"White Picket Fences"

Erin Mifflin

4 Stars

February 21, 2012

Amanda Janvier appears to be living a very good, stable life. She loves her work as a teacher, is married to a generous craftsman, and has two teenage children. But secrets lurk in the Janvier home. Does a secret ever do anyone any good? Are they always to best kept locked away from others?

The Janviers take in their sixteen-year-old niece Tally while Amanda's brother is out of reach on a fortune hunt in Europe. Tally and her cousin Chase are close to the same age and a bond quickly forms when they realize their secrets are safe with the other. Tally joins Chase at school and soon becomes involves in a sociology project which requires an interview with a senior citizen. They choose a pair of elderly gentlemen who lived through World War II and the horrors of the Treblinka concentration camp.

I loved the part of the story where the WWII tales came alive. As a history fan myself, it was both interesting for me to read and fun to see the characters letting it impact their own lives. It was a unique touch on the story and I liked it.

Secrets of a childhood trauma haunt Chase. Amanda is increasingly troubled over the distance growing between the members in her family. Knowing that to speak of problems makes them real, she hesitates... but hesitation can make things worse. Is it better to pretend things are okay unless problems are too big to ignore? Meissner invites you to journey with the Janviers to find out if a path to healing and healthy relationships can be found behind the fronts they put up for the rest of the world.

While you read, take a minute to think about the picket fences you may be keeping in your own life. We all know how to put up on a happy face. Maybe it is time to be real instead of pretend our lives are picture perfect. Maybe it is time to let God work in us for His purpose and give to us dreams beyond our imagination... maybe not perfect, but perfect for us.