The Way Back to Happiness
I woke up one morning and, to my own great surprise, I found I no longer believed in any of my New Age ideas. This presented a dilemma for me, as I had always equated all my beliefs with God. Did this mean that there was no God? For the first time in my life, I had nothing to believe in. My jazz and pop career was going well. I was in a relationship with the man who is now my husband.
I was successful, but inside I was empty. In those days, my musical director was a man named Bob Cranham. I called in at his house one day, to pick up some music. Now, neither Bob nor his wife knew anything of my inner struggle. Nobody did. Bob dropped a bombshell that day.
He seemed so calm and sure and so willing to take this drastic step, if, as he believed, God wanted it. I had many opinions, but Bob had real convictions. I wanted what he had! I started to think about this Jesus constantly. Finally, I lay awake one night and felt that I had nothing to lose. Are you really the Messiah? If you are, I want to know. Please show me. One day, Bob handed me a book.
I was surprised to see that the cover was a picture of a menorah. The title was Betrayed , by Stan Telchin. I thought to myself. Nobody knew.
The book was a total shock. I had heard about the odd Jewish person believing in Jesus, but I had dismissed them all as weirdoes and cranks. Outwardly, I showed no emotion. But my heart was thumping inside. It took me only a couple of hours to finish it. Stan Telchin was a pillar of the Jewish community in Washington, DC, successful in insurance, and a member of different Jewish organizations and committees.
One day his daughter announced that she had accepted Jesus as her Messiah. After his initial shock and anger wore off, he set out to prove her wrong. He spent months talking to rabbis, pastors, Jewish believers in Jesus, gentile believers, reading the Old and New Testaments, church history, Jewish history, you name it! After all that, he ended up becoming a believer in Jesus. Most fascinating of all were the Messianic prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures that Stan listed. But there it was in Isaiah!
Is the prophet saying that the Messiah has to be God, somehow? Isaiah states that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. I had always thought that talk of a virgin birth was most un-Jewish, but there it was in Isaiah, the Jewish prophet. Micah speaks of the Messiah being born in Bethlehem. It seemed to be speaking about Jesus! I had to find out if these things were really in the Bible. I went out and bought one, took it home, opened up to the Hebrew Scriptures, and there they were: prophecies about the Messiah!
They all pointed, it seemed to me, to Jesus. Could it really be true? With trepidation, I opened, for the first time in my life, that forbidden book: The New Testament. Would it be full of anti-Semitic poison? After all, look at what has been done against the Jews over the centuries in the name of Christ, by those claiming to be Christians. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and was greeted by the most Jewish thing I had seen outside of the Hebrew Scriptures: the genealogy of Jesus.
All these names were there, and many, many more, in this impeccable lineage of Jesus. I discovered that the writers of the New Testament were Jewish.
Greatly comforted, I began reading about these people, living in the Land of Israel, according to the Law of Moses. There was a Temple and a priesthood—it was a continuation of the Old Testament. And then, there was Jesus.
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He seemed to rise up out of the pages to me. I was drawn to him: his words, his compassion, his miracles, his arrest and trial, his crucifixion and resurrection. Then the thought struck me that I was being too gullible. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. No one could blame Bev Putterman for becoming estranged from her sister. No one but Bev, anyway. Growing up, Diana was difficult and selfish yet always their mother's favorite. And then came the betrayal that took away the future Bev dreamed of.
Yet if Diana caused problems while alive, her death leaves Bev in a maelstrom of remorse. She longs to provide a stable home for D No one could blame Bev Putterman for becoming estranged from her sister. She longs to provide a stable home for Diana's fourteen-year-old daughter, Alabama. But between her commitment-phobic boyfriend and her precarious teaching position, Bev's life is already in upheaval without an unruly teenager around. All Alabama knows about Aunt Bev is what her mother told her--and none of it was good.
They clash about money, clothes, boys, and especially about Diana. In desperation, Alabama sets out to find her late father's family. Instead she learns of the complicated history between her mother and aunt, how guilt can shut down a life--and most important, how love and forgiveness can open a door and make us whole again.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 28th by Kensington first published January 1st More Details Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Way Back to Happiness , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Way Back to Happiness.
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How We Forget
More filters. Sort order. Review to come. Here is this. I give this a solid 4 stars. Loved the querky Putterman family they sounded real. But, totaly hated the snob Jacksons I mean please, they had a stick up their butts. Nowonder the son Tom joined the Vientman war. I would of like to have more of a story line for Tom. The other part I really enjoyed is the story about Stuart, the homophobic bullying and how it was handled that Review to come.
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The other part I really enjoyed is the story about Stuart, the homophobic bullying and how it was handled that was good. When I finished the book I felt a sequel because felt like more could of been developped. View 1 comment. Jul 19, Aditi rated it liked it Shelves: kensington , my-reviews , contemporary-romance , family , women-chick-lit. Although it is a fiction, but still the story sounded quite realistic to me, and tells me do we ever follow the noble words of what Dr. Steve Maraboli has said about forgiveness?
Do we ever let go of our past? And most important, we find it hard to forgive ourselves in the first place, because we are masters in feeling ourselves guilty for our whole lifetime. Elizabeth Bass, the author, has skillfully explained the road to forgiveness, which is happened to be so less traveled by us. I can't thank the author, Elizabeth Bass, enough for sending me over a copy of her book, in return for an honest review. Alabama is a fourteen year old girl, who in her so short life-time has already experienced so many dreadful things, starting off with her mother's death in an accident, leaving her almost orphaned.
Her granny, Gladdie, who is as old as the hills, living in The Villa - an old-age home, takes her in for a few days, against the wishes of the The Villa's manager. But Alabama's blissful days come to an end, when she gets adopted by her only aunt, Bev, whom her mother used to hate all her life, but she had no idea behind the reason of her mother's hate, along with her mother, Alabama, too hated her to death. But soon Alabama is seen living in a small town in Texas, called New Sparta, and is getting admitted to the local school, where her aunt happen to be a teacher.
Bev is terrified that Alabama is starting to bring back all those haunting and resentful and painful traumas of the past one more time. Will Alabama be successful in getting away from her aunt? Will Bev learn to forgive herself as well as her sister? Read it to find Alabama and Bev's struggle to find a piece of happiness in their not-so-perfect life. First of all, the book's name should have been something else, because there was only one page about happiness, rest of the pages reflect way too much pain, that in the beginning I started to hate Alabama with all my heart, since she used to be so rude to Bev, then I started loving her.
I cried for Bev then for Alabama and lastly for Diana, the mother of Alabama. The characters are so very convincing and are easy to relate to, who doesn't face such characters in their everyday life, and I will actually say that Bev, Alabama and Diana are very similar to our characters; they happen to represent our pain, grief and loss. I loved how the author has narrated her tale with so vividness and eloquence, and then at some moments you'll lose yourself completely in the emotions of these characters. It is quite evident that Elizabeth Bass is one true talented writer starting from her style of writing to representing the dialogues to unfolding the characters slowly and layer-by-layer.
I must tell you like Alabama, you too are left in the dark about Bev and Dian's past incident, and the anticipation held me like a noose around my neck. The author is smart enough to keep her secrets under wrap for a very long time and also she didn't leave any clues for the readers. There is also bit of chemistry among so many characters that you'll find very striking, staring off between Alabama and her best friend, Stuart, who is a very smart and talented young boy, who used to see through the things and was a victim of bullying in his school, then there is, Bev and her co-teacher, Glen.
Do read this story in your gloomy little afternoon with a box of tissues and with a mug of hot tea and feel the Texas flair in the author's words!! View all 4 comments. Apr 17, Liz Fichera rated it it was amazing. Touching, genuine and heart-warming. I was drawn into the story from the first pages. The Putterman family was perfectly imperfect.
The Journey Back to Happiness When You’ve Lost Someone You Loved
Sep 14, Mary Ripley rated it it was ok. Love betrayal by the sister creates old maid but death of sister allows full life to return to the betrayed sister. Adolescent novel with interesting twists. Jan 27, Roxie Gallinger rated it it was amazing. This book was a great read from start to finish, loved it. Will read more from this Author. Apr 22, Artemiz rated it liked it Shelves: netgalley , The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass is a family drama, and nostalgic look back into year It's a drama that involves three generations of women. The story starts with Diana sending her daughter Alabama to a camp for a week, knowing full well that she will not see her again, because she has a plan.
Her life has not been the easiest lately - she lost her job and no new prospect on a line - so she has decided, that the only possibility to offer Alabama the best life possible, is to rem The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass is a family drama, and nostalgic look back into year Her life has not been the easiest lately - she lost her job and no new prospect on a line - so she has decided, that the only possibility to offer Alabama the best life possible, is to remove herself from the picture.
But it's not easy. At first she has to write a letter to the only person she should have written or called a long time ago, and apologies for the things that had driven them apart, no matter how angry she was, since at the end she was the one who was responsible for the things that had happened, so she writes to her sister Bev. Takes the letter to the mail. Tries to open the tablet bottle - when that does not happen, she starts to think, that maybe there is still chance, but she mailed the letter already, maybe she can still get it back When Bev comes to take Alabama home from the camp, she know something is really wrong, since mom would never let aunt Bev take her anywhere, they hated each other and hadn't talked for years.
She can not believe that her mom is gone. She should have listened her instinct and stopped the bus when mom sent her to camp, then her mom would still be alive and not dead in car accident. And now she had to go to live with her aunt in some small town? No way! Bev is in shock. Her sister, who has been the pain of her existence, with her bad behavior, whit their mom always excusing her, whit Diana always getting her way, is dead and her daughter has to go to live with her, not that her life hasn't been already problematic lately, but it's not Alabama's fault. But then Alabama calls to her grandmother and of course she is invited to live with her in The Villa.
Bev cant fight with them, so she lets them do what they want.
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But The Villa does not allow guests to stay very long and school year is starting and grandmother is taken to a hospital, and Alabama has to go with her aunt. At first they act like two angry cats, both go to their corner and hiss, but then Alabama meets a local boy, who is her age and starts to get somewhat comfortable in her new school, but still, it's not easy to be a teachers niece. When Bev introduced her boyfriend and Alabama, she was hoping they will become one big happy family, but her boyfriend is not interested about family with a teenager so they split. Alabama tries to find out, why her mom and her aunt had their problems, what was that One Big Thing that made them hate each other, especially when she find a bride dress in attic, and she know her aunt has not been married, and why does her aunt has pictures of her father in her album or maybe it's her mom's album and Bev just has it, and why does her father's mother says all those nasty things about her mother?
All this reaches it's boiling point when Alabama goes to the school on Halloween wearing the wedding dress, Bev kills accidentally the school's mascot rabbit and the whole school gets covered with mean posters about Bev and the rabbit. So when the worst has happened, there is nowhere else to go, but down. When Alabama receives an invitation from her other grandmother to join them on Thanksgiving dinner, she has now idea, that this will be the moment, when all that has been kept secret will reveal itself.
This was an interesting story, bit depressing at the beginning but it gets better and better with every chapter. Jun 05, Linda rated it liked it Shelves: first-read. This review consists of my unbiased, honest thoughts and opinions.
I enjoyed The Way Back to Happiness. It was engaging and there was a quirky charm to the story, sometimes a little too quirky. It was an easy and quick read, making this a good choice to bring along to the beach or while relaxing by the pool. The novel was about the relationship, dysfunctional at best, between two sisters, Bev and I was fortunate to have won The Way Back to Happiness by Elizabeth Bass through a Goodreads Giveaway.
The novel was about the relationship, dysfunctional at best, between two sisters, Bev and Diana. Bev was the older, more reliable, steady sibling that could be counted on. She was a worrier and presented herself, at least at the beginning of the story, as an older, stodgier character than her actual age. Diana was the free-spirited, selfish and self-centered sister. However, Diana's love for her daughter, Alabama, was undeniable. When the story began, Bev and Diana were estranged from one another.
Diana, who had been down on her luck for some time had borrowed money from her mother to send Alabama for a week of summer camp. Before the week ends, Diana will be dead, and Alabama will be sent to live with the Aunt that her mother appeared to have despised. There were several characters in the book that I loved. Stuart, Alabama's kind and only friend, being one of them, a boy who came from an ideal family, according to Alabama, and possessed confidence and cared little about what others thought of him.
Gladdy, Bev's mom and Alabama's grandmother, was fiery and outspoken, and although I found her insensitive to Bev, I grew to like her, as well as unconventional Wink. Bev was a very misunderstood character. Her intentions were always good, but very often they backfired. She tried to see all sides of a situation, and tried to do right by Alabama.
Bev even stood up for those who couldn't or wouldn't stand up for themselves, despite jeopardizing her own job security and safety.