I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 1, 2018)
Book descriptionTwin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.
Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.
When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.
But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.
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Meet the author - Rachel LindenRachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and studied creative writing at Oxford University during college. Currently, Rachel splits her time between Seattle, Washington and Budapest, Hungary where she lives with her husband and two children. Rachel enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.
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It is always nice to experience new authors and this one was no execption. I enjoyed getting to know the two main characters and watching their closeness come back as they traveled. This book had plenty of emotional feel as well as adventure and mystery thrown in. The author writing was easy to read and flowed nicely. Even her descriptions of scenes were well written from international places to what Waverly was doing on her cooking show. It made things seem a little more real. All in all I enjoyed this book and am glad I had the chance to read it.
How My Real Life Experiences Influenced Becoming the Talbot Sisters
I am often asked where I get the inspiration for my books and how much of my real life is in each one. The short answer is: a lot comes from my personal experiences! I love creating stories about hope, courage and connection with a hint of romance and a dash of whimsy. I also enjoy setting each story in beautiful locations around the world that are meaningful to me. Here are 5 ways my real life experiences enriched Becoming the Talbot Sisters!
1. The main themes of the story – infertility, miscarriage, and the exploitation of women are all deeply personal for me. While living in Budapest, we lost our first baby through miscarriage, so I really connected on an emotional level with Waverly’s struggle to have a baby and her loss of multiple pregnancies.
2. Working with a faith based NGO in central Europe, I met and helped many women in trauma. Some of them had endured trafficking and all had endured sexual abuse of some kind. Hearing their stories gave me very authentic insights for the plotline involving Charlie’s past trauma and her dilemma about helping vulnerable women.
3. I set the story mainly in central Europe and Budapest where we lived for 5 years. It’s a beautiful, somewhat undiscovered region of the world, rich with history, culture and delicious food! It was a total delight to allow Waverly and Charlie to experience so much of what I did in my years living and traveling there! My love for the region and my wonderful memories of life there definitely enhanced the story considerably.
4. I am passionate about helping women, and am so excited to be donating 10% of my author proceeds to help end the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women in Europe! I am partnering with an amazing organization, Hope Dies Last, which is based in Budapest and works all over Europe to help women who are being sexually exploited. I have volunteered with this organization and love how they help women!
5. The overarching theme of the story, women being “every day brave,” is one I am deeply passionate about. As women we face so many challenges in life, and I wanted to write a story that encouraged women everywhere to face each challenge with hope, courage and strength! This theme of courage resonates strongly with me, and I hope it will encourage all readers to be “every day brave!”
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