Robin Jones Gunn, Author . WestBow $14.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8499-4447-5

The versatile Gunn, the bestselling author of more than 53 books (Sister Chicks Do the Hula , etc.), offers readers of inspirational fiction an entertaining foray into the South and an intriguing look at the intergenerational relationships of women. Hannah has just turned 12 when her mother, Abby, takes her from their home in Maui to be blessed by her 92-year-old "Grand Lady"—Hannah's great-grandmother—in Louisiana. As they travel across the United States, they connect with various relatives, including Abby's estranged mother. Abby longs for her grandmother and Hannah to bond with each other, discovering that she herself is desperate for Grand Lady's approval. "It's funny whom we end up choosing to love and who ends up choosing to love us. It's rarely the people we think it should be," says Su Ling, Hannah's aunt. Although occasionally the descriptions falter ("Hannah was the dew-kissed rosebud about to curl back her first tender petals"), rich regional details spice up the story, and Gunn does a fine job fleshing out her characters. Faith fiction readers will especially enjoy the flitting appearances of an angel, who takes bodily form as a large black man carrying two white chickens, and also as a janitor. The ending is anticlimactic, given the prologue's promise, but still satisfying. This is one of Gunn's best offerings to date. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/08/2004
Release date: 01/01/2005
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4185-1267-5
Hardcover - 357 pages - 978-0-7862-7643-1
Paperback - 219 pages - 978-1-61843-188-2
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