by Charlene Ann Baumbich
The last thing that Cassandra Higgins expects out of her Sunday is to be mesmerized at a collectors’ convention by a snowglobe. She’s enjoying some shopping time, with husband Ken at home tending their brood of four young boys, when she’s utterly charmed by the one-of-a kind globe containing figures of three dogs and a little girl with hair the color of her own. She can’t resist taking the unique globe home– even if means wrestling another shopper for it!
The beautiful snowglobe sparks long-dormant memories for Cassie, of her beloved Grandpa Wonky, the stray she rescued as a child, and the painful roots of her combative relationship with her mother, “Bad Betty” Kamrowski. Life in Wanonishaw, Minnesota is never dull, though, and Cassie keeps the recollections at bay, busy balancing her boys, her home daycare operation, and being a good friend to best pal Margret. But after a strange–flurrious, as Cassie deems it–moment happens with the remarkable snowglobe, Cassie and the people she loves are swirled into a tumultuous, yet grace-filled, and life-changing journey.
“As a believer, I know the power of forgiveness and new beginnings, and of a God, and family and friends, who love me the way I am,” Charlene Ann Baumbich says. “The heartbeat of change flows through those wonderful gifts.”
With the quirky, close-knit Midwestern small-town feel that made Charlene Ann Baumbich’s acclaimed Dearest Dorothy novels so popular, Stray Affections invites you to experience the laughter and the healing of second chances.
I'd like to start by thanking Ashley from Multnomah Books, a division of Random House for providing me with my copy.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from Stray Affections. My 18 yr old tried to read it and wasn't that drawn it. Hence, my somewhat ambivalent approach to the book. Well, I found that my daughter and I won't agree on all our books. I have to admit I was more than pleasantly surprised! I would say this book is really geared towards women.
I related so well to Cassandra Higgins. She's a mom of 4 kids; I'm a mom of 4 kids. She has old tapes that run through her head; I have a lot of the same tapes. She wanted to be a veterinarian when she was going up; that's what I wanted to be. She didn't pursue her dream because she didn't believe she was smart enough; ditto for me.
I enjoyed the banter between Cassie and her husband, Ken. He was an amazing support to Cassie and knew her well enough to help her out when needed. Ken loves his wife and his children. I also enjoy that Ken's not from Minnesota. Having lived in Minnesota the last 11 yrs has been interesting, to say the least! I can relate with how hard it is for him to live here in the winter!
Cassie never seems to be able to do anything right when it comes to her mom, Bad Betty. I love that Cassie finally gets fed up and puts her mom in place. It seems to be a catalyst for Betty. She tries to recover her lack luster relationship with her grandsons. It's a stretch for her since all she's been over the years since her husband's suicide is negative. How can she change after living in this world she's created for so long?
I also loved Margret and Leo. Margret knew Cassie growing up and the struggles she endured. Now she and her husband are dealing with infertility, a sometimes taboo topic. Author Charlene Ann Baumbich handled this topic very well.
Charlene Ann Baumbich is a popular author and speaker and an award-winning journalist. In addition to her Dearest Dorothy series of novels, she has written seven nonfiction books of humor and inspiration. A bungee-jumping, once motorcycle-owning grandma and unabashed dog lover, Charlene lives with her husband and rescued dog Kornflake in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She loves telling stories, laughing whenever possible, and considers herself a Wild Child of God.
Since I don't have a copy to giveaway, learn more about or purchase this book at RandomHouse.com: