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A Place to Land: Lost and Found in an Unlikely Friendship

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Searching for a way to reconnect with the outside world after recovering from a long depression, Martha Manning decides one Christmas to participate in a local shelter's Secret Santa program. And that is how she meets Raina, a young, black, single mother with three small children. During their first exchanges, Martha is painfully aware of her "lily-whiteness." But the comm Searching for a way to reconnect with the outside world after recovering from a long depression, Martha Manning decides one Christmas to participate in a local shelter's Secret Santa program. And that is how she meets Raina, a young, black, single mother with three small children. During their first exchanges, Martha is painfully aware of her "lily-whiteness." But the common bond of motherhood paves the way to a fondness that leads to comfort and trust. Becoming part of each other's lives demands that they face their own misconceptions and assumptions based on class, race, and religion. Full of laugh-out-loud humor and searing heartbreak, "A Place to Land" is a moving look at growth, healing, and the ways a friendship can be a means to salvation. It is a story that will speak to people of every race with a voice full of hope and renewal.


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Searching for a way to reconnect with the outside world after recovering from a long depression, Martha Manning decides one Christmas to participate in a local shelter's Secret Santa program. And that is how she meets Raina, a young, black, single mother with three small children. During their first exchanges, Martha is painfully aware of her "lily-whiteness." But the comm Searching for a way to reconnect with the outside world after recovering from a long depression, Martha Manning decides one Christmas to participate in a local shelter's Secret Santa program. And that is how she meets Raina, a young, black, single mother with three small children. During their first exchanges, Martha is painfully aware of her "lily-whiteness." But the common bond of motherhood paves the way to a fondness that leads to comfort and trust. Becoming part of each other's lives demands that they face their own misconceptions and assumptions based on class, race, and religion. Full of laugh-out-loud humor and searing heartbreak, "A Place to Land" is a moving look at growth, healing, and the ways a friendship can be a means to salvation. It is a story that will speak to people of every race with a voice full of hope and renewal.

30 review for A Place to Land: Lost and Found in an Unlikely Friendship

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Meyers

    Really good book and fascinating read

  2. 5 out of 5

    Huguette Larochelle

    A touching look at genuine friendship.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    This was a book club selection, and most of our group didn't really like the book, perhaps because they couldn't relate to the characters (well, the author and her friend). Perhaps that is what appealed to me, because I like to try to understand and appreciate lives different from my own. As the saying goes, you cannot judge another unless you've walked in her shoes (and even then I think we cannot or should not judge critically). Near the end It got so sad...thought I needed a double dose of an This was a book club selection, and most of our group didn't really like the book, perhaps because they couldn't relate to the characters (well, the author and her friend). Perhaps that is what appealed to me, because I like to try to understand and appreciate lives different from my own. As the saying goes, you cannot judge another unless you've walked in her shoes (and even then I think we cannot or should not judge critically). Near the end It got so sad...thought I needed a double dose of antidepressant after. Still, I appreciated the characters, especially Martha, for sharing the development and strength of the "unlikely friendship." Loved the telling of the kids being kids (and the adults' reactions).

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Not sure how I was feeling after I read this book. I didn't care for the occasional swearing that was thrown in, I know its how some people talk but I still find it offensive. I don't think I got much out of this story. Its nice that they became such good friends and that the author was able to help her friend out while her friend's son was sick and then through his death, we could all use friends like that. But at the end, I just wasn't all that thrilled with it. Not sure how I was feeling after I read this book. I didn't care for the occasional swearing that was thrown in, I know its how some people talk but I still find it offensive. I don't think I got much out of this story. Its nice that they became such good friends and that the author was able to help her friend out while her friend's son was sick and then through his death, we could all use friends like that. But at the end, I just wasn't all that thrilled with it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Quick, interesting, moving read. Manning is unflinchingly honest about her feelings both positive and negative about everything in this book. It starts out about race--and deals with that throughout- but religious faith becomes a bigger issue between the two unlikely friends. Made me cry several times. Excellent non-fiction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    A quick, easy read. I've read this author's other books and have to admit I liked the rest of them better. But it's an interesting story about a friendship between two women of different social classes and how their lives happened to intertwine. A quick, easy read. I've read this author's other books and have to admit I liked the rest of them better. But it's an interesting story about a friendship between two women of different social classes and how their lives happened to intertwine.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Judy Landis

    Friendship between white woman with depression and single parent black family with twins and a daughter. Boy dies with cancer at 5 yrs of age. Read for Lavallette Library book club.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    I found this a heartwarming true story of a friendship between 2 women bonded by being mothers, without much else in common.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    I was touched by this book. The fact that it was non fiction, the relationships of the women and families, and the struggles faced really touched me!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Myrna

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Spence

  12. 5 out of 5

    Swamp Ophelia

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Novak

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emily Anderson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tracy D

  19. 4 out of 5

    Angie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carlos Balnig

  21. 4 out of 5

    Peg Goldsbury

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melina

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Wieme

    good but sad

  24. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Denicholas

  27. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jan Nielsen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Ethell

  30. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mcloughlin

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