Today, I have the opportunity to review the third book in The Company of Good Women series, titled Surprise Packages, by Nancy Anderson, Lael Littke, and Carroll Hofeling Morris.
In Surprise Packages, the satisfying conclusion of The Company of Good Women series, Juneau, Deenie, and Erin deal with a new set of challenges.
Deenie, now living in Gainesville, Florida, begins to question everything she has believed about herself as she sees her actions through others' eyes. Juneau's feelings of guilt come to a head when a secret from her childhood and the mystery of her great-grandmother, Letitia, combine to force her to confront her past. And Erin, whose painful divorce has made her cynical about love and marriage, must decide if she can take a risk when she has a second chance for love.
Staying in touch through phone calls, e-mails, and periodic vacations together, the friends offer one another support, sometimes in the form of blunt feedback. But as they anticipate reaching their goal to become Crusty Old Broads, life takes a turn that puts their twenty-five-year pact in doubt.
Okay, friends, I have a confession to make - this is the first book of the series I've read. That's right. I haven't read either Almost Sisters or Three Tickets to Peoria. I approached this book wondering if it could stand alone or if I would be confused without reading the other books in the series. I must say, the authors did a great job. There were a few times I was confused - like I'm still trying to figure out how the Crusty Old Broads (COBs) met Gabby and what happened in their time together that was such a huge influence on their lives. Gabby seems to play an important role of who each of the COBs would like to be like "when they grow up." But I did understand their goal and desire to achieve "Broad-hood."
If this is your first time looking into this series, I will say there are a lot of characters. You discover each lady (Deenie, Erin, and Juneau)and her family, group of friends, and the dilemmas of their lives - which is a lot to try to absorb. Their obstacles are so real - a husband who becomes addicted to pain killers, a late-in-life marriage and pregnancies, children who are estranged from their gay father, complicated relationships between a mother and her way-ward daughter, and more. While there are many conflicts, there are also very good resolutions.
The theme I found throughout the book was that with time and faith in Heavenly Father, answers will come and help will be sent from above. It may take time and it may not be quite the way you had hoped or envisioned, but in the end everything works out.
If you enjoy books about friendships and relationships between women, then you'll definitely enjoy The Company of Good Women series - especially Surprise Packages.
QOTC Rating: Four Stars
I thought it would be fun to share more about the authors. I was fascinated that each of the authors chose one of the lady characters, then wrote from that character's point-of-view. What a fun way to co-author! Here are the author's bios. Below that, you'll find a list of other blogs who are participating in this blog tour. Go check out what others are saying about Surprise Packages! Enjoy!
Lael Littke: Growing up on an Idaho farm, I had two dreams: to become a writer and to see many countries of the world. Dreams can come true. I now have 43 published books, mostly for teenagers and children, and I’ve visited 32 countries. My last three books have been women’s novels, written with co-authors Nancy Anderson and Carroll Morris. The trilogy of novels deals with the lives of three Mormon women. My credentials for writing these books are that I am a Mormon woman! My husband died a few years ago, and my daughter, Lori, and her husband live in a nearby city. My housemates at present are my cats, and I am content.
Carroll Morris is the wife of Gary Morris and the mother of four adult children. She has had a varied work experience—as a piano teacher, catalog copywriter, substitute German teacher, hypnotherapist and rapid eye technician. But she always comes back to writing. Aside from the nonfiction book: A Suzuki Parent’s Diary or How I Survived my First 10,000 Twinkles, all of her books have been published by Deseret Book. She enjoys reading, bird watching, hiking, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Nancy Anderson: A mother of five and grandmother to nine active grandchildren, Nancy has had a lifelong passion for learning. While raising her children, she became a Great Books leader in her children’s grade school. Later, she became costume mistress for their high school’s yearly Renaissance Festival, designing and sewing over 50 costumes. An avid gardener, her lovely back yard has been the location of many family and neighborhood events. Coo-authoring The Company of Good Women series fulfills her long-held desire to become a published author.
Blog Tour Hosts
August 1st: Candace Salima
August 1st: Tristi Pinkston
August 1st: Shirley Bahlmann
August 2nd: Traci Abramson
August 2nd: Keith Fisher
August 4th: Don Carey
August 4th: Alison Palmer
August 4th: Jewel Adams
August 5th: Lynda Bennett
August 7th: Nichole Giles
August 8th: Karen Hoover
August 8th: Karlene Browning
August 15th: Stephanie Humphries
August 18th: Jen Lords
August 20th: Kim Thompson
August 21st: Heather Moore
August 22nd: Alison Palmer
August 23rd: Heather Justesen
August 26th: Marsha Ward
August 27th: Stephanie Black
August 28th: Rebecca Shelley
August 28th: Anne Bradshaw
August 29th: Carole Warburton
August 30th: LuAnn Staheli
August 30th: Tristi Pinkston