never gives up. Annie especially wishes Josh would put all that behind him and move on.
What Annie and the busybodies don't know is that there is more to Josh than they realize. They don't know that he's reconnected with his relationship with God or anything else about his life. They never asked. When another tragedy strikes Josh's family learns more about him in one day than they've known his whole life. How could they have missed it? And what are they going to do about it now?
I really enjoyed This Side of Heaven and the issues it highlights. Why is it hard for parents to accept their children sometimes? What keeps them from getting to know their child instead of dwelling on what they are not? Annie gets a rude awakening and will never be the same again. Some things just can't be reversed.
I'll warn you, this book is a tear-jerker but it's also wonderful and insightful. It will touch anyone no matter what stage of life they're in. Life can change in an instant and there are no do-overs.
A year after a wild week in Vegas he discovers he is the father of a little girl, Savannah. Her mom wants child support, but Josh does not have the amount that she wants, so she stops contacting him and he is left to wonder about his child. Soon after that, an accident at work leaves Josh with severe back pain and fighting for a settlement from an insurance company. He hopes with the settlement money he can get the surgery he needs on his back, find his daughter, who is now seven, and open up his tow truck business. He has hope again as he just rededicated his life to Christ.
Josh's parents, especially his mom Annie, has felt great disappointment in Josh. They do not understand why he would want to drive tow trucks. They had expected him to go to college and marry Becky. They are convinced that Savannah is not his daughter and want him to let go of those thoughts himself. Annie feels he has thrown his life away.
When Josh is not able to search for Savannah, will Annie pick up his cause and fight to find Savannah to try to discover if she is truly his daughter? And will she take the time to discover the man that her son has become?
This book pulled me in immediately and got me emotionally attached. Then it punched me in the gut and left me crying and trying to catch my breath - only to lead me on to a victorious ending, even though it is not the one you can only imagine.
I love Karen Kingsbury and how her books evoke great emotion - at least in me. At the end of this book she shares how this story is based on her brother Dave's life, which made me cry all over again. If you haven't had the opportunity to read one of her books - this would be a good one to start with.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had read the other two books in this series and somehow missed this one. If you have not read Karen's books I highly suggest each and every one!Published 1 month ago by nikki
I enjoyed this book very much. The themes are those everyone can relate too even if the details are different.Published 3 months ago by Julie L. Morris
Karen Kingsbury novels are so well written you don't want to put the book down!!!Published 4 months ago by millysmom