You’ve been planning it for years, and finally the day for your retirement arrives. You’re looking forward to pursuing hobbies and some travel. Your wife is growing her marketing and promotion business, and it looks like she’s going to get a big new contract.
Then come the curve balls. Work blows up, and it looks like everything you’ve done for the last 30 years will be tossed. Your single-father son calls from Texas, asking you if you can keep his two children while he’s deployed to Pakistan. Your wife struggles with depression, and she may be taking on more than she can handle.
So you delay the travel plans, try to hold things together at work, and take in your grandchildren, who are already struggling with being abandoned by their mother. And then your son is reported missing in action.
The Second HalfbyLauraine Snellingis the story of how the best laid retirement plans can go awry. And for Ken and Mona Sorenson, they do go awry. Ken is retiring as the dean of Students at Stone College in Wisconsin, and Mona is growing her marketing and promotion business. Their daughter Marit and her family live nearby, but Army son Stieg has been stationed in Texas, struggling with his family after his former wife left for another man and signed away all rights to the children, Mellie, 10, and Jakey, 5.
The Sorensons find themselves back in the child rearing business, and this time with two troubled grandchildren.
Snelling has published more than 80 books in the Christian fiction genre. She’s won awards for her inspirational and romance fiction, and her books relating to Norwegian heritage in America has led to her being inducted in the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame. The Second Half has a strong Norwegian-American flavor to it (and there’s a big emphasis on food and meal menus).
The Sorensons’ experience, while fictional, is not uncommon in real life. For all kinds of reasons, grandparents are often finding themselves rearing or helping rear their grandchildren. The Second Halfis a charming story that offers encouragement.
Top photograph by Julie Johnson via. Used with permission.