This book was one of the best I've read by LaVyrle Spencer. From the very first page, the emotion is so raw and vivid, it's like I was there myself...I've read great books that made me cry at the end, but this might be the first book that made me cry during the first chapter! The journey from loss to healing is so real, and the moral situations are handled with such respect. I've always been impressed with LaVyrle Spencer's books, but she really outdid herself with this one!
This was the last book written by Ms Spencer. This is the story of Eddie Olczak, a rural MN farmer who finds himself a widower with two small daughters after a horrific accident claims the life of his beloved wife. Soon Eddie finds a new love, in a most unexpected place, which tests his religious faith.
This is compelling novel and one I found very hard to put down.
In this modern day, we rush. We move at a break neck pace in everything we do, even our relationships. We rush in where angels fear to tread and then back out at leisure and on to the next.
Welcome to Browerville. A slower pace; a town you might pass on the highway and wonder for a moment about the lives lived there. Not a more "innocent" time, a cliche one reviewer falls back on, as most do when referring to the mid 1900's. This story is earthy and practical. The characters heart-breakingly human and real, deserving of the time and care given to them.
What doesn't happen here, and what I think is unimaginable for some of the reviewers is that these two people actually do what is best for them but they wait until the right time to do so. They don't ride roughshod over other people to get what they want. They don't think only of themselves. Their journey is one of shared agony and love, both unspoken. How they come to finally verbalize what they know the other is feeling and how it develops into romance is a subtle refrain in this story I feel many have missed.
I found their inner and and outer struggles daunting. How they deal with their growing feelings for each other, their families, their community and their beliefs is nothing short of an everyday miracle reminding us of the strength and the power of true love.
A story not to be missed and definitely worthy as Spencer's last effort.
If you have read LaVyrle Spencer before then you are aware of the type of book she writes. This one is true to form, but with a few twists. This is a tale of forbidden love (no surprise there), but this romance is truly more off limits than most. It was not my fave, but I don't think any LaVyrle Spencer book I have read is really "bad", if you know what I mean.
Sister Regina and Eddie Olczak continue to cross paths. And deep inside, they relize there is something between them-more than a kinship, a connection that goes beyond their shared love of his two daughters. Thrilled-and secretly frightened-they both must summon the courage to look within their hearts and make their own choices.
Eddie, devoted husband & father, a man of unshakable faith, derives intense pleasure from the life he's built with his beloved wife, and their 2 daughters, and the Catholic church where he both works and worships. When a traggic accident cuts his wife's life short, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever.
As friends and relatives rally around the family in the dark days and weeks that follow, one person cannot fully express her own grief. Sister Regina, the girls' teacher, has a special connection to the family, yet her vows prevent her to become too close to them. Now the strict rules os the sisterhood, which once gave meaning to her life, chafe at her more insistently.
As time passes, Sister Regina and Eddie come to realize that something has blossomed between them that transends their shared love of his wife and the gils. Thrilled-and secretly frightened-they both must summon the courage to look within their hearts and make their own choices.
It's 1950 in Browerville, Minnesota, Eddie Olczak and his wife, Krystyna, have a wonderful life together with their two elementary school-age daughters. Then, their world is turned upside-down when Krystyna is killed in a car-train accident.
At the local Catholic school, Sister Regina is the Olczak girls teacher and she is the one who has to break the news to his two young daughters.
We follow Eddie and his family deal with their grief over the loss of their wife, mother, daughter and sister. At the same time, Sister Regina's grief over her death is making her question her vows as a Benedictine nun even more.
As Eddie and Sister Regina deal with their grief, they also find themselves inexplicably drawn to each other.
This is the last novel LaVyrle Spencer wrote before her retirement (per the notes in the book.) The story is lovely and really drew me into the lives of both Eddie and Sister Regina. I was initially drawn to reading the story because it takes place in Minnesota, but I have to list this among one of the best novels I've read this year
The year is 1950: Life is just about perfect for Ellis Olezak. A man of unshakable faith. He cherishes his life, his wife and their two daughters and his job as handyman for the Catholic church. Then the loss of his wife has broken his heart. Sister Rigina who has always been close to the family tried to reaffirm her commitment when the strict rules of the sisterhood chafe at her. As she and Eddie grow to know one another better she faces a difficult challenge and both of them must summon the courage to look within their own hearts and make their own choices.
This is LaVyrle Spencer's last book , she has now retired, Like her other books this focuses on real people, flaws and all. The town rallies around a family when the wife and mother is killed in a accident, and the torned feelings for the family by a sister at a local convent, who is about to reafirm her commitment, but the strict rules she has lived by since she was a child and the love she has for this family,leaves her with a hard choice, till she summons up the courage to look within her heart and make the choice of a lifetime.
One of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorites that she's written. Involves some wonderful people who live in a Minnesota farm community in 1950 -- including a church handyman who adores his family but must survive a shattering loss. Another memorable character is teacher Sister Regina who chafes at the strict rules of the sisterhood.
Can love survive a shattering loss? Eddie Olzcak had everything..a beautiful wife, 2 young daughters and a job he loved. However, when his wife is tragically killed everything seems lost. Sister Regina has always love dthe Olzcak family but is finding herself drawn to Eddie...but what about her vows to the church?
La Verle Spencer's last book before retirement, set in her hometown and filled with details about her early life, and with the names of her friends and neighbors. Unabashedly sentimental. Life, love, death and a new love in a small farming community in MN.
Eddie Olczak cherishes his wife Krystyna, his daughters, and his job as handyman. A tragic accident cuts Krystyna's life short, and Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. All the precious gifts she gave are gone...and the town rallies to provide support.
The down-home feel of a Midwestern farm community and accurate period detail....by the middle of the book, you are running out of tissues.
In a town in Minn. in the 1950's,life is just about perfect for Eddie Olczak. A man of unshakable faith,he derives intense pleasure from his wife,their daughters and his job as handyman for St. Joseph's Catholic Church. but when a tragic accident cuts his wife's life short, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. The town rallies to provide support, but there is one member who is unable to express what her loss has meant to her. Sister Regina's vows prevent her from becoming too close. But with time,she and Eddie grow close and she faces a difficult challenge.
Can love survive a shattering loss? A grief-stricken widower learns to open his heart again, in LaVyrle Spencer's touching and emotionally charged new novel. Eddie Olzak was a man of unshakable faith and built a life he was proud of but his life is shaken by the
accidental death of his beloved wife Krystyna. Can he re-build his
life again? Can he love another woman?
Late summer, Browerville, Minnesota, 1950; Life is just about perfect for Eddie Olczak. A man of unshakable faith, he derives intense pleasure from the life he's built as devoted husband & father to his beloved Krystyna, & their daughters, Anne & Lucy, and as the dedicated hanyman for St. Joseph's the Catholic church that is the cornerstone of Browerville life. But when a tragic accident cuts Krystyna's life short, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever.....
The story of Eddie Olczak and Sister Regina, his children's teacher. After losing his wife, Krystyna, to a tragic train/car collision he tries to cope with her loss and continue to raise their children - alone. The townspeople rally around the Olczak family during their time of grief. Sister Regina, especially so. The loss of a young wife and mother causes Sister Regina to question her decision to become a nun even more than ever.
Browerville, Minnesota 1950: Life is just about perfect for Eddie Olczak. A man of unshakable faith, he derives intense pleasure from the life he's built. He cherishes his wife, Krystyna, their daughters, Anne and Lucy, and his job as a handyman for St. Joseph's the Catholic church that is the cornerstone of Browerville life. But when a tragic accident cuts Krystyna's life short, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. The love she lavished on her family, the way she combed the girls hair, the way she greeted Eddie at the end of the day-all the precious gifts she gave are gone.
The town rallies to provide support, but there is one member of the community who is unable to express what Krystyna's loss has meant to her. Sister Regina, the girls teacher at St. Joseph's has always felt a special affinity for the Olczaks. But her vows prevent her from becoming too close-even in their time of need.
Sister Regina has always tried to reaffirm her commitment when the strict rules of the sisterhood chafe at her. But with time, as she and Eddie grow to know each other better-and find a connection that goes beyond their shared love of the girls-she faces a difficult challenge. And both of them must summon the courage to look within their own hearts and make their choices...