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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
368 pages
Feb 2005
Moody Publishers

Return To Appleton

by Sylvia Bambola

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Gloria Bickford knows that going back to her cozy little hometown of Appleton and repairing the broken relationships she had left behind isnít going to be easy. Yet, in Sylvia Bambolaís sequel to Waters of Marah, thatís exactly what she sets out to do.

Bambola places her story against the vivid countryside backdrop of small shops and glittering lakes. Her description and imagery are fresh and vibrant, giving her writing style a delicious charm. Not only that, but Bambola does an excellent job of making her charactersí problems seem realistic and relevant, such as the lingering hurt between Gloria and her controlling mother. Her characterizations of Cutter and Gloria and their awkward relationship are perhaps the high points of the entire story. Anything but a normal romance, Cutter and Gloriaís slow process of reconciliation is original, well thought out, and stellar as the prime element of the book.

Some of the plot elements, however, just donít seem to flow with the rest of the story, particularly with regard to a stalker. Whereas Bambola does an excellent job at portraying Gloriaís relational struggles in a poignant way, the tension she tries to create by adding the stalker and detective Sam Bryce to the story comes across as forced. With so many deeper, more relevant plotlines to delve into, Bambola never really gets to explore the tension she tries to build.

Sylvia Bambola offers a solid, charming, and captivating novel of one womanís struggle to trust her Savior in the midst of extreme trial. The story she creates is enchanting. For fans of Bambolaís Waters of Marah, this makes returning to Appleton a worthwhile trip. -- Matthew Mills, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Gloria Bickford was happily settled in Appleton when a phone call from her friend and former employer, Harry Griswald, calls her back to Eckerd City. Someone claims to have information about the land development endeavors at the Lakes and she is anxious to investigate further. Meanwhile, Gloriaís mother, Geri, is ready to put her own mother into a nursing home, but Gloria protests. Everyone in Appleton thinks that Grandma Quinn is going crazy, baking dozens of cookies for no apparent reason. As Gloria and Cutter discover more about the land development intrigue, she fears for her life and believes she is being followed. Are Gloria and Cutter in over their heads?