Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Crayon Messages

This is the first novel I read for the Summer Book Trek 2008. The author is Christine Thackeray, and Cedar Fort published it.

Cath Reed’s life is in a turmoil. She has just moved to a new city, her husband travels constantly, she feels like she is losing touch with her daughter, and she can’t seem to make any friends in her new ward.

Then she is delighted to be assigned a visiting teaching route—until the Relief Society secretary commands her not to visit any of the sisters. This is a letter-writing route composed of inactive sisters, the secretary explains. Also, Cath isn’t supposed to contact her companion, Gwen, who lives in a home for the elderly. The secretary only put down Gwen's name because the computer program forced her to fill in the “companion” blank.

In an attempt to reach out for human companionship, Cath decides to make contact with the ladies on her route anyway. She calls the home where Gwen lives and makes an appointment to visit her. Then she gets reluctant agreements from the teachees to meet her at the home to make Gwen’s day brighter.

Gwen, it turns out, is asleep when Cath arrives. She tells the nurse she’ll wait until Gwen wakes up, but that may be for several days, as Gwen has an illness that makes her drop off for days at a time!

I was intrigued and satisfied by this tender novel that recounts Cath’s struggles to connect and thrive in a new and sometimes hostile environment. The characters are well-drawn and memorable. The plot moves at a fast pace, with twists and turns and plenty of obstacles. I’m looking forward to Christine’s next work of fiction.


  1. I enjoyed your review--sounds like an interesting book. Thanks.

  2. Great review! Thanks for participating in the Summer Book Trek.

  3. Thank you, Marsha. I'm glad you enjoyed it and promise I'll get back to writing as soon as I've moved. I'm at that tricky part with the next one where you know where you want to go but am struggling with how to get there honestly, without plot manipulation. I just joined a writer's group so I'm hoping to get direction.


I welcome your comments.

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