But how’s he supposed to turn down fresh cinnamon buns? And Robert hasn’t bargained on his neighbour’s innocent, probing questions. They erode his faith in naturalism and collide with his assumptions about life, love, and truth. Have his foundational beliefs been the cause of his personal losses? As he searches for answers, Anna's example of loving integrity keeps him coming back. Or maybe it's her homemade pies. Yet to risk re-thinking his core convictions for a chance at personal peace would expose his soul and tear open an old wound.
Others in the neighbourhood, too, are under Anna’s thrall – a teacher facing a crisis pregnancy, a crusty cat-lady, a cancer-ridden conspiracy theorist, a Cambodian immigrant family. Each is touched by the power of her obscure and ordinary life.
Reviewer: Jane Daly
This was a sweet story of love and redemption. It shows the power that one person can have over events by showing love. The characters were rich and interesting. Anna was fun to watch as she engaged Robert on his intellectual level, and challenged his beliefs. Her approach to Amelia was on more of an emotional level, as she gently drew Amelia into a place of being able to forgive herself.
My only criticism is that it felt unfinished. I wish the author would have had a “six months later…” at the end so we could find out how everyone else’s story turned out. I wanted to make sure Anna was okay, as well as the neighbors.
Reviewer: Theresa Goldrick
Lifelines is a story that weaves Anna, into the lives of the people around her. Anna listens patiently as Robert Fielding, a biologist, expresses his thoughts on evolution, all the while giving him the comforts of weekly meals and friendship. Amelia, teacher at the local high school is a pregnant woman whose husband has abandoned her. She too finds comfort in her visits with Anna.
Anna is a woman with a loving and tender touch because of the belief system she values. Other characters are entwined in Anna’s life as well. Her down syndrome grown son, Jesse is a wonderfully likeable character. The neighbor, Joan, is set in her ways and doesn’t like change. All these people turn to Anna as their lifeline.
This is a story that could take place anywhere as the characters are relevant in any town. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters in this book. My only drawback was the evolutionary discussions between Anna and Robert took place too often. The topic of evolution in this book is important to the storyline, but this reader felt that it was overdone, and I had a hard time understanding it all.