Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Guarded...plus a special giveaway

By Gail Allison

You know that feeling when you finish a really good book and you wonder what the characters go on to do next? In Guarded, Angela Correll’s follow up to her first book Grounded (reviewed here), we get to find out exactly that. Grounded left us with some unanswered questions and I was so excited to read about Annie and how she was adapting to the new lifestyle that she had chosen (think city mouse moves to the country). Guarded answers all those questions and more. It’s a completely new chapter (pun totally intended) in Annie’s life and she’s trying to be the best person she can be, given the new set of circumstances she has landed in.

The most interesting thing about Guarded was the jumps in time. A cache of letters is found that brings Annie’s grandmother back to a time when she was growing up on the farm and getting letters back from her big brother who had gone overseas to serve his country. Meanwhile, in present day, there is the very real threat of the farm going under. There was a fire in the guesthouse, and the rebuilding attempts are becoming more and more costly every time the project gets revisited. Beulah (Annie’s grandmother) isn’t sure it’s even worth it anymore, but Annie is absolutely determined to find a way to save the farm. The two storylines intertwine beautifully, creating an understanding of the history surrounding the family and the farm and illustrating why it’s so imperative that it be saved.

The thing I found most interesting about this book was the chapter flow. Every chapter felt like it had a distinct beginning, middle, and end. It wasn’t just a continuation of the story, but you could almost see the breaks between the scenes. If this were a movie, each chapter would be a perfect little piece of the plot, and close to a dark screen before opening on the next chapter. Flowing is the best word I can think of to describe it. I’m sure I’ve read books like this before, but for some reason Guarded really made me think in terms of movie scenes. I’m not sure if this was Ms Correll’s intent or not, but I could definitely see these books translating well on to the large or small screen with minimal editing. A couple of times the ebb and flow of action by chapter seemed almost manufactured but it was easy to look past as the book was just so effortless to read!

There was also a nearly seamless transition from Grounded to Guarded, which I really liked. There wasn’t a whole bunch of going over the back-story, which always sort of irritates me when I’m reading a series. There was enough back-story given, though, that this book could easily be picked up on its own or read in the intended sequence. Overall, I really enjoyed Guarded. It was definitely a solid follow-up to Grounded, and both will absolutely keep their spots on my bookshelf.

Thanks to Angela Correll for the book in exchange for an honest review. She has a copy of the book and a Plainview Farm set of soaps and lotions from Kentucky Soaps & Such for a lucky reader in the US or Canada.


How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. Giveaway ends February 1st at midnight EST.

13 comments:

Janine said...

I know it sounds cliche, but I believe it's what's inside a person that is beautiful.

Bonnie Franks said...

A smile. A smile will light up the day.

Suburban prep said...

fresh and natural. Being yourself.

traveler said...

A kind and beautiful heart.

Anita Yancey said...

Beauty is a state of mind. If you believe in beauty you will see beauty.

Rita said...

Beauty is a smile and a helping hand to others.

bn100 said...

in the eye of the beholder

Mimi Dean said...

kindness!

rubynreba said...

a compassionate, kind person

rhonda said...

A kind hearted caring person rare very beautiful.

Bonnie K. said...

Beauty is happiness. A happy person is a beautiful person.
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Burma Turner said...

Beauty is a person with a warm and caring heart.

Jessica said...

Beauty is smiling from ones heart.