Customer Reviews: A New Leaf (Cape Light #4)
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on January 12, 2004
Molly Willoughby and Officer Tucker Tulley, both familiar to Cape Light readers, each get their own story in this newest installment. Molly, a single mom, works hard to support her two preteen daughters. Her dream of having a better life and her own business seem impossible and out of reach. But her humor --and late night ice cream binges-- keep her afloat. Molly hasn't had a date in ages, then suddenly must choose between two men. There's Dr. Matthew Harding, recently widowed and starting over in Cape Light with his teenage daughter. And surprisingly, there's Molly's ex-husband Phil. Totally unreliable for years, Phil claims he's changed and wants a second chance as a father and husband. There's both humor and realistic moments as Molly tries to sort out her chaotic life. We see her grow, forgiving Phil and putting her own goals ahead of romance with either man. Eventually, she turns a new leaf and somehow, gets it all.

The story of police officer Tucker Tulley and his step-brother Carl was also very moving and suspenseful. Carl returns to town after nearly twenty years, an ex-convict and a derelict. He collapses and Tucker finds him in a hospital. Struggling with unhappy memories and against the objections of family and friends, Tucker takes Carl in. The cantakerous Carl is ungrateful and difficult, and Tucker finds it's not that easy "do good," even if you want to. I enjoyed this Good Samaritan subplot as much, if not more, than than Molly's story. Tucker and Molly's stories are very different, but the prevailing theme of people changing for the better tied the book together neatly with an upbeat note. Overall, a wonderful read with lots of action and emotion. Thanks again, Thomas Kinkade and Katherine Spencer.
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on January 7, 2004
Cape Light, New England resident Molly Willoughby works very hard bringing in income while raising her daughters (fourteen years old Lauren and eleven years old Molly) with no help from her Peter Pan like ex-husband Phil. Instead her family provides as much assistance to her as they can. For instance her sister in law currently watches her children while she cleans the rental for a Dr. Matthew Harding of Worcester, who is arriving in town tomorrow. However, before she leaves to pick up her children and treat them to pizza, Dr. Harding shows up. They talk about the area and being single parents. He invites her and her two daughters to meet his daughter fourteen years old Amanda.
As Matthew and Molly become better acquainted they begin to fall in love with one another. However, she distrusts matters of heart as Phil shattered her hopes and dreams and he feels hesitant to dive into a relationship ever since his wife died. Additionally, they must consider the children.
Though the climax seems to simplistic, fans of the series or anyone who enjoys a warm contemporary tale with a strong cast will enjoy the latest Cape Light tale. The story line centers on second chances at love if the individuals are willing to risk their heart and perhaps their soul to take a risk. The children are a delightful trio and the townsfolk open their doors to the audience, but the novel belongs to the M&M lead couple struggling whether they gamble on love.
Harriet Klausner
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on January 5, 2014
This book is about some of the residents of the small town of Cape Light and there are several different storylines. It is about the death of one of the elderly citizens and about how his widow tries to cope after his death. It is about Matthew, the new doctor in town, who is trying to make a new life after the death of his wife and it is also about Amanda, the doctor's daughter, who is trying to get over a slight stuttering problem and who is dealing with a bunch of rude kids making fun of her because of that problem. It is about Molly, divorced mother of two, who is trying to get her small business off the ground and about Molly and Matthew's attraction for each other. I enjoyed all of those storylines.

But one part of the book really ticked me off and that was the story of Tucker and his wife Fran and Tucker's brother, Carl. Carl had gotten out of prison several years ago but Tucker had not heard from him since his release but then Carl shows up recuperating from an injury and Tucker asks him to stay with his family until he is able to get back on his feet. Fran tells Tucker that she doesn't trust Carl and she doesn't want him living with them. Tucker overrides her objection and allows Carl to move in with them anyway.

Then Fran's expensive diamond pin goes missing and she immediately blames Carl and Carl is so hurt at their lack of trust in him that he moves out of Tucker's house. A little while later Fran finds the pin in a bag in her closet and immediately remembers that she had put it there for safekeeping because some workmen were coming to the house and she didn't want the pin to be stolen. However, now that she has found the pin (right where she put it) she does not tell anyone that the pin has been found so everyone continues to think that Carl stole it.

When a house in the neighborhood is burglarized, everyone assumes that Carl was the thief, because after all, he stole that pin from his brother's wife and Fran still does not clear his name. Being accused for the second time of a crime he did not commit, Carl gives up and leaves town. Tucker tells Fran that the cops are looking for Carl and will make an arrest if they find him and he tells her that maybe Carl did burglarize the house because "after all, he stole your stickpin". At that point Fran FINALLY says, "oh, silly little me, I found that right where I hid it. He didn't take it after all. Did I forget to tell you that?" She then apologizes to Tucker for falsely accusing his brother. But nowhere in the story does she apologize to Carl and surely he is the primary person that is owed an apology.

A couple of young kids are caught breaking into another house and they confess that they also had broken into the house that Carl had been accused of burglarizing. Now that Tucker knows that his brother was innocent of BOTH crimes for which he had been found guilty in the eyes of the townspeople, he sets out to find Carl to convince him to come back to town. When he finds Carl he tells him that some kids confessed to breaking into the house so now that everyone knows he is innocent he should come back home. But now Tucker doesn't tell Carl that Fran has found her pin and apparently leaves Carl thinking everyone still believes he stole the pin.

By this point I am ready to pull my hair out. Fran "forgets" to tell Tucker that she knows Carl didn't steal her pin and now apparently Tucker "forgets" to tell Carl the same thing. I felt very sorry for Carl and I really wanted to shake Fran and Tucker for their treatment of him. The thinking seems to be that Carl had been in prison so he obviously had committed "some" crime and if he committed that one crime it just stands to reason that every crime that will ever happen in the town must have also been committed by him. This turned me off to the entire book and left me not much liking a book that I otherwise would probably have given five stars.
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on October 2, 2014
I enjoyed reading "A New Leaf" I had to get use to jumping back and forth between the main character's stories. It reminded me of having to wait to the next series on shows like Cedar Cove, Heartland, Downton Abby, etc. Other than that I enjoyed the book.
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on December 27, 2012
I have read a lot from this series so far and have never been disappointed. all of these books are heartwarming and although, some of the story line is predictable, the story is engaging and hope-filled and moral and I'm always eager to start the next book.
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on July 29, 2014
Another one of Thomas Kinkade's great works. I have become some involved with the characters of this series that I have to read the rest of the series now. This particular book copy I purchased was far to small and compact for me to be able to read it. The font types were far too small, so I borrowed a used copy from my church library. But loved the book.
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on May 9, 2013
Some how I missed this one from the earlier series. Will read this soon. Have read all of Thomas Kinkade's books and I love them all. Really great to read material that doesn't contain sex & violence in it. I hope Katherine Spencer keeps them going. Thanks.
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on July 27, 2013
I really enjoyed this sweet story. I liked reading about each different character and how they solved problems that happen in life with humor and with prayer. The orchard was one part that I could identify with, because my family has just gone through something very similar to Sarah. We have a family farm with an apple orchard that we were afraid we would lose after being in our family for 275 years. God had other plans and so it is still ours.
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on September 25, 2009
enjoyed this book, as I have enjoyed the entire series. Touching stories about a dream come true town with really nice, people that try to lead Christian inspired lifes. I could hardly put this book down. The charactors are like family to me. Each book is a stand alone book, but I think reading them in order is the best way to read the series.
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on March 25, 2004
I was very excited to discover that there was a 4th book in this series.
This book has 3 subplots. First, there is single mom Molly, whose ex-husband comes into town, saying that he's changed. At the same time, she meets the town's new doctor and becomes attracted to him. Then Tucker Tully's ex-con brother comes into town, trying to get his life back together, despite the townspeople who doubt him, including Tucker's wife. Then Sophie's husband passes on and she must decide what to do with their apple orchird.
The title "New Leaf" adequately describes the book as we have several people trying to turn over a new leaf. We have Molly's ex, who is trying to be a better father to their kids. We have Carl (Tully's brother), who is trying to get his life back on track.
It was also great to see some of the old characters in this book. We even were treated to a scene of Lillian and how difficult she can be.
I look forward to seeing what comes next. I found the Tully storyline especially interesting. I'd be interested in seeing how Carl fares in the next book.
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