The Rockin Chair by Steven Manchester It is not a genre I normally read, but something about the title and the cover design prompted me to read this book The cover reminded me so much of my childhood, visiting my grandmother on her farm the old porch where we used to sit, she peeling and slicing fruit for bottling, telling me stories of the family and her childhood I was too young to remember who finally took her rockin chair when she passed away, but it never bothered me I had so much rich and beautiful memories whenever I encountered a rockin chair ever since.This family saga of the old gentleman, John McCarthy and his family pulled me into the American way of rural life which we often see in movies, but seldom read in books The characters in the book were so familiar as though I knew them all my life, yet so very American in their values, talk and outlook on life Decent, honest folks who were paternally lead and protected by a grandpa who also wrote a diary.The writing style, the story elements, the characterseverything, gripped me from the first sentence before I even knew what the story would be about I only knew I wanted to learn the story behind that rockin chair on that porch and I was determined to hear it It was as though the author knew where to get to me He went straight for the heart and left me sitting in total wonderment on how it was done.Who would not react emotionally when a simple, decent, proud man writes these wordsI ve had dreams of Alice calling me home and I reckon my time is close But I d leaved a pig headed fool without makin a few things clear I reckon I ve lived a life most men could only hope for I had folks that taught me right I found a woman that loved me right I worked a farm that treated me right But none of it ever added up to the love I had for my boy, Hank Even if I owned words fancy enough, I couldn t start to say how much I love that stubborn boy The symbolism in the Rockin chair is strong enough to have everyone reading this book yearn for family we never knew, or who passed away, or for opportunities we wished we had treasured We would all agree that those rockin chairs wasthan just a few pieces of wood that made up a useful piece of furniture It really rocked for a special reason They all have stories to tell This Rockin Chair had me in tears of memory but also of joy I felt so part of this family in which the challenges of a tough life, misunderstandings, and hardship did not leave much room for emotions such as love and appreciation Yet it does not mean it did not exist It is a brilliant book in so many ways It is a book that men should read just as eagerly as women There is a lot to contemplate and a lot of our own changed values to weigh against the message this book leaves behind In the end I needed to ask myself and how do you measure up, girl Five stars for everything, grampa John Memories Are The Ultimate Contradiction They Can Warm Us On Our Coldest Days Or They Can Freeze A Loved One Out Of Our Lives Forever The McCarthy Family Has A Trove Of Warm Memories Of Innocent First Kisses Of Sumptuous Family Meals Of Wondrous Lessons Learned At The Foot Of A Rocking Chair But They Also Have Had Their Share Of Icy Ones Of Words That Can Never Be Unsaid Of Choices That Can Never Be Unmade Of Actions That Can Never Be UndoneFollowing The Death Of His Beloved Wife, John McCarthy Grandpa John Calls His Family Back Home It Is Time For Them To Face The Memories They Have Made, Both Warm And Cold Only Then Can They Move Beyond Them And Into The FutureA Rich Portrait Of A Family At A Crossroad, THE ROCKIN CHAIR Is Steven Manchester S Most Heartfelt And Emotionally Engaging Novel To Date If Family Matters To You, It Is A Story You Must Read This was a calm laid back book with a deep under story The story of a family and their personal and family struggles It was well written, brought tears to my eyes at some points and had me smiling at others I definitely would recommend this book. a 4.5 I received this book free on my e reader from the author, Steven Manchester.I was happy to get the chance to read this wonderful book The Main topic is Family the hurts, the misunderstandings, and lack of communication that goes with being part of a family the Rockin Chair starts out with John looking after his wife Alice She has the end stage of dementia and other health problems.Alice is dying and John wants to get the family together to say goodbye John and Alice s son Hank lives nearby but they have gone a long time without speaking to each other.Hank harbors a lot of hurt and hard feelings toward his father that goes back to his childhood.Hank s three children are now grown Goergey, Evan and Tara have moved away All three have their own hurts, resentments toward their own father Hank.When the three hear news of their grandmother they come home Each of the grown children are dealing with issues, of their own all have their hurts and demons they are dealing with Over the course of seven months after all three kids decide to stay in Montana with grandpa John, things slowly start to change Grandpa John helps the grandkids with the issues they each came with offers advice.Slowly John and his son start to communicate about the problems and heal the rift between them I like the story that Steven Manchester tells it is one I can relate to how many of us wish we could talk things out hear what we need to hear from relatives the I love you s the characters need to hear each of the character have their own issues that slowly each get help and advice the Rocking chair in the story has it s part as well since each relative has their named carved in the chair from Grandpa John A very nice heartwarming story anyone with a family can relate to. Review Beware of books 1 offering a feel good response, 2 that have cover art that reminds you of previous reads that did make you feel good and or 3 remind you of beloved Grandparents Any of those emotions will strongly urge one to purchase said book, ignoring the voice within that is all but shouting, Nothing is in the information about this book that indicates there is anything about it you will like But, as I did, a purchase will be made and one will be required to read the book on the principle, I bought it I must want to read it I did purchase it, I did read it and I want to learnof the function whereby humans act opposite from what their intuition tells them This is not a badly written, poorly edited book It is a book meant to illicit warm feelings, fond memories or create fond memories of events that never happened and the occasional read BUCKETS OF tear s in those aspects this book is a total success If one desires to read of the loss of a Beloved spouse, the fractures that have occurred within a hardworking family and the Patriarch who, miraculously, is both the cause and the healer of said damage then rush out to read this volume The story of Grandpa John is told through flashbacks of how each of the McCarthy Family members Big John, Patriarch Hank, his alcoholic, dyslexic son Ellie, long suffering, much beloved Daughter in law George, the eldest grandson, Afghanistan War vet damaged by his tours as an Army Ranger Evan, youngest grandson and the sensitive writer who moved east to pursue his dream and Tara, only granddaughter and twin of Evan whose desire to chase an act career created huge problems Each of these family members needed to return to the Montana ranch all called home, to mourn the passing of their Grandma Alice and in hopes of finding what they had lost and being healed from what had broken them Many of the vignettes were sappy, too pat and the resolution was far too neat and tidy to have happened anywhere other than in a penny dreadful novel I have to admit, I did shed a few tears in the reading of some of the moments of resolution Mr Manchester has some talent for evoking desired emotions in his readers The author makes the statement, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior With Him, all things are possible on the acknowledgement page, so the book is written without undue violence, harsh language or sexual situations There are allusions to some events of an adult nature and one or two moments where near adult language is present, but overall, the book is suitable for family enjoyment. Just bein able to recall my yesterdays has made em all worthwhile Steven Manchester has a way with dealing with the ends of lives and the impact each of our lives has on those left behind that is a fine recurring theme in his novels In TWELVE MONTHS he brought to us the changes that occur in the man who has been given a certain time to live after a diagnosis of cancer is realized In THE ROCKIN CHAIR he again deals with en of life situations and how the coming together of a family at the time of death of a grandparent resurrects memories and the value of dealing with memories that may have been both sad and happy.Manchester wisely opens his story with a confusing view of Alice, the grandparent of the story as in her senility she walks through the past addressing her fears and her dreams and her expectations, allowing us at first to believe we are meeting a young girl, a young woman as she begins her life, only to ultimately realize that this is the fragile dismembering mind of a elderly woman approaching death.But Alice is not the true main character of the book that role is absorbed by old John McCarthy, her husband, living out his life on this Montana farm It is when Alice, his beloved wife, succumbs that he calls his family home and the story is Grandpa John s orchestrating the resolution of memories that need to be both recalled and resolved Each family member brings to the wise foot of Grandpa John s rocking chair those moments in their lives that have been struggles and it is in the loving wisdom of Grandpa john that the memories are tended and mended.Manchester is able to deliver difficult messages in a manner that signifies he is wise beyond his years Each novel grows He will be around for a long time if there arestories like this one to share Grady Harp I wonder how many of us have a family like the McCarthy s This book, The Rockin Chair , has provoked in me such strong emotions that I have not felt from a book, in awhile This was my very first reading of Steven Manchester it will not be my last and I will absolutely recommend for anyone to read his books What an experience that I was carried on I cried tears of joy and sadnessexperienced every single hurt, every doubt, every misunderstanding and pleading, every self degradation, joy and peace, all the pleasure and happiness I experienced a familya family that is full of regrets, time wasted, broken, but put back together again There was not a facet in this family that I could not see myself in or a family member For me, it was truly a God send to read this book You ll find old fashioned values here Through all the pain and sorrow, came life, joy, peace, faith, and lessons learned I enjoyed reviewing this storythank you Steven for the honor in doing so What a blessing it brought to me Thank you These characters in this story, were so well thought out and carried through to the end, that the avid reader will not be disappointed The story flows very smoothly and to the Grammar sticklers out there you know who you are LOL I m very pleased to report thumbs up I bet your curious about the story huh How many of us have misjudge our parents one wrong word and they don t love us , one wrong action or the lack of action and they don t care How many parents are to focussed on being right, instead of hearing what their child is trying to say Have you loved someone, that didn t love you backbroken your heart and used you all up, though the signs were there all along, but ignoredmade you question your self value your worth Do you know a Veteran who s broken Have you ever lost Faith in God Questioned Him This book is the one for you Now those who know me, know that I m not one for spoilers when giving my views and usually I tease and suggest that the book be read in order to experience it Spoilers are like telling the ending to a movie, before it is even half way through I love to share how a book a story, has moved and touched mehow it has affected and provoked me And I am telling y all straight, here and now that, The Rockin Chair , is worth every moment of your time A wonderful truly wonderful story I have read both Twelve Months and GoodNight Brian by Steven Manchester and loved them so much Mr Manchester consistently writes books that are treasures that speak to the heart and teach us what is important in life The Rocking Chair is third of his books that I find a deeply personal connection A major theme that runs through Stephen Manchester s books is the importance of family This book is no different The Rocking Chair includes four generations of family At the beginning of this story, Alice McCarthy has Alzheimer s She has been loved so much by husband, John and her son and all the grandchildren Now she can no longer recognize any of them, including her husband That breaks John s heart so much Thememory that she loses thelost he feels Most of John s thinking is done in the rocking chair A lot of memories come back and we learn about his son, Hank and his three children, Tara, George and Evan Each one of them has a crisis in their life even though John isn t aware of it John decides that he needs all of the family to come back for his wife s funeral As they arrive, he becomes aware that he and his son Hank are not the only ones in anguish I love this book because the author is very careful to tell about the family with realism and with love This book is so moving that I wanted to knowof what happened to this family when the book was over Heartbreak, forgiveness and love run throughout this book There is onereason that this book is special to me There is a poem in the back of the book named The Rocking Chair that really touched me personally Many years ago, I found some of my father s poetry and my favorite of his was The Rocking Chair Both poems are of love, one of my father s love for my mother and the other in the book was of a father s love of his son.I highly recommend this book to all of my friends and to anyone who likes to read about families.I received this book from Providence Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review, but that in no way influenced my review My thoughts are my own. Many reviewers compared this book to those of Nicholas Sparks, whom I m really not too fond of, but I decided to give it a try anyhow Something was wrong with Alice In the beginning, I couldn t decipher whether she was dreaming or crazy The first chapter had me confused with the constant back and forth notion but that is usually the way it feels with Alzheimer s The chair was a tombstone of cherished memories and forgotten lives It was the thing that always provided John with comfort and pensive sorrow Lately, he has been sitting for long hours, quietly rocking in a paralyzed state with his mind full of worry and fear over the disease that has been taking his beloved Alice away It was stated simply that Alice had become an apparition in the flesh, a ghost locked within the familiar frame 25 The story was nothing but memories that get dragged out by every member of the family and play on the minds like a broken record Each section was recited in the POV of every main character, each one bringing onedemonic skeleton out of the closet that wrecked havoc on the emotions The book was mainly a typhoon of emotions circling around the Alzheimer s, the war, and loss To think that family was the magical cure for life s problems was kind of naive However, I liked how each character s flaws were rendered with emphatic resonance and frail honesty Big John s barnyard lessons were cleverly correlated with the kids problems Suddenly it was up to Big John to fix them all like if he was Jesus or something, which was probably why there was a lot of praying in the story Ultimately, this story was all about getting over loss and heart ache in other words, to get back on the horse Manchester s words painted a vibrant picture of the dirt slappin , fly swattin country farm life of Montana However, his descriptions of emotions might have been a tad too fruity for my taste Now I get the Nicholas Sparks reference.
- Kindle Edition
- 272 pages
- The Rockin Chair
- Steven Manchester
- 10 August 2019 Steven Manchester