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All in the Family Paperback – April 5, 2007
The 30 Best Self Help Books
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ALL IN THE FAMILY Janice Sims, Melanie Schuster, Maxine Thompson SUMMER OF SALVATION Maxine Thompson Summertime is a time that many families get together to share a few days of fun and laughter. The Johnson family reunion is fast approaching and Debra Soto finds herself debating if she wants to return to her small hometown, Mason Corners, South Carolina for the reunion. Her mother has sent her a demanding letter reminding her that she expects to see her at the family reunion, especially since she hasn t been home in four years and she s married to a man that no one has ever met. Debra s original plan was to ignore her mother s plea, but when her husband finds out that she has planned to abort their first child he leaves her. With no one or place to turn to she jumps on a plane home. Debra has several issues to deal with when she returns home. As the third daughter of four she has always battled her eldest sister and felt as though she wasn t good enough for her parents. Because of her feelings Debra feels that she has to be a complete success and that becoming a mother will only get in the way. As fate would have it though she is placed in a situation where she really talks to her parents for the first time and she experiences first hand the miracle of birth. Going home for her has opened her eyes about a lot of things that she has taken for granted, especially family. WHERE MY HEART IS Melanie Schuster Sharon Johnson is a successful television producer in New York and living a happy yet unfulfilled life. When she receives a letter from her mother concerning the family reunion she is totally appalled. Confused as to why she received such a hurtful letter from her mother demanding her appearance at the family reunion she is reminded once again that she is the invisible daughter. It seems that throughout her childhood she felt that she was ugly thanks to her busy aunts and the child that no one noticed. Those hurt feelings have been suppressed for so long that she s afraid what might happen when she goes back home for the reunion. Sharing this information with her coworker she finds herself in an awkward position when another coworker offers to be her boyfriend and attend the reunion with her. While she has placed a strict rule on her personal life that she would never date someone that she worked with, Simon is different. While she didn t want to trick her family into believing something that wasn t true, her heart really did belong to Simon. Deciding that it s time to stop being invisible she talks to her parents about her feelings and finds out from her mother what love is really about. MOMMA S BABY, DADDY S MAYBE Janice Sims Candace Johnson, 41, and Angela Johnson, 25 are the oldest and youngest daughters of the Johnson clan. Each has ideas about what their lives should be like and each is still trying to make those dreams come true. Candace is married and has three beautiful children, runs her own business, and is married to a wonderful man. Yet she has carried a secret in her heart all these years that has affected her mother. Never realizing that she was purposely placing space between her mother and herself, she confides in her husband who suggests that she talk to her mother about the situation. Surprised at the outcome she is glad that her husband forced her to face her feelings because truth helps her to heal. Angela is the baby of the family and has made the biggest mistake of her life. Receiving her letter demanding her appearance at the family reunion forces her to take a look at where she is in life. Strippen and lonely after leaving the one man that really loved her she had vowed not to return home until she had everything she set out to get. For Angela returning home turns out to be --Reviewed by Lora McDonald Rating 4 1/2
A FAMILY REUNION When the four Johnson sisters take their disparaging perceptions of growing up in South Carolina, home for the family reunion, Mason County will not be the same. Summer Of Salvation, Maxine Thompson - Immediately after high school, Debra left South Carolina. She is now a casting director in Hollywood, has been married for four years and is ready to produce her motion picture. Her mom wants her home for the family reunion, and her husband wants to start a family. Always independent, Debra is determined to advance her career before she starts a family. A week before the reunion Debra's husband exposes a secret; and then leaves her. A frightened Debra tucks her tail between her legs and goes home. Will her visit home be the balm she needs to help her appreciate family? Where My Heart Is, Melanie Schuster - Sharon has always been driven to be the best, and her reasons for this drive is rooted in South Carolina. Now a successful television producer she is on top of her game except with her personal life. The stringent set of rules, that governs how she fraternizes in the studio, has caused her to miss the signals a co-worker has been sending for two years. After learning about Sharon's inferiority complex, her co-worker agrees to pose as her man at the family reunion. Will Sharon get caught up in the ruse and finally realize that family and a good man can make life wonderful? Momma's Baby, Daddy's Maybe, Janice Sims - Candace, the oldest of the sisters, lives in Charleston, SC. Angela, the youngest, left for Miami to pursue a modeling career and find herself. Although Candace is happily married, she has lived with nasty paternity rumors since she was a child. Angela, who left her man behind, is worried that her life in Miami will cause problems for the relationship she wants to rekindle in South Carolina. The two sisters have mixed feelings as they prepare for the reunion. Candace has finally decided to put the paternity rumors to rest; one way or another. And Angela must 'man-up', confess her sins, and face the music. ALL IN THE FAMILY candidly shares how much a mother will do to show her love. After issuing her daughters an ultimatum to come home, Sara learns why they were so reluctant; and the knowledge is priceless. This is one of the most entertaining stories about family I ve read in a while. --Reviewed by aNN Brown of The RAWSISTAZ Reviewers
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Summer of Salvation" by Maxine Thompson, the second oldest daughter, casting director and filmmaker Debra Johnson-Soto is living in Los Angeles with her Mexican-American husband who is owner of a landscape business. When Debra gets the terse letter from her mother about the reunion, her first reaction, after the initial anger, is to just ignore it. Of course she has no intentions of going back to backwoods Mason Corners. Not when she has a roster of Hollywood actors and wannabees clamoring for her attention and certainly not while she is on the fast track to writing her own ticket in Tinsel Town. But Juan, her husband of four years, has other plans. He has never met Debra's family and he is beginning to think she does not want him to. Juan wants to go to the family reunion but before a decision is made a life-altering matter comes up which threatens to destroy all that Debra has so carefully built. Thompson's story is one of multiculturism and show biz in Los Angeles.
In Melanie Schuster's "Where My Heart Is", Sharon, the third oldest of the Johnson sisters, wonders why her mother's letter to her is so brusque. After all, she is the one who goes back to Mason Corners on a regular basis and keeps in contact with her parents--despite how she has perceived she was treated as a child. Sharon, a television producer in New York, has memories of being an outcast in her family. Simon Freeman, a media PR and a co-worker and friend of Sharon's, thinks she should go to the reunion and take him along as her boyfriend. Simon knows Sharon desires her family's acceptance and besides he has ulterior motives. Schuster infuses her usual sensuality and witty dialogue into a humorous story of reconciliation.
In "Mommas' Baby, Daddy's Maybe", Janice Sims gives the readers the stories of both the oldest sister and an interior decorator, Candice Johnson-Bates, a married mother of three and Angela, the baby girl. Candace lives about 300 miles away from Mason Corners in Charleston, yet she has managed to visit home as little as possible. The demand that she attend the family reunion only reminds her of the painful gossip of her paternal aunties. How can she go to the reunion and put on a happy face? Angela is the one who stayed home and used her business degree to run and oversee the Johnson Farms. Even though she was in love with Padraic, a local organic farmer, she wants to see what the big city holds. There is lots of glitz and glitter in Miami but for all the dance lessons her mother has paid for, she ends up on a pole in South Beach. Angela is ready to admit she has made a mistake and throw in the towel but is reluctant to come home and face the music, especially with Padraic. Sims gives readers a humorous, yet sober story.
Family Reunions can be a joyous gathering getting to know distant relatives and learning about family history. It can also be a time of confronting conflict and rumors, real and imagined. Sometimes our remembrances as children are magnified and colored by the depth of hurt and sensibilities experienced. The Johnson family reunion was a time for lies to be set straight, for healing and for being the loving family they once were. Despite a couple of editing snafus, this was a delightful first offering from Dream Publishing Company.
Dera R. Williams
Debra has been married four years to a terrific man who loves her deeply, yet she's been keeping him from her family.
Sharon, who they call Jackie (Jackass), as a child had large teeth (she looked like a mule). She goes home twice a year, yet, no one notices that she is there.
Candace overheard things as a child, so now she tolerates her mom but is unable to face her about the truth and instead just decides to stay away.
Angela left home to follow a dream which turned out to be a nightmare. She does not want to be the only sister to remain on the farm without trying to follow her dreams.
The young women get a reality check when they all receive a letter from their mother insisting that they come home for the family reunion in August. All four are uncertain if they should go and face the demons of their past or just leave well enough alone. But, they each will have the support of a strong man beside them to help them go through this trial.
ALL IN THE FAMILY takes a look at each young woman through their own eyes to see how they view themselves through the eyes of their family. As you read you find a ton of surprises. It seems that the women were suffering from situations that were manifested by their aunt from their father's side of the family. Thanks to faith and determination of their strong mother, Sara, she gets her daughters on the right path.
ALL IN THE FAMILY is a very good read. Although written by three different authors, you never fall off.