The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch

Buy from
Available at
Category: Self-published
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.

ISBN-13: 978-1470011024
Original Language: English
Book Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.2 x 7.9 inches

Subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter Catholic, Ink. - click here - receive book reviews and the column "The Catholic Imagination and You"

Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival.

Wanda J. (“Jody”) Rakis was born in Texas, and moved to Michigan with Ling-Temco-Vought Missile Corporation in the early 60’s. She was an executive secretary with the company with top secret clearance. Not too long after arriving in Michigan she met a tall, Greek, handsome salesman and they were married a year later. She was a stay-at-home mother for seven years. Jody returned to the work force after fire destroyed their new investment business. Because their three children being very young, and they lived in a log cabin on a cold, northern Michigan lake, Jody took a job with the school system, as secretary for the Superintendent and Board of Education. She later switched to elementary school secretary so that she could be with her children in the summers. During these years, Jody became more active in her parish and began teaching CCD classes at night. She has been fortunate to have many, wonderful, exciting, sometimes demanding, positions in her career. From school secretary, she managed a new travel agency that opened in her town. Another challenge, another great experience. From there Jody scrimped and saved and was eventually able to open her own business, a secretarial and office rental business with a conference room and three offices, located in the newest building of her small town. The business was very successful and expanded twice in two years, to eight offices and a waiting list of tenants. After herr children graduated from high school, Jody and her husband sold their respective businesses and moved to sunny Florida. One of their sons had also moved there with school friends, and their daughter came with them. Their oldest son was married and starting a family. During those years, Jody attended Barry University and completed required courses for her Paralegal Certificate. In Naples, Jody again became active in our parish, teaching CCD and also becoming sponsor for RCIA candidates. After ten years, the Rakis’ son and daughter moved back north and Jody and her husband missed being close to them and their new families. They moved to Cincinnati, where their daughter lives. Upon arrival, Jody’s husband worked for an appraisal company and Jody found employment with The Kroger Co. as legal secretary to the lead labor attorney for the company. She retired from Kroger in 2005. The Rakis’ parish is St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in Delhi, suburb of Cincinnati. Jody am involved with the Christ Renews His Parish movement, prayer groups, and serves as a minister for the Divorce Support Group. Keeping active and staying mentally busy is one of God’s blessings for Jody. Because of some medical problems, she does spend down time, resting and rejuvenating her strength. By reading and reviewing, Jody hopes to continue to rejuvenate her mind as well.

Leave your comment

Catholic, Ink.

Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival

Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.

Search Books

Catholic, Ink.

Be part of the Catholic Literary Revival

Sign-up for this free weekly e-newsletter and receive the free article - "What is Catholic Fiction?" Read the weekly column The Catholic Imagination and You and more.