The Renovation

Carter Mansion

Christian - Romance - General
337 Pages
Reviewed on 03/10/2009
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Ethan Willis, a restorer of old homes and a perfectionist, takes pride in his work, but his latest job on the old Carter Mansion is beginning to be a big headache. CeCe Carter seldom agrees with him. His life has not been the same since the murder of his wife many years ago. Now, Chase, his son, is a teenager and feels that his father blames him for his mother’s death.

Cameron Dane, newspaper reporter for the town paper, does a story on Ethan and the restoration of the Carter Mansion. They are attracted to each other, but Cameron has to forgive herself for something that has happened when she was a young child. Chase also needs to be forgiven by his dad, Ethan, before he can move ahead.

The Renovation is a great inspirational story. The comparisons of restoring a house and restoring a life became intertwined. The quotes about forgiveness throughout the book give it a depth that makes us realize that without forgiveness there is emptiness in life.

Inspirational Fiction Ent

As a fan of authors Jim and Terri Kraus, this book by Terri writing solo lives up to the great quality of fiction I've come to expect. Wonderfully moving story, memorable characters, fine writing style. I'm recommending it to all my friends--especially those in need of the message of forgiveness, the theme of this book, which is so well-done without being "preachy". And as an avid HGTV viewer, I loved the unique setting/tie-in to the renovation of historic houses. This thoroughly enjoyable book could only have been written so authentically by someone intimately familiar with the whole restoration process. The next two books in the series can't come fast enough for me! Would make an excellent choice for a book club.

Donna Moore

The Renovation is a wonderful novel that focuses on redemption and forgiveness. I loved that Terri Kraus tied together the renovation of a home with the renovation of the lives of her characters. This is a wonderful Christain novel that is perfect for those who love to read books with great developed characters facing real issues. Terri Kraus keeps the readers attention with the conflicts faced by her characters and the charm of a love story. Rarely do you pick up a book that leaves you pondering about the lives of the charaters after you have read the last page. The Renovation will draw you into the lives of these amazing characters and I am eager to read future books by Terri Kraus.

Shari L. Van Baale

I selected this book for review initially because of the intriguing title. I very much admire old houses and the process of rebuilding and restoring them. My dad was a carpenter, and I will always remember helping him hold boards to cut, the smell of freshly cut wood, frequent trips to the lumber yard and going with him to help others with their building projects.

The author has a very good grasp of the english language, and in reading the book, I was happy to learn the meaning of some words that I had never heard before, such as 'pellucid', which means 'very clear'. I love new words! At the beginniing of each new chapter, the author used a couple of quotes relating to forgiveness, which is the main theme of the story. A couple of my favorite quotes from the book are:

'When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." (Alexander Graham Bell)

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." (Philip Yancey)

This story is not so unlike a similar story running through each one of our lives, though perhaps in a different setting. We all have things in our past that we would like to forget, as well as things (and people) that we are determined not to forgive. We can not go forward with any measure of peace and growth until we face the truth head on, however prickly and painful that may be, and deal with it. Then we can find out who it is that God intended for us each to be and proceed in that direction in His grace. This is the theme of the story, and is eloquently and compassionately written. I can relate to the characters because I possess similar traits as they do, and have tackled some serious forgiveness issues in my life as well. I think that people from all walks of life could read this book and glean some valuable insights into the importance and freedom of forgiveness. We all need to forgive, and we all need forgiveness.

Although Terri Kraus has co-authored nine other books with her husband Jim Kraus, this is her first solo attempt, and it is incredibly well thought out and written. This is titled as 'A Project Restoration Novel', so I hope this means that this is a new series with more books in the works. Take the time - read this book - I guarantee it is well worth your investment. There is hope of freedom in forgiveness here for all of us!

Chandra Lynn

When you open the pages of this book you can almost hear the hammers and smell the sawdust. It take a master carpenter to turn an old Victorian home back to its splendor. It takes a master storyteller to take you through the renovation and tell you a story of love and forgiveness.

Ethan Willis is a carpenter. His specialty is restoring old houses like his current project, the Carter Mansion. He is expert in renovating old houses, not so much in renovating his own life. Widowed when his son was young, Ethan has done the best he could. However, now that his son, Chase, is a teenager, single parenting is a bigger task than the mansion he is renovating.

Cameron Dane, reporter enters Ethan's life through an article on renovation and his heart by accident. The two of them and Chase embark on a journey that challenges their faith or lack thereof, their understanding of the past, and their need for forgiveness. Will they find the way to restored hearts and promising futures?

Terri Kraus tells a great story. Her love for old homes and the restoring power of faith is evident on every page. You'll love the characters, wish you could walk through the old mansion, and most likely find a piece of your own heart in need of renovation within the pages of the book. It is a great read.