The Rockin' Chair

The Rockin' Chair

3.85 (1,701 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days - or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy - Grandpa John - calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester's most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 20.32mm | 328g
  • Stamford, United States
  • English
  • 161188067X
  • 9781611880670
  • 2,105,536

Rating details

1,701 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 32% (549)
4 34% (570)
3 24% (410)
2 7% (123)
1 3% (49)

Our customer reviews

Every time I read a Steven Manchester book, I know it's going to be emotional, but this one was by far the most emotional book so far. I had to stay up last night in order to finish it, and I cried for several minutes. But it was worth it! This is a must-read book for anyone who has ever been a grandparent or had one. I think that takes into account just about everyone, right? My words cannot do this book justice. Steven is a master in the art of writing narratives that truly affect his readers. He doesn't write historical fiction, romances, thrillers, or mysteries. His stories are poignant, stunning, engaging, and authentic. In short, his book are real. The reader will find some profanity in the book, but I honestly never felt offended. In fact, the author's dedication completely inspired me. The faith that is depicted in this book is raw and genuine and often a little rough around the edges. But it is enduring. Steven's characters are not just the typical, two-dimensional characters that I have found in so many supposed inspirational stories. If I can say this, his characters are four-dimensional. They are living. The reader does not feel like a spectator but a participant. I am so glad I was honored to read this book. The description of Alzheimer's were fascinating, but the issue of death really touched me. I recently lost my grandmother, and this book was a wonderful way for me to deal with that grief. At my grandmother's funeral, I also felt I was able to say goodbye to my grandfather since I never could attend his funeral sixteen years ago. I can't thank Steven for sharing his heart with his readers. I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.show more
by Ruth Hill
Did I enjoy this book: Yes, very much. The Rockin’ Chair is very much a book about characters. Steven Manchester does a brilliant job developing each of his characters into relatable, relevant, modern Americans. As a reader, I found myself fully invested in each character’s outcome. I’m often critical of stories that are completely about internal struggles and relationships. I’m that reader who says, “This book needs a good car crash, at least one shoot out, blah, blah, blah . . . “ But not this novel, the battles they face and wounds they strive to heal are as spellbinding as any action packed war story, murder mystery, or thriller. John McCarthy is the patriarch of a growing family on a Montana farm. The emotionally disconnected brood returns to the nest only when obliged to attend the funeral of their beloved mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. That’s right; we have three generations of struggling souls each striving to survive their own battle scars. Some wounds are inflicted on the ground in Afghanistan, some on the drug-infested streets of NYC, while others in the love struck heart of a betrayal. John looks at his family during his wife’s funeral and for the first time sees the rotting family tree, rooted in misunderstandings and words left unsaid. During his epiphany at the funeral, John realizes that, “In the end, all we have is our memories . . . good or bad . . . and your attitude will decide which.” He promises his wife that he won’t join her until he’s repaired the damage he sees. I don’t want to tell any more of the story but I suggest you to have your tissues handy. Would I recommend it: Yes. I think this would make a great book club discussion story. Will I read it again: Probably not. As reviewed by Belinda at Every Free Chance Book Reviews. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)show more
by Chrissy
Goodnight, Brian was the first book of Steven's I'd ever read and so a small part of me will always compare it with his other books. Even more so because of how much I absolutely adored the former. The Rockin' Chair is a good book to start with for those who are new to his writings. It is not as intense as Goodnight, Brian and thus will probably be easier to read for some. It talks about a family that's full of regrets. Regrets stemming from their childhoods all the way to their futures. The book starts off slowly, as the author wants to let the seriousness of the situation sink in before proceeding to share bits and pieces of each small tale, that weave together to create the core of this book. The main character is this book is no doubt Grandpa John, who at the beginning of the book loses his best friend in life, to Alzheimer's. As he grieves and longs to join her in the house of the Lord, he is sent a message, telling him that he has work to do before his time is up. It's just like a good ghost movie whereby they have some things to take care off before they can be at peace. And as such, he gathers the whole family for a bit of much-needed southern intervention. The Rockin' Chair touches on illnesses of the mind and encourages strength from within. The characters in the book have to overcome drug and alcoholic addictions, tough relationships, beatings, and nightmares garnered from the pains of war among other things. Grandpa John dishes out sound advice left, right, and center without skipping a beat. The book gives us hope that no matter how painful or how deep the scars in our hearts, it can always be healed by the power of one's love. It reminds us that we are our greatest critics and that we have to forgive ourselves before we can forgive others. "Anything that I have ever accomplished - all that I am - is because the Lord blessed me with your love" ~ My favourite quote from the book. Steven Manchester is a master at stringing together the simplest words to create messages with such strong hidden meanings behind them. Every turn of the page creates a brand new picture, his words, like brushstrokes on a painting, are a joy to visualize. You'll learn all of life's lessons amid the beautiful living, breathing Earth and its creatures. So sit back and enjoy life in all its simplicity and take a cue from Grandpa John. The last chapter will have you in tears. I had to take breaks every handful of sentences as my vision kept fogging up and interrupting my reading process. The Rockin' Chair has messages that you can take away and use to enrich your own lives and pass down to others. Every Steven Manchester book should come with its own box of Kleenex. Believe me, you're going to need it!show more
by Nikki Ooi
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