The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

PRESSED PENNIES By Steven Manchester

Pressed Pennies by Steven ManchesterPublisher:  Story Plant
Expected Release Date:  May 13, 2014
Pages:  355
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

Book Description:  Rick and Abby grew up together, became best friends, and ultimately fell in love. Circumstance tore them apart in their early teens, though, and they went on to lives less idyllic than they dreamed about in those early days. Rick has had a very successful career, but his marriage flat-lined. Abby has a magical daughter, Paige, but Paige's father nearly destroyed Abby's spirit.

Now fate has thrown Rick and Abby together again. In their early thirties, they are more world-weary than they were as kids. But their relationship still shimmers, and they're hungry to make up for lost time. However, Paige, now nine, is not nearly as enthusiastic. She's very protective of the life she's made with her mother and not open to the duo becoming a trio. Meanwhile, Rick has very little experience dealing with kids and doesn't know how to handle Paige. This leaves Abby caught between the two people who matter the most to her. What happens when the life you've dreamed of remains just inches from your grasp?

PRESSED PENNIES is a nuanced, intensely romantic, deeply heartfelt story of love it its many incarnations, relationships in their many guises, and family in its many meanings. It is the most accomplished and moving novel yet from a truly great storyteller of the heart.

Wanda's Thoughts:  Again, another wonderful heartfelt story, written by an author who never disappoints, with good old-fashioned story telling.

Abby is left with no choice. She must leave an abusive marriage and start a new life along with her daughter, Paige. They step out of the past and into an unknown future to make new memories together. 

Eight-year-old Paige feels abandoned by her father, who seems to always forget her. And now she is feeling threatened by Rick Giles, who is giving her mom too much attention. There seems to be a whole new world out there and she is suddenly sharing her mom’s love with someone else. It was suppose to be just the two of them. 

Rick Giles is climbing the ladder to success at a leading investment company. He and his wife had everything – a vacation home, big bank accounts - everything but each other. Rick was tired of his lifelong quest to accumulate wealth. He and his wife only had a starter marriage and it finally ends in divorce with no children. Rick was ready to view life from a different perspective when he meets Abby, his old childhood sweetheart. 

And the story unfolds as Rick and Abby follow their hearts and fall in love all over again. Abby deeply touches Rick’s soul and it seems they are headed for a future together, but Paige has other ideas. She is brokenhearted and filled with pain and anger, not wanting to share her mom’s love.

This was a warm-hearted love story that just makes you feel good. The relationship between Abby and Rick was beautifully rendered, showing that happiness can be found in the simple things in life. The characters were a delight and there were various scenes between Abby and Paige that I found very touching. Pressed Pennies was a light read with a happy, but predictable ending-a real joy to read! My rating is 4 stars. 

I received a complimentary copy from the author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own. 

Steven ManchesterThe Author - Steven Manchester is the author of the The Rockin' Chair, as well as the #1 best seller, Twelve Months (2013 San Francisco Book Festival award winner). He is also the author of Goodnight, Brian, A Christmas Wish, Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy, Jacob Evans, and several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or his four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing. Visit: