A seemingly Norman Rockwell-like family is at the center of Spencer's (Family Blessings) latest novel, and, as usual, Spencer reveals the hard truths that lie beneath the bright exterior. On the first day of school, high-school principal Tom Gardner thinks his biggest problem is finding the shipment of textbooks for his wife Claire's English class; but the most difficult ordeal of his life is about to begin. Tom's real troubles start when he meets a new student, Kent Arens, who turns out to be smart, well-mannered, a star athlete-and the illegitimate son Tom never knew he had, conceived during a one-night stand 18 years ago, just before Tom married Claire. Tom swings between fear that Claire will find out about Kent and pride in his newfound son, but when the boy, unaware of his lineage, starts courting Tom's 16-year-old daughter, Chelsea, Tom is forced to reveal his secret. Claire, bitter and angry, asks Tom to move out of their home. Robby, their son, resents his new brother and takes out his anger on Kent on the football field. Chelsea, meanwhile, starts running with the wrong crowd. But while Tom and Claire grow farther apart, the three siblings decide to become friends. Together, they reunite Tom and Claire, restoring family harmony.
A seemingly Norman Rockwell-like family is at the center of Spencer's (Family Blessings) latest novel, and, as usual, Spencer reveals the hard truths that lie beneath the bright exterior. On the first day of school, high-school principal Tom Gardner thinks his biggest problem is finding the shipment of textbooks for his wife Claire's English class; but the most difficult ordeal of his life is about to begin. Tom's real troubles start when he meets a new student, Kent Arens, who turns out to be smart, well-mannered, a star athlete-and the illegitimate son Tom never knew he had, conceived during a one-night stand 18 years ago, just before Tom married Claire.
I read this many years ago, and was very disappointed. I really like this author's historical romances, esp. Hummingbird. But I find her contemporaries were just too preachy, too goody-goody.
Others loved it.
Narrative from inside cover: Principal Tom Gardner comes face-to-face with a past indescretion when a new student transfers to his school - Kent Arens. Tom only has to look at him to see that this teenager is the son he never knew he had, the result of a one-night stand on the eve of Tom's wedding years before. As the Gardners careen toward disaster, they test the foundation of trut and respect that their family was built on...and learn that love leave no choice but forgiveness.
One of LaVyrle Spencer's best contemporary novels. When a new student transfers to his school, Tom needs only to look at him to see that this teenager is the son he never knew he had, the result of a one-night stand on the eve of Tom's wedding years before.
Principal Tom Gardner comes face-to-face with a past indiscretion when a new student transfers to his school. As the Gardners careen toward disaster, they test the foundation of trust and respect that their family was built on.. and learn that love leaves no choice but forgiveness.
Excellent book! I could hardly put it down!
You just cannot go wrong with LaVyrle Spencer. I'm still sad that she retired years ago.
LaVyre Spencer is a great writer. This is a relationship story about teenage mistakes and adult repercussions which affect more lives than the two originally involved.
A fictional story written about one mans past and how he came face to face with the fact he has a son, from a one night stand before his wedding. This book has trials and troubles and the gift of forgiveness.
Another great book from Lavyrle Spencer.
A good read by Lavyrle Spencer. Very good story.
When a new student enrolls in Tom Gardner's school he comes face to face with the son he never knew he had. The result of a one night stand on the eve of his wedding. The story takes you on a journey through all sides of the problems that come to Tom and his family . Great book!
Principal Tom Gardner comes face-to-face with a past indiscretion when a new student transfers to his school: Kent Arens. Tom only only has to look at him to see that this teenager is the son he never knew he had, the result of a one night stand on the eve of Tom's wedding years before. Though impressed with the intelligent, athletic, and polite young man, Tom is devastated by the effect of Kent's presence on his family. To Tom's wife, Claire, Kent is the symbol of an act of betrayal so wrenching she cannot forgive her husband. To their daughter, Chelsea, he is the boy she begins to fall for-until she learns the truth. And to their son, Robby, he is a rival in the classroom and on the football field- and the force driving his parents apart. As the Gardners careen toward disaster, they test the foundation of trust and respect that their family was built on...and learn that love leaves no choice but forgiveness.
This is one of LaVyrle Spencer's better books...and that's saying something, because all of them are good! This one delves into the explosive emotion of a family torn apart by one indiscretion almost two decades before. She details the fallout without pulling punches, and shows what it is really like when a family dynamic shifts as suddenly as an earthquake. HIGHLY recommended reading!
Her timeless novels have been read by millions. Now a whole new audience will meet LaVyrle Spencer--through the first trade edition of her New York Times bestseller, Home Song.
In Home Song, one of her most acclaimed novels, bestselling author LaVyrle Spencer explores the fragile bonds that exist between family members, the strength it takes to hold them together, and the true meaning of unconditional love. When high school principal Tom Gardner recognizes a new transfer student as the son he never knew--the result of a one-night stand on the eve of his wedding years before--the entire Gardner family is forced to deal with issues they've long denied, and a crisis they never expected. As the revelation takes its emotional toll, everyone involved must find their own way to rebuild their lives, their loves, and their ability to forgive.
"LaVyrle Spencer's books get read and reread, passed on from one friend to another, mothers to daughters, daughters to mothers, sisters, etc. They're given as gifts and for gifts to self--bought for self-care, nurturing, and special escape into another world...They've become a part of the work I do in helping people develop healthier ways to live."--Judy Ohmer, Ph.D., President, Lifeskills Training and Development
"LaVyrle Spencer's legions of fans are drawn to her fiction because of its uncalculated emotion and the author's almost old-fashioned sense of integrity."--Chicago Tribune
"Ms. Spencer handles the issues and problems in a sensitive manner, creates characters who emerge as real people faced by real dilemmas, and crafts a truly believable ending."--The Chattanooga Times
"Spencer knows how to tug at readers' heartstrings."--Publishers Weekly
"Engrossing."--San Antonio Express-News
As always Spencer explores family relationships and what holds them together.
Principal Tom Gardner comes face-to-face with a past indiscretion...
a very good cntemporary book
This was the first LaVyrle Spencer book I read. The story was amazing and a quick read. I'm now a huge Spencer fan!
No surprises here. Nice Family Story.
Very good book, I enjoyed it.
High School Principal Tom Gardner had the perfect life...a beautiful wife, two teenage children, and the respect of the community. But his world comes crashing down when he meets transfer student Kent Arens and his mother, Monica. Tom recognizes Monica has the pizza delivery girl he had a one-night stand with a week before his wedding to Claire eighteen years ago. He also does the math and realizes the teenager who looks just like him is his son. Tom's worst nightmare happens when the truth comes out and rips his family apart.
I didn't know if I would like this book because of the subject, but I have to say it was very hard to put down. Tom is torn between wanting to keep his illegitimate son a secret because he doesn't want to hurt his wife or family; yet he wants to get to know his son and be a father to him. Claire is devastated by the news and the kids are confused. Overall, I thought the story was realistic, but the ending was tied up a little too neatly for me. I understood why Claire was upset at the news but didn't quite grasp her reasoning for staying upset at her husband throughout the book, but other reviewers felt she was justified. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
How does Tom, the school principal, tell his wife that his son has moved to town. The son that he was not even aware of, but has no doubt is his.
I love this book. It is a story about a warm loving family and how they overcome their problems. Very absorbing. I did not want to put it down.
What happens if in one night of indescretion, at a man's bachelor party, a woman becomes pregnant and never tells the man? The man and woman never really knew each other and there was no reason that they would ever see each other again.
The woman raises the child, a son, as a single parent. He's a well adjusted teen -- excels in school and sports. Then, 17 years later, the woman and her son move to a new town and the man who fathered the child is the principal of the high school, his wife teaches honors English and he has a son, the same age as the illegitimate son and a daughter a year or so younger.
Revealing this truth could destroy the marriage he's come to cherish despite it's rocky start but events force him t reveal the truth to wife. Especially once he learns that his daughter is interested in dating the boy -- who is actually her half-brother.
This is what happens when Monica Arens moves to a St Paul suburb with her son, Kent. The school principal is Tom Gardner and his wife Claire, son Robby and daugher Chelsea. Learning the truth all these years later threatens to drive a permanent wedge into his marriage and destroy the love among the family members.
I love all of LaVyrle Spencer's books
Wonderful book by LaVyrle Spencer, always love her.
What a powerful book, a little soapy, but you have to figure I am a grown adult man too. This book could be huge for anyone that has ever went through a divorce, had an affair, had a one night stand, or someone who just plainly made some bad decisions in their lives. This book unfolds and lets us know just what can come of those bad choices and how they can effect our lives and others forever! Just a few minutes or few hours can effect a whole live and possibly a number of lives from one indiscretion! I picked up this book, because like the main characters, I share the same last name Gardner so it intrigued me. Although I was married at one time and now divorced for over 8 years, and even though I wasn't the one that made that choice, this book hit home for me and how lives can come crashing down at any time. The premise is on a night of a bachelor party Tom Gardner made that bad choice and even though he was soon to be married, had a fling with a woman he had an attraction for in college. That night would effect his life in a big way years later down the road when thier paths cross again. Learning he had a grown son from that night, and how when the truth comes out, it can explode and spill over into other loved ones lives. I won't give away any of the story, but its a book if you have ever thought about stepping out or making some of those bad choices you should read and see what some of the consequenices could be. Its a book I would recommend for any man, woman, husband, or wife to pick up and read. This is my first book by LaVyrle Spencer, but may have to look for another that she has penned as I really enjoyed this one. A fast read for me and one that I enjoyed through all the lessons taught and to be learned!!
wonderful read by a great author...too bad she retired, I miss her books.
"High school principal Tom Gardner feels a sense of shock when he sees Kent Arens, a new transfer student. With one glance, Tom can see that this teenager is the son he never knew he had-the result of a one-night stand on the eve of his wedding years before..."
(taken from back of book)