There had to be at least one healthy branch on his family tree...
***Once again, Cathe Swanson has brought us a cast of unique characters in unpredictable situations. There is nothing cookie-cutter about Baggage Claim. Toss out the stereotypes that come to mind when you picture a nanny–this get-it-done woman won’t remind you of Julie Andrews or Fran Drescher, but she’s just as memorable as she shepherds four kids–and their widower dad who needs some parenting lessons. Add a criminal investigation that might put the kids in danger and you’ve got a story that will keep you turning pages…and a plot that will linger in your head long after you close the book. – Becky Melby, author
“No one is promised a normal family, dear, and we all grow up anyhow.”
This is a story of being lost and found in love and in faith. Teresa Cooper remakes herself from abuse victim to “nanny” of four small kids as well as a young father who also needs a bit of a nanny. Ben Taylor was widowed at 24 because of a drunk driver. As the only child adopted by a loving couple, he is beginning to build a life as an adult and not finding it easy struggling with school, work and his kids.He gets discouraged as he finds his biological mother’s family traumatized by the secret of his birth, and part of his road to maturity is finding some more pieces of his puzzle with the journey to his biological father: an artist in the rural area of Michigan who had no idea he existed!
And then Ben stumbles upon a situation at work that might actually take all of this away.
Set in Northern Illinois and the Upper end of Michigan, Swanson has developed a story that we will relate to as much as it might confound us. Can someone be manipulated as Ben was? Can he ever have peace around his losses? Will he be a good father? Will Teresa come out of hiding? How will this truly blended family save each other?
I loved this funny, smart and thoughtful book. I liked how faith, or lack of it, is just a part of the story in a world that might discourage that. I live how each child has a separate personality and how Teresa, and later Jonah, recognize it since they interact more closely with them. And, although you are supposed to not like the “bad guys”, even they are well drawn.
When I finished this book very early this morning,I realized I will miss these people….and am eagerly awaiting Swanson’s next book. Highly recommended. – Andrea L Stoeckel