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Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope (edition 2012)

by Karen Kingsbury

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162973,595 (3.8)1
Member:jbarr5
Title:Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope
Authors:Karen Kingsbury
Info:Zondervan (2012), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Coming Home: A Story of Undying Hope by Karen Kingsbury

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Each chapter features a different Baxter family member and is basically a retelling of the book that the character appeared in previously. Blaugh. More happy, shining people who speak in platitudes with no depth.

Thankfully I think this is the last of this series and I will never again take a Kingsbury book out of the library. Really. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
This was the 24th book Karen wrote about the Baxter family.

It made me cry more than once but it was so well written and so touching that if you haven't read the rest of the series, read this one and then go back to the beginning.

Karen does an excellent job of allowing people who do not have the full back stories of the Baxter children to be able to read this book and love it and then want to read all the others to get the details of everyone's life.

The Baxter family is reuniting for John's 70th birthday. Each child is to write a letter to John and will read them at his surprise birthday party at Ashley's house (formerly the Baxter house).

There are some very touching moments in this book and a great ending to the Baxters, I still hope that we will hear from them again someday as I feel like they could be my neighbors with all I know about them.

( )
  jnut1 | Mar 4, 2014 |
This final chapter in the saga of the Baxter family that spans several different series begins as a feel-good novel that quickly turns dark. Nevertheless the book taken in its entirety is a work of hope and faith and God's faithfulness in the midst of devastating circumstances. For those who have never experienced tragedy it may be hard to imagine that people can ever have a positive outlook after such sadness and heartache - but I have seen it in real life in the faces of people who've lost everything including their children, homes, and every last bit of what they ever owned but nonetheless have emerged triumphant and without bitterness. An important look at how real faith in God can be. ( )
  SherylHendrix | Nov 20, 2013 |
This was another heart-wrenching book from Karen Kingsbury! I will try my best not to add any spoilers until the end. You're welcome. :)

This book was not at all what I expected it to be. As I stated in my review for the Bailey Flanigan series, I've been following the Baxter family since the beginning of time. If this is your introduction to the Baxters, and you read this as a stand-alone book like the description says, then you'll probably just view it as a drama you could read for a good cry. As for me, like the Bailey Flanigan series, it goes a bit further than that.

Karen Kingsbury has been one of my favorite Christian authors for a very long time and I would recommend most of her books to anyone because they reach the reader straight to the heart. They are so real. I know that Karen is transitioning to a new publisher, and I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps they are requiring her to write more books in less time. Since the Bailey series it seems like her books have become rushed and far away from what made them real and wonderful. Coming Home is a good read, and I feel like Karen reached some of her roots again. Although, the parts with Bailey and Brandon still made me cringe! I tried to get through them as fast as possible so I didn't have to go through that despair all over again!

So, Coming Home. Although it took up some space in the beginning, I liked the recollection of everyone's pasts and how they got to where they are. That was nice for nostalgia's sake, and it's also nice for new readers who need some of the back-story. It was heart-felt and reconnected the characters with the story and each other. As for the events that took place after that, I understand tragedy happens when we least expect it, and it was another journey Karen took us through the life of the Baxters. I think the worst part about it, is that this wasn't just another book within the series, it was supposed to be the wrap-up for the entire series. Honestly, I just don't think is was a good way to wrap it all up to a close. It felt unfinished. It felt like there needed to be more, and it felt like it ended way too soon. Perhaps she has yet another Baxter installment up her sleeve, but I just didn't find this to be a good ending to the entirety of the Baxters.

****WARNING - SPOILERS****

In the beginning it seemed like such a big deal to be celebrating John Baxter's birthday with everyone writing letters to him. The direction I expected this book to go was something was going to happen to John Baxter and he would pass away, "going home." When I entered into this book, I was thinking that actually would have been a great way to wrap up the journey we've taken with the Baxters, because in a way, it all started with John and Elizabeth. However, it was so far away from that and in the end, all those letters and John's birthday didn't seem quite as important as we entered into the story thinking they were. It was kind of disappointing. It also seemed out of place and inconsistent to kill off an entire family (or I guess "sub-family") the way Karen did. Like I said before, it all felt incomplete. I miss Karen's old writing, and from other reviews I see that I'm not the only one.

****END SPOILERS****

So if you're looking for a tear-jerker and you haven't read any other books by Karen, this is a pretty good book. If I hadn't read them all I would probably give it 4.5 stars. But because I have, I have to give it 3.5. I would advise that you start from the "Redemption" series, because those are all top-notch. ( )
  TheIndigoQuill | May 14, 2013 |
A very sad book, yet also full of hope. Still, Karen Kingsbury's last few books have been somewhat disappointing. ( )
  Angela.Kelkenberg | Apr 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This was another heart-wrenching book from Karen Kingsbury! I will try my best not to add any spoilers until the end. :)

This book was not at all what I expected it to be. As I stated in my review for the Bailey Flanigan series, I've been following the Baxter family since the beginning of time. If this is your introduction to the Baxters, and you read this as a stand-alone book like the description says, then you'll probably just view it as a drama you could read for a good cry. As for me, like the Bailey Flanigan series, it goes a bit further than that.

Karen Kingsbury has been one of my favorite Christian authors for a very long time and I would recommend most of her books to anyone because they reach the reader straight to the heart. They are so real. I know that Karen is transitioning to a new publisher, and I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps they are requiring her to write more books in less time. Since the Bailey series it seems like her books have become rushed and far away from what made them real and wonderful. Coming Home is a good read, and I feel like Karen reached some of her roots again. Although, the parts with Bailey and Brandon still made me cringe! I tried to get through them as fast as possible so I didn't have to go through that despair all over again!

So, Coming Home. Although it took up some space in the beginning, I liked the recollection of everyone's pasts and how they got to where they are. That was nice for nostalgia's sake, and it's also nice for new readers who need some of the back-story. It was heart-felt and reconnected the characters with the story and each other. As for the events that took place after that, I understand tragedy happens when we least expect it, and it was another journey Karen took us through the life of the Baxters. I think the worst part about it, is that this wasn't just another book within the series, it was supposed to be the wrap-up for the entire series. Honestly, I just don't think is was a good way to wrap it all up to a close. It felt unfinished. It felt like there needed to be more, and it felt like it ended way too soon. Perhaps she has yet another Baxter installment up her sleeve, but I just didn't find this to be a good ending to the entirety of the Baxters.

****WARNING - SPOILERS****

In the beginning it seemed like such a big deal to be celebrating John Baxter's birthday with everyone writing letters to him. The direction I expected this book to go was something was going to happen to John Baxter and he would pass away, "going home." When I entered into this book, I was thinking that actually would have been a great way to wrap up the journey we've taken with the Baxters, because in a way, it all started with John and Elizabeth. However, it was so far away from that and in the end, all those letters and John's birthday didn't seem quite as important as we entered into the story thinking they were. It was kind of disappointing. It also seemed out of place and inconsistent to kill off an entire family (or I guess "sub-family") the way Karen did. Like I said before, it all felt incomplete. I miss Karen's old writing, and from other reviews I see that I'm not the only one.

****END SPOILERS****

So if you're looking for a tear-jerker and you haven't read any other books by Karen, this is a pretty good book. If I hadn't read them all I would probably give it 4.5 stars. But because I have, I have to give it 3.5. I would advise that you start from the "Redemption" series, because those are all top-notch.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310266246, Paperback)

Coming Home is a novel about tremendous victory and unprecedented loss, a story of faith and a forever kind of love, love that will stay with you long after the last page. This stand-alone novel will serve as either a grand introduction or a beautiful conclusion in the saga of the Baxter Family. The Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, a celebration like they haven't had in years. But before the big day, the unthinkable happens. As the Baxter Family rallies together, memories come to light in the grief-stricken hours of waiting and praying, memories that bring healing and hope during a time when otherwise darkness might have the final word. In a season that changes all of them, the brilliance of family love overshadows even the valley of heartache as the Baxters draw closer to God and each other. Along the way, secrets are revealed and the truth about the Baxter Family history is finally made known. Ultimately, in this portrait of family love, the Baxters cling to each other and to God's promise of forever.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:49 -0400)

As the Baxters make plans to come together for a summer lakeside reunion, the unthinkable happens, the family rallies together, and memories come to light that bring healing and hope during a time when darkness might have the final word.

(summary from another edition)

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