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All for One by Melody Carlson

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All for One by Melody Carlson

Reviewed by Lisa Lickel

"...a thoughtful story about friendship and support undergirded by a faith in something bigger and better than our individual woes."

From the publisher: The Four Lindas are baby boomers who attended high school together in a little town in the Pacific Northwest. They met at a reunion and decided to all relocate back in Clifden.

All For One certainly can be read as a stand-alone, but as soon as I started reading the book, I realized I was missing something. This feeling can be an anticipatory one, if the reader is compelled to hunt down the earlier books.

One of the first things that threw me off balance was that I missed the fact that the women had the first name of Linda, but at some point decided to be called by some other name. Each chapter of All For One features a segment of the women's entwined story headed with her first name, which is not Linda. But, honestly, it's a treat to read about women who are in the same stage of life as I am…ah, let's just say "mature."

Women who have experienced certain stages of life, such as having a spouse face serious medical issues, divorce after a decades-long marriage, dealing with an ailing parent, or trying to re-invent herself after the nest empties, can readily sympathize with the women in Carlson's story. The Lindas: Abby, Janie, Caroline, and Marley, each face different life challenges and meet these challenges according to their personalities, but with the encouragement of the others.

I appreciate reading a story where friends help each other, even if it means watching over your friend's husband while she sleeps, or offering support and sympathy to your girlfriend when her boyfriend's ex-wife comes back to town determined to win him back. Twenty-something characters could not pull off these antics.

While certainly not a fast-paced ride, All For One is a thoughtful story about friendship and support undergirded by a faith in something bigger and better than our individual woes.

Lisa J. LickelLisa Lickel lives in Wisconsin with her high school teacher husband in a 150-year-old Great Lakes ship captain's house. She is active in more than one historical society, belongs to writing and reading clubs and is the editor in chief of Creative Wisconsin, the magazine of Wisconsin Regional Writers. A graduate of the Christian Writer's Guild, she has written newspaper features and magazine articles, radio theater, and authored several inspirational novels. Find her online at http://lisalickel.com, http://wisconsinauthorreview.blogspot.com, http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com, and Facebook.