Hey, Friend- Do you know what it's like give to 100 percent and still feel like it's not-andyou'renot-enough for anybody? To be caught between caring for an aging parent and raising young children? I lived in that place for four years. Ivy Schneider lives in this place, too, and she isn't at all happy about it. Her husband Rusty spends ten months a year on the road singing in a gospel quartet, and her mom gets sicker every day, requiring increasingly more care and time. Ivy's dad took off years ago but still comes around-for free meals. Her brother and sister are more than happy to let responsibility rest on Ivy's shoulders. Maybe she could handle it all if only her darling three-year old terror, Trixie, would just ""go"" on the potty. Who will take care of Ivy while she takes care of the world? No one, it seems. Then Ivy runs an ad in the paper to find folks like herself: women of the ""sandwich generation,"" squeezed between the demands of raising young children and caring for an aging parent.
Christy Award-winner Samson has a penchant for dysfunctional characters and chaotic situations, and her latest novel is chock-full of both. Ivy Schneider is a flat-chested 38-year-old with size 10 feet whose husband has been away for more than three years on a gospel singing tour. Her brother veers between addictions; her aging divorced mother lives in her made-over dining room, breaking out into dementia-induced sermons; and her three children grapple with everything from day-care troubles to teen angst. Meanwhile, her mooching father takes up residence in her basement, her rich sister tries to fix a broken marriage and a few adulterous sparks ignite between Ivy and her friend Mitch. Throw in the family diner that Ivy helps run, and you begin to wonder if a little bit less might have been a whole lot more. Samson's rambling first-person narrative is engaging, but she never fully develops the titular support group of women juggling children and aging parents. Readers will cheer when Ivy figures out the difference between practicing sacrificial love and acting like a doormat, although they may wonder what took her so long. Samson (Songbird; Tiger Lily) is one of the Christian fiction market's best novelists, and although this is not her best work, her fans will enjoy the read. (June 21) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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June 07, 2005
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