Monday, October 10, 2016

Into Magnolia (Rosemary Hines) Book Review

2016 Reading Challenge

28. Into Magnolia by Rosemary Hines

Amber Gamble sat on the floor beside her bed. I hate them. All of them, she thought to herself.
As Michelle Baron ascends the steps of Magnolia Middle School, her life is about to change forever. The dream of becoming a teacher leads her on an unexpected journey that will challenge her professionally and personally. Although 180 students file through her classroom daily, one demands her attention more than the others. Living in her third foster home in a year, Amber’s bitterness and rebellion spark a challenge within Michelle to somehow make a difference in this troubled girl’s life.
Meanwhile, Michelle’s daughter develops a series of unexplainable bruises. A stunning visit to the pediatrician reveals frightening possibilities. While Michelle tries to hold her fears at bay, Amber approaches her with a daunting crisis of her own.

My Review:
As Michelle starts her new career as a middle school teacher, she doesn't realize how much it will challenge her professionally and personally. Balancing both areas of her life is hard to maintain at first, but she does get a system down before long. One student doesn't make it any easier, though. Amber is a bit if a trouble maker, but she comes from a rough background. Her dad is not in the picture and since her mom has been in and out of drug rehabs and psychiatric hospitals, Amber has been in and out of foster care and is now in her third foster home in a year, separated from her brother. All she needs is someone to trust, someone to care, other than her social worked. Michelle decides to take her on as somewhat as a mentor to let her know that there are people in her side, that there are people who care. What starts out as simple, small things at first turns into more than Michelle can ever imagine. Everyone else thinks Michelle's taking on more than she can handle, but she believes she can make a difference in Amber's life.

In the midst of all that, Michelle's daughter, Madison, starts developing mysterious bruises. When Michelle and Steve learn that their five year old daughter may have leukemia, it's all they can do but think the worst. They soon figure out that the waiting game is the hardest and it seems like forever before the results come back. I think that is something we all can relate to, in some way or another. I liked how they approached and handled the situation with Madison throughout those few weeks. Before long, everyone's relieved when they find out she only has a genetic blood disorder rather than cancer.

Everything changes when Amber reveals to both her social worked and Michelle that she's pregnant with her high school boyfriend. Her boyfriend wants her to abort it, but Amber doesn't think that's the way to go. With the help of both women, she finally comes to a decision. Being only 14, Amber knows she doesn't have the resources to take care of a baby, prompting her to ask Michelle for a huge favor: to adopt the baby. It's a decision not to be taken lightly. Michelle and Steve have talked previously about adopting a child, but they don't want to get their hopes as anything can happen, plus they have Madison to consider. They come to figure out that it would be the right choice for them, so they agree. Complications arise with the birth and it's touch and go for a little while. After about a month or so, Michelle and Steve are finally able to bring home their unexpected bundle of joy, Caleb. 

This is the third book in the Sandy Cove series. Click below to see my other reviews: 

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


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