Title: Charloette Figg Takes Over Paradise
Author: Joyce Magnin Moccero
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Newly widowed Charlotte Figg purchases a double-wide trailer sight unseen and moves to the Paradise Trailer Park with her dog Lucky. Unfortunately, neither the trailer nor Paradise are what Charlotte expected. Her trailer is a ramshackle old place in need of major repair, and the people of Paradise are harboring more secrets than Bayer has aspirin. Charlotte s new friend Rose Tattoo learns that Charlotte played softball and convinces her to rally the women of Paradise into a team. Reluctant at first, Charlotte warms to the notion and is soon coaching the Paradise Angels. Meanwhile, Charlotte discovers that the manager of Paradise, Fergus Wrinkel, abuses his wife Suzy. Charlotte sets out to find a way to save Suzy from Fergus and in the process comes to a difficult realization about her own painful marriage.I received this book on Netgalley as part of Abingdon Press Christian fiction 2010 blog tour.
My Thoughts: Charlotte Figg becomes a widow, buys a mobile home in the Paradise Trailer Park sight unseen, and moves into it with her dog Lucky. Soon, she begins an unlikely friendship with free-spirited artist and prayer warrior Rose Tatoo. The relationship yields new purpose for Charlotte when Rose half-prays, half-pushes her into the role of founder/manager of a women's softball team. As the Paradise Angels' season progresses, Charlotte discovers--and reveals--some less-than-comfortable truths about herself, her fellow players, and her God.
Plot twists combine to propel the story in a direction readers may not intend to go. But don't let the hot topics scare you. Find a quiet spot and savor this book. Its combination of tough and tender goes down with all the appeal of one of Charlotte's homemade pies.
A quirky cast of characters, all just left of center, provide humor and warmth in this story. Yet the environment of Paradise Park is a place where secrets can be found. Suzy rarely leaves her trailer and always seems to be covered in bruises, Rose wears long shirts to hide her tragic past, and Hazel would doesn’t want anyone to know who she really is. Charlotte has her own secret too which makes her particularly sensitive to the goings on behind closed doors. It takes the of a woman's softball team to create a community of the residents in Paradise and allow the women to find strength and joy in their lives.
There is real humor, warmth and honesty as well as a look into the effects of domestic violence.
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise is a suprising, delightful and touching novel.
More about the Author:
Joyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, which was chosen as one of Library Journal's Best Christian Fiction Books of 2009. Joyce attended Bryn Mawr College and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Fellowship. She is a frequent workshop leader at various writers' conferences and women’s church groups. She has three children, Rebekah, Emily, and Adam; two grandsons, Lemuel and Cedar; one son-in-law, Joshua; and a neurotic parakeet. Joyce leads a small fiction group called StoryCrafters. She enjoys baseball, football, cream soda, video games, and needle arts but not elevators. Joyce lives in Havertown, Pennsylvania.
Interview with the Author:
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am the author of the Bright’s Pond novels, a mom to three children, Grammie to two almost three boys, a Russian Tortoise and a tree frog. I love to write, read, play video games and cross-stitch. I have never eaten a scallop or gone parasailing.
Was it always your dream to become a published author?
Yep. Since I was nine years old.
What did you do when you sold your first book?
Finished hanging the poster in my daughter’s dorm room. The call came in the process of moving her to college. Then I cried. Then I thanked Jesus.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
Not really. I prefer to sit at my desk or in the living room. I wish I was one of those writers that enjoyed going to a coffee shop or bookstore and writing. But I find those places too distracting. Maybe some day I’ll find the perfect place away from home. It’s kind of a fantasy of mine to become a regular at a coffee shop.
Do you sometimes get weird reactions from people when they learn that you write Christian books?
No. I have found that people are pretty much amused or even impressed that I write books. The fact that my books are Christian never really presented a problem. As a matter of fact it gives me opportunity to talk about my faith a little. It’s fun when someone asks, “What is Christian fiction?”
How does it feel to have total control over what happens in your books?
It can be fun and it can be scary and daunting at times. It’s a lot of responsibility because I feel so close to my characters. They’re my friends and I want to treat them as friends, so it’s particularly hard when I have kill one of them. Ha!
Do you have a favorite character from your books?
Oh boy, I love them all but I suppose Griselda, Ivy, Ruth, Charlotte, Rose and the dogs.
What genres do you read? Do you have any favorite authors?
I read pretty much everything from cereal boxes to westerns. But my favorites are Twain, Hemmingway, Flagg, Welty, Patchett, Samson, Letts—o dear—many, many authors
Do you worry that the plots of the books you read will condition your ideas?
Absolutely. So I don’t read while I’m writing. Consequently, I haven’t read much this year, except cereal boxes and video game guides.
Can you recommend any books that you recently read and enjoyed?
Walking on Broken Glass by Christa Allan, The Green Books by Judy Christie
What are you working on right now?
The 4th Bright’s Pond novel—Blame it on the Mistletoe and a different book called Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus.
Thank you Joyce for taking the time to answer my many questions. Also thanks to Abingdon Press for sending me 6 books. 5 for giveaway and 1 for complimentary purposes!
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**I will have to spread out the copies when mailing due to budget**