With this book featuring a family with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, I'd like to share an SMA charity which helps real life victims of this illness and their families.
THE IN-BETWEEN PLACE
Alice Connelly was headed for the perfect life, with her steady-as-a-rock husband, Ryan, a successful architect, her beautiful, smart toddler daughter, Olivia, and a great career of her own, which she was sure was about to include a promotion and raise.
But when Alice has her second child, Oliver, from the beginning, it seems like everything is wrong. At four months, Oliver is diagnosed with a rare condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, or SMA, and given only two years to live.
But Oliver surprises everyone by living much longer than anyone predicted. Although he can’t move any of his muscles, his is brilliant, funny, and takes his limitations in stride. His mother, Alice, has given up her career to care for him, and his sisters, Olivia and Poppy, are forced to pretend he will live forever, even when they know the real truth, while Ryan keeps pushing his raw feelings away, staying disconnected from everyone around him.
Filled with surprising twists and turns, The In-Between Place will have you up reading until the wee hours. It makes us ask: How much can one family endure without being shattered and how do you pick up the pieces when life throws too much at you? You’ll laugh and cry and wish for something better for the Connelleys. And think about your own family, as well.
THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS
When 22-year-old Elizabeth Brenner lands in New Jersey with her 15-month-old daughter, Lotty, she doesn’t know a soul. And she prefers it that way. She’s struggling with her own demons—her family in Utah, who essentially threw her out, her ex-boyfriend Evan and father of her baby, and just enough money so that she won’t have to work for a little while. Three-and-a-half years later Elizabeth is running out of money and needs a job. But what can she do without an education or any real work experience?
When a job opening for a Bookmobile driver at her local library appears, she applies and gets the job. Now she begins to make friends: Estelle, a 95-year-old woman with a 70-year-old secret, Harper, a 16-year-old high school drop-out who isn’t homeless but might as well be, and Sabrina, a pregnant mother whose secret is so big that she won’t even tell her husband. As Elizabeth juggles all of her new friends’ needs, she meets her neighbor Jeff, and then she finds herself doing something she swore she would never do again…..
Full of surprising people with surprising stories, The Natural Order of Things will make you laugh and cry, ponder and hope.
A MILLION ORDINARY DAYS
Allison Wheeler is fighting a war inside her body, a war with Multiple Sclerosis that she doesn’t want to acknowledge and certainly doesn’t want other people to see.
As Allison’s health deteriorates, she tries desperately to hold on to all that is important to her – her family, her career as a social worker for pregnant teens, and most of all, her independence. As her ex-husband and two daughters rally around her, they’re fighting their own demons – Glenn, in a new relationship, is afraid of shifting the comfortable companionship that he and Allison have built since their divorce fifteen years back. Melanie, whose sad past haunts her, is an adult realizing that adult life is not all it’s cracked up to be, and Hailey, a junior in high school, is debating how she can go off to college knowing that even though she desperately wants to spread her wings and fly, her mother may be too ill for her to go. Just when they all think they’ve made peace with their lives, they must readjust to a “new” normal – or risk losing everything they’ve struggled to hold onto.
Sarah Lyons is eight months pregnant in 1994 when she moves into her new neighborhood, eager to make friends. When Robin Daniels, a neighbor down the street, shows up with a plate of cookies and a tearful face, Sarah can’t help but be drawn to her immediately.
Though Robin is infertile and Sarah is pregnant, they bond right away. For the first time in her life, Sarah has a best friend other than her mother, and everything else she could ever desire: a hard-working husband andbeautiful new daughter. But then Robin wants something from Sarah that Sarah isn’t sure she can give, and that creates a secret that could wind up destroying not one, but two families.
In 2015 Sarah and her family have moved a half hour’s drive – but seemingly a world away – from Robin and the neighborhood and the friendship they once shared. Late one night, unable to sleep, Sarah goes looking for Robin but finds only the unexpected. What happened to Robin? And who knows the secret now? Does Sarah have an obligation to reveal it, or should it lie within her forever? She takes a good look at the life she leads – lonely, a distant husband, a daughter on the other side of the country--and wonders what she should do with the emptiness she feels.
In this moving novel about love, loss, friendship, and hope, START AT THE BEGINNING considers the idea that what defines a relationship may vary from one person to another and that the way we see things may not always reflect their reality.
START AT THE BEGINNING
"This is the first book that I've ready by Judy Mollen Walters and I've decided that I need to go back and read her older books because I enjoyed this book and her writing style so much. This is an author that I can really enjoy."
--A reader on GoodReads
THE PLACE TO SAY GOODBYE
When Genevieve Sterner gets the call in New Jersey that her parents have been killed in a car crash, she must inform her siblings. But it’s not as simple as picking up a phone.
She emails her identical twin sister, Eleanor, who lives far away in Hawaii, because she doesn’t have her phone number.
She can’t even do that with Carson, her nonverbal autistic brother who has never said a word. So she goes to his day care program, and still, when she tells him, she has no idea if he understands.
When Eleanor arrives in New Jersey to help plan the funeral, she hasn’t seen her family in three years. She brings with her secrets that must be exposed.
And Carson understands everything, but without means to communicate, he can’t let anyone know what he thinks or feels. So he grunts, screeches, and clenches his fists in frustration, living inside his head, trying to make sense of his world.
The Place To Say Goodbye is the story of three very different siblings, hope, love, loss, and the bonds that hold them together.
"What strikes me about "The Place to Say Goodbye" is the clarity of voice. Judy Mollen Walters hits exactly the right note in this poignant novel. She constructs the book so we hear from the three main characters: Carson, Eleanor and Genevieve, in ways that are distinctive and vivid. To hear the inner dialogue of Carson, a young man living with severe autism, demonstrates Walters's profound understanding of this often misunderstood diagnosis. To hear the frustration in Genevieve and the guilt of Eleanor as twin sisters who chose different paths within the family dynamic compounds the complexity of a family living with autism. Few books tackle such a subject with the right balance of reality and compassion. Walters hits it on the mark!"
--A reader on Amazon
THE OPPOSITE OF NORMAL
When Rabbi Mark Friedlander moves his teenage children from Manhattan to a quiet town in Northwestern New Jersey after the death of their mother, he hopes for a fresh start, a place for him and his children to heal while he leads a vibrant synagogue that will embrace them. What he gets instead is just the opposite.
His daughter, Hannah, twelve, struggles with grief, loneliness, and what it means to be Jewish as a Chinese adoptee. She wants to fit in, but that's difficult in their new mostly white and Christian town--so she decides to secretly convert.
His son, Aaron, a senior in high school, is applying to Ivy League schools and counting down to when he can leave the small town--until he discovers a shocking secret that threatens his entire future.
Lurking in the shadows is a pastor who says he just wants to support the kids in his congregation, but is that all he really wants?
The Opposite of Normal is about what it means to love and accept, what it means to do the right thing, and what it means to heal after loss.
"Once I started this book, I was caught from chapter one. Great family drama, touches on a lot of social issues. It gave me a lot of things to think about as I read it and I felt as a non-Jew I learned alot about what it must be like to grow up Jewish. I was left wanting to know more about the characters and how life turned out for them years down the road. I would recomend this novel to anyone who likes family type dramas such as Jodi Piccoult writes. Judy Walters is a writer to watch! Looking forward to reading more of her work!"
--A reader on Amazon
© 2012 by REBECCA WALTERS
CHILD OF MINE
What lengths would you go to in order to become a mother? Midwife Katie Cohen-Langer delivers babies for a living, but despite years of intensive infertility treatments and growing desperation, she can't have her own child.
As families grow under Katie's careful watch, her husband wants to move on to adoption. But Katie, who was adopted as a newborn, can't bear the thought of never having a biological connection to anyone.
So she sets off on a journey to the other side of the country, along with her emotionally unstable sister, to find her biological relatives.
What she discovers about her roots --and about the parents who adopted her -- rocks her world in a way she never could have expected. And even as she deals with what she finds, she still needs to figure out a way to become a mother.