Keeping Up With the Neighbours (review)

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Neighbours 2In Keeping Up with the Neighbours (Neighbours Series 2) author Tracy Krauss treats us to the adventures of colourful Newfoundland siblings who have left the Rock to find their fortunes in Alberta.

The characters (the Malloys—five young men and their sister) are earthy, relatable, often humorous, and interesting. We follow them as they find jobs in construction, the oil patch, the woods, the local bar, and a hair dressing salon, and socialize in the evenings with the locals at a neighbourhood watering hole.

These salty characters are not without their realistic problems and flaws, so be prepared for a little more edginess than you’d find in some Christian fiction. But Krauss incorporates faith as well in plot twists that feel plausible and inevitable.

Keeping up with the Neighbours (Neighbours 2) is a lot of fun as well as thought-provoking, dealing with subjects like loyalty, conflicts between immigrant parents and their adult children, alcoholism, religious faith and more. It’s a bit like reading a Calgary-based season of Cheers.

Take advantage of book launch goodies!

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Today  (October 16th) Tracy Krauss is launching her newest novel, Wind Over Marshdale. Buy it today and get all kinds of other great gifts – including books by award winning authors. Click on the link to find out where to buy how to collect those goodies: http://tinyurl.com/bmx6clh

I read Wind Over Marshdale this summer and quite enjoyed it. Here are my thoughts (previously published on Amazon.com).

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Wind Over MarshdaleReview of Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss

Wonderful characters–some of them quirky–people this contemporary tale set in small-town Saskatchewan. Prickly problems abound in the lives of these recognizable folks.

Rachel has accepted a position as a kindergarten teacher in an elementary school to flee her toxic family and a hurtful betrayal.

Thomas Lone Wolf’s dream is to honour his Cree forefathers by building a native centre, but he struggles with synchronizing the native spirituality of his people with his Christian faith.

Pastor Todd is being pulled in opposite directions by the outspoken and prejudiced Marni Hyde and his new parishioner Thomas Lone Wolf. Meanwhile ghosts of the past and his disintegrating marriage have him seeking escape in a dangerous place.

Rancher Con McKinley is the idealistic, dedicated sponsor of Marshdale Community Church’s youth group but also very attracted to the new teacher–who happens to be a stranger to all the beliefs he holds dear.

All the while Mirna Hyde, Marni’s twin sister and the town psychic, plays her own little games of power and control.

Krauss manages to weave these characters and their issues into a captivating story. The prairie setting as well as the staff room and classroom scenes ring true. All in all it’s a great package that entertains as it encourages and inspires with a strong and skillfully delivered Christian message.