Review by CaitlinClosed the Cover
The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester follows the life of the McCarthy family and all the secrets and torments the family carries along with them. John McCarthy is a second generation farmer in Montana. He still lives on the same farm that he himself grew up on as a little boy. There, he and his wife Alice, also raised their young son Hank. After a childhood of feeling emotionally abandoned by his father and as though his father did not care much for him, Hank eloped with his wife, Elle, and moved to a little bunkhouse. In this bunkhouse, just across a bridge on the same property, they raised their three children: George, Evan, and Tara.
Later on in her life Alice develops Alzheimers disease and dies. This tragedy brings the entire family home and together again. Grampa John (McCarthy) can see all of the pain the family is feeling and knows that it is not just because they lost Alice, their mother and grandmother. Grampa John soon sets himself off on a mission to help his family purge their pain and to fix his own relationship with his son. His mission is built upon his teaching the lasting lesson "Don't forget where you came from."
I thought this book was incredible! I’m going to shout it out now…move over, Nicholas Sparks!
This book not only taught valuable life lessons but it was a real tear-jerker; not to mention the fact that I could not put it down! For the life of me, I could not put this book down once I opened it up and began reading. I was immediately hooked on this family’s story. I had it completely read in one day and savored each and every moment of this intricate story. Manchester not only captured the mission of Grampa John (to help relieve his family's suffering) but he also showed insight into each family member's individual story. The reader is given just enough information to explain how each character became the person that they are but no individual story ever overshadowed another.
I really felt that I was there, on that farm in Montana, as the story was taking place. I felt as though I actually was one of Grampa John's grandkids hearing his words and taking advice. This book moved me so much! I know I will remember the lessons that he so carefully taught and place them into my own life. It made me want to live on that quaint little farm in Montana and live out a long and happy life. I felt so emotionally connected to all of the characters that it actually pained me to read about them hurting. All I wanted for them was for their suffering to end.
The only reason why this rating was not a full five stars is because of some minor grammatical and spelling errors. These errors could have easily been picked up by an editor and were so sparse it is hardly worth mentioning. If, however, you are an incredible stickler for proper grammar and spelling it could really pull you out of the story. I do highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more books by Steven Manchester. He is extremely talented and wrote an incredible book in “The Rockin’ Chair.”