Love is the theme of A New Day at Tanglewood, book two in the Coming Home to Ruby Prairie Series by Annette Smith. Charlotte Carter, the book’s main character, is a widow who has recently opened Tanglewood, a home for troubled teen girls. Charlotte and her friend Treasure Evans who lives at Tanglewood to help Charlotte, show the girls love and provide them with the security of knowing that they’ll always have a home at Tanglewood.
A large portion of the plot involves Beth, a fifteen-year-old Tanglewood resident who is trying to adjust after running away with her boyfriend. Beth’s situation begins to improve with her acceptance into a special program, providing her with a private-school education and a full-ride to college. However, a twist in the plot robs Beth of that opportunity and sets the stage for Charlotte to display unconditional love and acceptance to Beth.
In the midst of the drama going on at Tanglewood, romance makes an appearance in the lives of both Charlotte and Treasure. By the end of the book, there’s even a wedding.
Charlotte is a very endearing character. She is a picture of love itself. She is patient and kind, and even when she claims to not know what to say, she always seems to say just the right thing that the girls need to hear. Treasure is a picture of a true servant. The girls seem like average girls who come from difficult backgrounds. As for the townspeople, they are so stereotypical that readers will recognize someone in each one of them.
The novel starts off very slow: it took me until chapter eight or nine to really get into it. The narrative is written in a way that mimics the Texan accents of the characters, which is distracting. Although the theme of the story and the plot line are enjoyable, the characters are not very believable. They don’t seem like they have enough faults to be real. Everyone loves a happy ending, however, the ending of this story is a bit unbelievable as everything gets wrapped up too perfectly.
Adult women are those who would most likely want to read this book. I am undecided as to whether I would recommend this book or not. Once I got into the book, I enjoyed it, but it was a push to make it to that point. -- Jennifer Logue, Christian Book Previews.com
There is never a dull moment in Ruby Prairie, especially since young widow Charlotte Carter has opened Tanglewood, a pink Victorian refuge for troubled girls. Sixty-two-year-old massage therapist, Treasure Evans, comes to live at Tanglewood to help with another newcomer to Ruby Prairie, Jasper Jones. Packed with surprises, romances and a bit of trouble, A New Day at Tanglewood is sure to be an enjoyable read.