Item description for After Anne (Coming Home to Brewster) by Roxanne Henke...
Overview "After Anne" marks the first of an exceptional new novel series. Readers will be drawn to the intimacy of Libby and Anne's narratives, and inspired by their story of friendship, forged by fire and inspired by God.
When Anne Abbot moves to Brewster, Olivia Marsden takes an immediate dislike to the newcomer. Anne's perkiness really rankles, and Olivia finds the open way she talks about her faith very annoying. Overwhelmed with the prospect of making a good impression in this, her fifth town in eight years of not-so-happy marriage, Anne prays for a deep friendship and finds herself drawn to cool, aloof Olivia.
One day, Olivia faces a family emergency and turns to Anne for help. In one evening, the two become fast friends. The fledgling friendship deepens when Anne is diagnosed with breast cancer. Misunderstandings, the shadow of death, and a beautiful new life play out in the alternating voices of the main characters.
After Anne marks the first of an exceptional new novel series. Readers will be drawn to the intimacy of Libby and Anne's narratives and inspired by their story of friendship, forged by fire and inspired by God.
From Publishers Weekly In this debut inspirational novel about the faith and friendship of two
smalltown North Dakota women, fresh writing gives a familiar plot new life.
Olivia Marsden is a columnist for the Brewster Banner, but secretly longs to
write a novel (which the prologue hints that this book becomes). She's not
good at relationships, but when perky Anne Abbot moves to town, the two form
a tight-knit friendship. However, their joy about Anne's first pregnancy soon
becomes fear when Anne is diagnosed with breast cancer. As Olivia spends more
and more time helping Anne, her own family slides into chaos in her absence.
Suddenly, in a jarring transition for the reader, Olivia drops her friendship
with Anne. In confusion over her life, Olivia turns to Oprah Winfrey's
television program for guidance, which rather improbably helps Olivia figure
out her past. When she realizes her faults, Olivia makes amends with Anne, but
Anne's cancer is back, and the end looms near. The novel is told in
alternating chapters of first-person narrative from Anne and Olivia, which
makes it a bit lengthy and occasionally repetitious. Readers may also have a
sense of d j vu if they've read Jamie Langston Turner's excellent Some
Wildflower in My Heart, which has startling similarities in plot and
characterization. But the author's voice is distinctly her own, and although
Anne's eventual death is telegraphed from the first page, Henke's poignant
writing will still make even the most jaded readers reach for the Kleenex.
(Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Citations And Professional Reviews After Anne (Coming Home to Brewster) by Roxanne Henke has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
CBA Retailers - 04/01/2002 page 92
Romantic Times - 03/01/2002 page 87
Publishers Weekly - 02/18/2002 page 76
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Studio: Harvest House Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.4" Width: 5.5" Height: 1.1" Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Release Date Mar 15, 2002
Publisher Harvest House Publishers
Series Coming Home To Brewster
Series Number 1
ISBN 0736909672 ISBN13 9780736909679
Availability 0 units.
More About Roxanne Henke
Roxanne Sayler Henke lives in rural North Dakota with her husband, Lorren and their dog, Gunner. They have two, very cool, adult daughters, Rachael and Tegan, equally-cool sons-in-law, Cory and Dave, and one delightful granddaughter, Simone. As a family they enjoy spending time at their lake cabin in northern Minnesota. Roxanne has a degree in Behavioral and Social Science from the University of Mary and for many years was a newspaper humor columnist. She has also written and recorded radio commercials, written for, and performed in, a comedy duo; and co-written school lyceums. She is the author of eight novels.
Roxanne Henke currently resides in the state of North Dakota. Roxanne Henke was born in 1953.
Reviews - What do customers think about After Anne (Coming Home to Brewster)?
An amateurishly written, Christian-themed story about a tragedy affected friendship Jan 14, 2007
Defying the odds, standoffish secular mother of two Olivia Marsden, and pregnant believer Anne Abbot become friends. Drawing on an inner-strength gained through her dealings with life challenges and as a result of Anne's prayers, Olivia experiences a spiritual awakening and accepts Jesus Christ as her personal savior. The story of their relationship is as uninspiring as the personalities of most of the residents of the North Dakota town in which they live.
Examples of Henke's own work reflect the caliber of her writing. Word strings connected by hyphens are used over half a dozen times: wear-a-path-in-the-carpet-regularity, I'm-talking-for-the-baby talk, let's-see-if-this-works reflex, and not-so-easy-to-answer question. Phrases of comparison are unconventional: like cold macaroni and cheese to a kitchen counter top, like a dog getting tossed a pre-chewed bone, like a mechanical dog with a big grin on its face, like writer's Alzheimer's, like a huge rock in a too-small shoe. Sentences are sometimes nonsensical: Jane's cries slit right through my eardrum; Anne's simple question...had made a Pandora's box out of my mind; But there was a melancholy about him that tore at my heart; and My heart continued to beat as if it were a piece of molten lead, hot and heavy, defying any law of science known to man. Selfish people are the norm and can be found everywhere: in a nursing home-a nurse, in the hospital-a doctor, and in Brewster both Olivia (who laments that as a result of accompanying Anne to her treatments, she's neglected her family) and Olivia's friend (who chooses a manicure over the opportunity to help her). The behavior of (cancer-stricken) Anne's relatives is incomprehensible: Her sister criticizes Anne's hairstyle (a wig). Her husband chooses going to work over attending her appointment, saying, "It's probably nothing;" states after learning of the almost certain cancer diagnosis, "Let's not jump to conclusions...You hear about labs screwing up lab tests all the time;" and, when he finally decides to accompany her, acts rudely impatient. Her mother leaves the hospital in the midst of her post-op recovery; checks the cleanliness of her oven upon arriving to care for the newborn during a separate surgical procedure (then dumps the baby at Olivia's when informed about another granddaughter's injury); and when Anne is re-hospitalized, gravely ill, suggests that if she had been more active as a child she might not "have this little sickness."
Bonus features include a (presumptuous) Reader's Guide with a list of prospective book club questions, and several references (as well as an acknowledgement) to Oprah and her talk show. Luckily for her fans, Henke has produced an entire series of books about the self-centered residents of Brewster, which, I can assure you, bear no resemblance to genuine North Dakotans. The memoir, The Horizontal World, of one of those natives, Debra Marquat, provides a more accurate portrayal of life in the most rural state of the lower forty-eight. Higher quality Christian-themed books include: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, and The Greatest Story Ever Told by Fulton Oursler
It made me miss my friend Apr 19, 2006
I review many books as an author and very few end up as "keepers". This one will. The characters, Libby and Anne, were real and the message of friendship beautifully intertwined. I not only fell in love with the characters in this book, but it made me realize that I needed to call a friend, one who is the "Libby" in my life.
After Anne Jan 7, 2006
I was not a reader and this book kept me up at night because I could not put it down. The author, Roxanne Henke, is above all your expectations and the story she shares will remain in your heart forever!
Beautiful story of friendship Nov 4, 2005
This story struck a chord with me because it reminds me of my relationship with my best friend, with only one difference - she doesn't have cancer. Anyone that has read this book will tell you that it is worth every tear shed and kleenex used.
A terrific book! Oct 21, 2005
I loved this book. I hadn't expected to be so moved by it, but I was... it explores relationships of many kinds (husband-wife, parents-kids, friend-friend) and the author has many valuable things to say about them. Especially about close women friends, loss, growth, and the beauty and mystery of loving someone. I cried the last 75 pages... and it was worth every damp Kleenex.