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Before Summer's End (The Mosaic Collection): Stories to Touch the Soul Kindle Edition
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- File size : 4749 KB
- Publication date : June 3, 2020
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 375 pages
- ASIN : B0884GF3G3
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #687,721 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Johnnie Alexander -- A Stranger Comes to Springlight (Haven't read yet, but was intrigued that this story was written installments).
Brenda S. Anderson -- Hot Cocoa Summers - Unique premise of drinking hot chocolate in summer. Loved that this takes place the summer of 1998, 1999, and 2000.
Eleanor Bertin -- Grounded - Interesting contemporary story with a Covid 19 setting. Well written for this unusual time.
Sara Davison -- Ten Bottles of Sand
Deb Elkink -- Blue Genes
Stacy Monson -- A Summer of Reckoning
Marion Ueckermann -- In an English Vintage Garden - This was the first story that I read. Intriguing characters. Two stories in one (daughter and mother). Interesting perspective is it vintage or antique. An English cottage, garden, china, tea and my favorite scones. A great anthology of stories.
Grounded by Eleanor Bertin
Lissa finds herself alone during the Convid19 pandemic. She left her husband and two children leaves husband and two children to live on her own. She had hoped to create a new relationship with her boss but that ended when the quarantine began. Her job is locked down and she is stuck in her apartment alone with plenty of time to think about life choices.
This shorty story is complete with a very unexpected happy ending. I was impressed with the well thought out plot and emotional conclusion.
Ten Bottles of Sand by Sara Davison
Wow! This novella took me on an emotional rollercoaster. The author’s careful use of details sets the vibe throughout the story. It starts with a melancholy lonesome feel and transforms gradually to a brighter joyful aura.
Both of the main characters had experienced trauma from their fathers’ choices. It was beautiful to see how God could heal them both in different ways. The rest of their family members were still unable to forgive or let go but there was hope that they could grow too.
When Nancy Williamson suddenly loses her job, she is unsure how to use her time. She is not in touch with her inner desires. Then a memory of a photo she saw once in a newspaper of Sunset Beach surfaces with forgotten desire to see the sunset in person. She leaves behind her monotonous life for a few days for a life changing vacation.
Nancy was unable to give up her carefully planned life despite meeting someone handsome and exciting. She returns from the beach to her lonely life and gets another safe but monotonous job. Another opportunity at a more fulfilling life comes when she begins exchanging letters with her new friend.
There are a lot of great reasons to read this story. I enjoyed reading about the characters overcoming fears, letting go of control and need for internal safety, forgiving, and allowing other people in to their heart. It ended sweetly and then there was the epilogue. It completed the metaphor but was a complete surprise.
A Summer of Reckoning by Stacy Monson
Dawson doesn’t believe he can change because ‘he is his father’s son’ and doomed to follow his example. This was surprising to me because I don’t believe we are doomed in life to misery. I loved that he had so many people who believed in the goodness they could see in him. Their influence helped him get another chance.
I like hiking in the mountains though we don’t do it often. It was almost like a vacation in the mountains reading about Dawson’s trip. I am very glad that I’ve never experienced some of the things he did.
As a prequel, it interested me in reading the other two books Dawson is in.
When The Mosaic Collection first began writing stories, I determined I would read every single release; somewhere along the line I’ve missed a couple but I am so pleased I did not miss Before Summer’s End, an anthology of 7 short stories.
Using their empathetic understanding of the human condition, and all it’s foibles, the authors have written a collection of stories that will be sure to warm your heart.
I have a favorite or two out of this collection of stories; Ten Bottles of Sand by Sara Davison tops the list. This story hit me in a piece of my romantic little old heart; a piece I share with few, somehow the author hit the nail on the head with this one. Further, I too have a collection of tangible items many consider dust collectors; as in the story, many of my “dust collectors” have special memories that are taken out to review and enjoy.
I highly recommend this book, Before Summer Ends. Oh, I almost forgot...a couple of the stories just might have some familiar characters, and one story is a prequel to an upcoming release!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and Just Read Tours, and am not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions therein are solely my own, and freely given.
Top reviews from other countries
I am not generally a reader of light Christian fiction and so was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed each of the stories on offer. Rich characters and engaging storylines prompted emotions ranging from pure joy to teary empathy.
I particularly enjoyed the gentle way each of the authors introduced the good news about Jesus, His love for us, and His role in each of our lives. This is done in a way which is both real and relevant. 'Before Summer's End: Stories to Touch the Soul' is a fantastic book to buy as a gift for a friend who may be searching for a great read with a deeper meaning.
A Stranger Comes to Springlight by Johnnie Alexander
This zany tale starring eccentric twin sisters Elmira and Lemora McElhaney-Smythe reminds me of Stephen Leacock. The names give you a clue as to the mood of the piece, described in the dedication as “whimsical wordplay.” This includes overdone alliteration, narrator intrusion, omniscient point of view, and surprising little tidbits like the one below.
Eg. “Be assured that the handsome young stranger is not Lemora’s long-lost son…No way, never, huh uh!” (Location 469)
Hot Cocoa Summers by Brenda S. Anderson
What a great short story. Condensed so it’s a quick read, the journey of Jennifer and Chad contains all the perfect elements of a good romance. Light but meaningful. Loved the irrepressible character of the barista, Chad Taylor.
Favourite quote: “She’d known too many whose faith was as flimsy as a paper boat on the Mississippi.” (Location 1464)
Grounded by Eleanor Bertin
This is the first story I’ve read that’s set in the time of COVID-19! At the age of thirty-eight, Lissa leaves her predictable life behind and moves into a small apartment in the city, to be closer to work and a budding relationship that lures her there. She cuts her ties, only to be isolated from everyone and everything, including her misinterpreted dreams. Is there redemption for Lissa in this time of unpredictability?
As the author states in the Dear Reader section: “Quarantine is God’s way of sending her to her room.” A fitting analogy for this story.
Ten Bottles of Sand by Sara Davison
Nancy follows all the rules to a successful life as laid down by her mother, to make sure her life and future are safe and secure with no surprises. Her plan works fine, until she realizes the emptiness that goes with it, and until she meets Patrick, who gently leads he to question the current trajectory of her life. This story touched my heart.
Favourite quote: “Isn’t everyone upset about being fired?...Not if they know, deep down that they weren’t where they were supposed to be, or doing what they were meant to do. Quite often they’re relieved, as if they were suddenly forced to make a decision they’d secretly wanted to make for a long time.” (Location 2448)
Blue Genes by Deb Elkink
A fascinating glimpse into twinship. Identical twins may look alike, but in the case of Jenny and Gwynne, that’s where the similarities end. A term in college brings out the differences, along with much heartache to two lives that used to function as one. Only through forced togetherness does forgiveness and reconciliation come.
Favourite quote: “Head to head, the two animals mirror each other, my mare’s strong neck swaying in fluid tempo to the thrusting of the heifer’s horns. Their rhythmic movements—the heifer’s jutting and Buck’s checking—remind me of Thursday’s game, when Jenny and I took the finals in women’s doubles.” (Location 3549)
A Summer of Reckoning by Stacy Monson
This short story is a prequel to Stacy’s novel, When Mountains Sing. Dawson Dunne is highlighted in this short story as a teen people would class as a lost cause. Nothing keeps Dawson Dunne on the right track until he’s sent to Outlook Adventure Camp to learn more about life. There he is introduced to camp director, Walt, who is not afraid of him because he used to be very like him. In my opinion, this could have been a novel in itself, but it was condensed to include the predominant points of change in Daws’ life.
My personal favourite quote is this one, because I’ve lived it too: “Eyes suddenly burning, gasping for breath, he scrambled out [of the tent] on his hands and knees. His foot caught a rope and yanked the tent forward until it collapsed behind him…” (Location 4212)
I also marked this one: “Don’t be so smug, pal. In about ten minutes you’ll be 45 and wondering where the heck all the years went.” (Location 4465)
In an English Vintage Garden by Marion Ueckermann
Every time I see this title, the tune to a similarly titled song comes to mind. Ellen Oakley lives with her mother in South Africa, then inherits an English country house from a man she’s never heard of. The reader gathers there’s much to the story that Ellen’s mother knows but has never divulged to her daughter. They eventually agree to travel to England to see the cottage, and the past collides with the present. A delightful story on all fronts.
The takeaway that resonates for me is: “The truth will set you free.” John 8:32, and the fact that sometimes a lot of breaking has to take place before healing can begin.