Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Casting the Net

About The Book:  This is a heartwarming English comedy of manners, featuring the trials and tribulations of newly ordained minister, Neil Fisher.  In part two of the Dunbridge Chronicles, Neil Fisher returns from ordination inspired by his sense of ministry, but determined to distance himself from the two ladies in his life. This is not altogether well received, and a wide segment of the congregation of St Stephen’s, Dunbridge—including the music group—points Neil to the error of his ways.  Meanwhile Neil’s close friend Colin and his wife, Jeannie, are delighted by the birth of a daughter, but is all well with the baby? Neil’s mother Iris continues to meddle, to his irritation. Churchwarden Peter has said a relieved farewell to his flighty wife Glenda—or has he? Dunbridge is not as peaceful as it seems. 
(From the back cover):   Neil Fisher returns from ordination inspired by his vocation, and determined not to let his love life get in the way.  Some might think a man lucky to have two women declaring their love for him, but it’s not that straightforward when you’re a priest!
Neil’s second year as curate of St. Stephen’s, in the small town of Dunbridge, promises to be no quieter than the first.  There are joys to be celebrated, worries to be shared, and bereavements that shake the community to its core.  And of course, there are the women who mean to take care of him – from his domineering mother, Iris, who appears to have moved in, and Wendy, who knows she’d make him the perfect wife, to Claire, who doesn’t believe in God, but does believe in Neil.  Neil Fisher returns and he is definitely living up to his name for he is a fisher of men and women.  The little town of Dunbridge needs him and he needs to people of Dunbridge.  Together this is a win-win situation.  There is a lot going on in conflicts, births and deaths are just some of what Neil has to contend with.  Then there is his mother and the women who want to marry him. This story is the kind that plays out best in a small town in an English countryside.  Dunbridge is a town that I would not mind living in.  The people who there are terrific and life, while it has its ups and downs, is slow and easy.  I am glad Ms. Rhodes has given us this new taste of life there I can hardly wait to visit again Neil and the people of Dunbridge.

About The Author(from Panmedia):  Pam Rhodes has been the familiar face of BBC Television’s SONGS OF PRAISE for over twenty years, with high profile interviews and meetings including the Pope, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, Sir James Galway, Sir Harry Secombe, Pat Boone, Sir Cliff Richard, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Dame Thora Hird, the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Reverend Jesse Jackson, members of the Royal Family and Dolly Parton!  Pam cut her teeth in news journalism, being the anchor for ANGLIA TELEVISION’s daily evening news program for seven years, in addition to presenting network holiday and travel programs, her own daily interview series on LIFESTYLE TELEVISION, RADIO 2 and other long-term commitments for LONDON WEEKEND, THAMES AND BFBS TELEVISION.  She is currently presenting the weekly series COUNTRY DAYS, an affectionate look at the landscape of East Anglia over the years, for ANGLIA TELEVISION, and for six years, she has also had her own weekly program on PREMIER RAIOD.  She is well known as an After Dinner speaker, and often comperes large orchestral and musical events at symphony halls around the country, having presented prestigious television recordings from venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House.   She is established herself as a prolific mainstream author in recent years, with five novels and four factual books under her belt.  She is married to Richard Crow, and they live in an old farmhouse in Bedfordshire where she’s a patron of many local charities.  Nationally she’s a Vice President of THE CHURCH ARMY, and Patron of MHA (METHODIST HOMES FOR THE AGED), THE FORESTERS’ CHARITY STEWARDS UK TRUST and WILDLIFE AID.  She’s also particularly committed to the work of THE SALVATION ARMY, CHRISTIAN AID, HEARING DOGS FOR DEAF PEOPLE, JOHN GROOMS ASSOCIATION FOR THE DISABLED and THE HOSPICE MOVEMENT.  Locally she’s a patron of THE PASQUE HOSPICE including KEECH COTTAGE CHILDREN’S HOSPICE, and a Trustee of THE LISTER HOSPITAL APPEAL providing much needed extra facilities for the area’s major NHS Hospital.  Many moons ago, she was one of George Mitchell’s BLACK AND WHITE MINSTRELS, and as a qualified youth worker volunteered to teach dancing and drama in youth clubs around London for ten years.  She still loves dancing – in fact, she met her husband at a jiving class where he threw her into a ‘seducer’ and she’s been there ever since!  She’s happiest in her wellies pottering about in the garden, loves singing, plays the piano very badly when she thinks no-one’s listening – and can turn her hand to a mean party piece on the concert xylophone when really pressed!

My Thoughts About The Book:  Pam Rhodes' newest book, Casting the Net , part of The Dunbridge Chronicles is written in a style very much like the Mitford Series.  I adored the Mitford series so I was sure I would enjoy this book and it did not disappoint.  It is a wonderfully light-hearted fiction set in a small church I liked the idea of this book more than the actual book.  I loved the fact that it was a compilation of snapshots in the life of the towns vicar.  I enjoyed learning more about the life of Anglican priests.  When I think of the term priest,  I rarely think of them in relationships or considering marriage. The characters were interesting and lovable, with a many unpredictable situations arising that kept you drawn into the story. As a pastor of a small rural church  I enjoyed reading about how this church was trying to increase their community outreach programs, which is something I struggle with all the time.  I have always been drawn to stories of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales and this one did not disappoint.   Rhodes did a great job showing many of the struggles that are common to all of us: death, temptation, friendship, anger, et al.  I liked the portrayals of  acceptance and grace.  If you are looking for a serious book filled with spirituality this is not for you.  If you are looking for a light feel-good read to occupy some down time then this book is perfect. 

Disclaimer:  I received this book free from Kregel Publication Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”  Thanks guys for allowing me this opportunity!

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