The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch
Genre: Young Adult
Date Published: March 5, 2012
Number of Pages: 184
Print Price: $9.99
eBook Price: $4.99
The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch is the story of ten children, ignored, abused, handed off to others to raise, and lost from their respective parents. They all end up placed in a foster home called Sunshine Ranch, owned by a Catholic couple, Martha and David Credence. Mr. Jones, lovingly called “Bones,” helps out the family and the farm.
The author describes each character with such love and truth that the reader comes to know them and love each of them. Benedict is the first of the children introduced, and the story follows his troubles from one home to another, and how he is able to deal with the pain of being rejected by his mother. Benedict doesn’t trust and he doesn’t believe in things getting better. He shows feelings of abandonment:
“And on the wall above his head, hung a picture of the Virgin Mary cradling her baby Jesus. Benedict sat up and turned to get a better look at that picture. He wondered if his own mother, whoever she was, ever held him the same way. Yeah, right, he thought. A mother who held her baby that way would never let go.”
The storyline follows the children, sometimes one or two, most often all of them banding together. The foster parents love the children and have the patience needed for each one’s needs. They follow their religion and give the children hope by example. When times are rough, prayer and faith bring the parents through and the children slowly come to trust their foster parents and follow their faith, each in his or her own way. When hard times hit the family, Martha’s faith is shown:
“They’re going to take me to some awful place again.” Benedict’s voice was shaking. “And just when I get used to that awfulness, they’ll take me to another place, and…” “Stop it,” Martha rushed over to him and pulled him into her chest. “Stop it,” she whispered. “They will not, they will not. We will fix this. I promise.” Benedict pulled away from her forcefully and said, “You promised before, but it turned out to be a lie.” “Benny, don’t say mean things,” Eva yelled. “Why not? I’m the mean one, remember? I always say the meanest things.” His anger took them all by surprise. “Benny, you have to have faith,” Martha said weakly.
The author develops the story with humor and love. I laughed, and I cried. The author made me use my imagination, and gave me all the necessary clues to picture in my mind each episode of human feelings, tragedy, and family values. The foster home is full of faith in God and unconditional love. The characters are developed in a way that builds the story as it delves deeper into each child’s life. How the children bond together in their pain and in their love for each other is very inspirational. Any age reader should enjoy this book.
The Catholic faith is lived throughout the book, from the children sitting bored through Mass on Sundays, to prayers being answered in God’s way. It is represented by the characters in the family as well as the town priest and the townspeople.
This a good story, one that I enjoyed reading. I felt the book was very well written, moved along at a good pace, yet events were described completely and evoked emotion from the reader. It is an easy read and instills Catholic values. It is a book all ages can read and enjoy, while strengthening their belief in the power of prayer.
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches
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