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Showing 1-10 of 48 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 62 reviews
on August 13, 2012
This book was rather hard for me to rate. The first half was a five, but it got weaker toward the end. The story kept see-sawing between the attraction between Liz and Zachery and their disagreement over the Chalmers house. It got a little old as the story progressed. Nick, Liz's adopted son, was cute and amusing, but his misuse of words, which was delightful and funny in the beginning, got redundant, because the trait was overused. At least the writing flowed smoothly and was grammatically correct. Zachery scolded Liz for going to Florida without telling him, but he went to Jefferson City without telling her. Also, I couldn't understand why Grace hadn't sent money to help support Zachery, since she was wealthy, or why she didn't take her "nephew" to live with her before he was sent into foster care. You'd think her brother would have contacted her before sending him away. Regardless of the minor problems, I liked the story and read it quickly. In the end I decided to rate it 4.5, which rounded up to a five. It was a clean, Christian romance worth my time.
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on February 3, 2012
When one decides to read a Christian book one can expect religion to be a major player, and so I was not offended at all by the frequent references to Christ. However, I found the book to be extremely trite. Those "lovable" characters just seemed contrived and over the top to me. The kid was like a fairy tale, never fussy and always cute with his Malaprop tendencies; just a bit of a stretch to really believe this was a true child. The heroine was a real turn-off. For most of the book she was preachy and opinionated - telling the hero to "surrender" to God's will but failing to do just the same until way later in the book. When she did, she immediately became a whole lot more likable! Frankly I forced myself to read until the end just so I could write a review. It's not the Christian aspect that turned me off - on the contrary I've read a few of this sort and really have liked them. But the characters in this book failed to engage my imagination and my empathy.
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on January 7, 2015
I've read Catherine Palmer books before, and I have to admit...pretty much every single one is better than this book. The book just seems to drag through, and although I enjoy Christian romances a lot--the repeated references to God's will, seeking God, surrending to God...etc, made the book feel like a devotion that I didn't realize I'd signed up for. I wanted a book!

The secondary characters are what really makes the book interesting. The little boy in the book is cute, as is the older man and the gossippy neighbor Pearline. If she'd made her primary characters as interesting as the secondary ones, I'd be writing a very different review. The herione has no depth of character, and the hero seems to be forever falling for a girl who he'd just met--they don't seem to have the chemistry. Read something else. Anything else.
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on February 22, 2012
First of all, I am a Christian myself and expected many references to Jesus and to a Christian lifestyle, and so those frequent references didn't bother me at all. The thing I disliked most about this book was the character of Elizabeth. She claims to be a Christian and to be following God's plan for her life--claims it often, in fact--but her actions show otherwise. Many times she puts her own wisdom above God's. I also thought her constant vacillating back and forth between liking--maybe loving--Zachary and detesting him became tiresome. She claims in her own mind to love him, at the same time declaring that she must give him up. Instead of talking to him as an adult, she lives her life according to too many wrong assumptions.

Some of the other characters were okay, but many stereotypes made them shallow. As for the character of Nick, he was cute and likeable, but I found the language thing incongruous. For example, he can't seem to get the simple names straight, even when he is corrected many times--making Heather into Herod, the prodigal son into the practical son [because an 8-year-old in his circumstances probably doesn't even know the word "practical"]--but he is surprisingly articulate other times. I know a family that adopted two little girls from orphanages in the same part of the world where Nick came from, and those girls had much difficulty speaking any English at all for many months after arriving here. Now, about three and four years after living in the United States, the girls can form sentences but still have trouble with the language.

These things aside, it was an okay story, but quite predictable, I thought.
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on August 31, 2012
I enjoyed this story ever so much, probably because I identify with Elizabeth's love for old things, steering away from change and remembering the long ago past. Elizabeth and her adopted son, Nick, live in a small town in Missouri. She owns an antique shop called Finders Keepers on the town square and lives in the apartment in the back. All is tranquil in her life until Zachary from Jefferson City inherits the old mansion next door. His plans are to tear the hundred year old house down and build a modern structure to house his architecture firm and other businesses. Elizabeth and Zachary find themselves at odds, but Nick has decided that he needs a dad and Zachary is going to be it. The disposition of the mansion divides the small town until Zachary recommits himself to the Lord, sees his need for family and his heritage, and decides he needs both Elizabeth and Nick and the old mansion in his permanent future. I got this free on my Kindle.
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on February 8, 2012
Finders Keepers Catherine Palmer

This is the first novel by Catherine Palmer that I have read. I'm quite sure I will be reading more.
This is a Christian book. I think religion is blended nicely into the plot, not constantly pounded into your head. Written in 1999, this is the tale of the people of small town America (Ambleside, Missouri), their likes and dislikes, ups and downs, joys and sorrows. The main character, Elizabeth Hayes, operates a small antique store and lives directly behind the store with her adopted son, Nikolai (from Romania). Liz's dearest friend and next door neighbor, elderly Grace Chalmers, dies and leaves her home to her nephew, Zackary, who had left town with his parents when he was a small boy. The home is a mansion, but is in sad shape. What happens to the Chalmers' mansion is the main issue of the book. But it is cleverly and delightfully weaved into the daily lives of the citizens of Ambleside, which made the novel very interesting and enjoyable for me.
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on February 3, 2012
I didn't realized when getting this book (for free I add) that it was from Tyndale Publishing and therefore a religious romance. That in itself would not have deterred me m getting it at all, I have read other books and they were good. I kind of liked this one and I at some points forced myself to keep reading it because I must say it had lots of funny moments and the story was OK. The way the characters kept mentioning Jesus was too much (in my opinion)and turned me off many many times. Although most charactes ended up doing something about their problems it seemed to me kind of a simple way to look at things. I am a mom and didn't like much how Liz said that the most important thing for her was her faith and second being a mom.
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on February 3, 2012
This was a book that I downloaded because it was free and it was in the genre that I love. However, I found this book disappointing. Although it was touted as a Christian fiction, it was so much more preach-y than the majority of the other Christian fictions I've read, that it could more appropriately be called "really long boring sermon" fiction. I swear, if the word "surrender" was used one more time, I was going to hurl the book across the room. I always finish books I start, so I was bound to finish it, but I can't say it was worth the read. It was an alright story, but it didn't really captivate me. Unfortunately, I kept waiting for the end to come around. I really hate to say it... but I'm glad I didn't waste money on it.
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on February 6, 2012
I tend not to read religious fiction but every so often I download a free one and am able to skip over the references and find a good story underneath. That is not the case here. The book is way too wordy and preachy. I gave it two stars is for the cute kid, which was the only reason I kept reading. I found myself skipping through parts of it to see if anything exciting happened. Nope. Unrealistic as well in several parts-first, it is unrealistic to have a marriage proposal after one kiss and zero dates, that's not how real life and 99% of books are. Additionally, there are parts of the book where the main character's maternal skills are questionable.

I wouldn't download it unless it's free and then, only if you have nothing else to read.
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on February 3, 2012
I didn't knew anything about Catherine Palmer and I discovered her writing with this book.

I liked the way she write, it's really easy to read and this is definitively a page-turning book, once you start, you can't stop. The little boy is a really funny character and the way he twisted some words because of his romanian roots are so cute!

I just was sometimes a little bored by the references to God, a bit too much for me.
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