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the second half book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

Ken and Mona Sorenson are nearing retirement and planning their golden years. In fact, Mona is planning Ken’s retirement party and they are hoping to do some traveling after he retires. When their son calls them to let them know he’s being deployed and needs them to care for his two children while he’s away, their whole world has to shift. Happy to help out one of their children, they make the necessary adjustments and prepare for their arrival. How can they go back to raising young children? They just keep telling themselves it will be a year, at most, and then things can go back to the way they had planned.

After Steig leaves, they attempt to settle into a routine with the kids, but find things more challenging due to the emotional turmoil caused by not only their father leaving, but the remaining effects of Steig’s wife having walked out on them the previous year.

Mona continues to work on her home-based business and is attempting to take on the largest project she’s done to date, but with the children in the house and the added stress of Steig being gone, she’s finding it difficult.

Mona has always battled depression and she can feel it coming over her again with all the added stress. A worrier by nature, she’s praying more and more these days, trying to turn the worries over the God. But for Mona, this is a daily…sometimes hourly…battle. The whole process is made worse when they receive news that Steig has been declared missing in action. As the whole family awaits news from the Army, Ken and Mona work together to support the kids and remind them that God is in control and will get them through whatever comes their way.

The Second Half is a story about something that, unfortunately, is becoming more and more common:  grandparents raising their grandchildren. While the circumstances might be different, many grandparents are having to delay their own retirement plans in order to serve their families in this manner. Lauraine Snelling does a really good job of describing the conflicting emotions and stresses that this would put on a married couple who feel duty-bound but also struggle with the changes of bring children back into their household. I really connected with Mona throughout the whole book. I’m not a grandparent, but I have fought depression and the feelings and “roller coaster” process that Snelling described through Mona’s character were spot on! The Second Half is really a great novel to be read by all generations!


Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by FaithWords. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.