Still Time by Maria Hoagland
Published: August 2014, 322 pages
Source: I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Description: Thrust into the chaos of her mother-in-law’s hoarding and forgetfulness, LDS church member Alyssa Johnston wishes she could retreat to a simpler time when her kids were small and almost anything could be fixed with a hug. But reassurance and a quick distraction no longer erase the pain of a missionary son who is struggling, a young teen who is bullied, or a daughter who is distant. As Aly’s own life and relationship with her husband plunge out of control, she wonders if her faith will be enough to keep her family—or herself—from falling apart.
Still Time is a deeply moving story about a woman’s faithful journey into the next phase of her life. You will laugh with Aly, feel her sorrow, and see yourself in Maria Hoagland’s realistic, heartfelt portrayal of a woman’s struggle to keep her family safe and hold back time as long as she can.
My Review: Sometime realistic fiction turns me off because I read to escape real life, but I can't stop thinking about this one. Alyssa (Aly) finds herself in a world that has turned upside down. Sacrificing everything to help her family, she finds herself learning a lot about people, life in general, and herself.
I could totally relate to some of this book. First of all, it starts out with Alyssa running an exercise class at the church. I do that! I knew right away that I would have some type of connection with her. My husband and I have talked about moving and seeing what this family went through made me realize how difficult it can be on the kids. I have a son who will be missionary age in less than two years now and even now he seems up and down--those struggles carry over, I'm sure. There were so many things that were similar to my life--crazy work and travel schedule for husband, distant teen daughter, picked on son, trying to balance church, motherhood, time for self, etc for the wife. Fortunately, my mother-in-law is perfectly fine, although she cared for her own mother-in-law who suffered from some health and memory problems (what a Saint!). I can't even imagine having to throw that into the mix.
I love how strong Aly becomes, yet she's far from perfect. The chapter titles were very fitting and all had to do with time. I loved how everything ended up--it was just right for the story.
About the Author:
When Maria Hoagland is not working at her computer, she can be found walking barefoot in soft grass, remodeling houses with her husband, or enjoying campfires with their three children. She loves crunching leaves in the fall, stealing cookie dough from the mixing bowl, and listening to musicals on her iPod. Maria earned her degree at Brigham Young University, and although she adores mountain resorts near her Idaho home, she is no longer a fan of ice skating.
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