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Cracks in the Sidewalk

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From the Bestselling Author of Spare Change, comes a powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother...Her only daughter is gravely ill...Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing... After years of writing l From the Bestselling Author of Spare Change, comes a powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother...Her only daughter is gravely ill...Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing... After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply...a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?


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From the Bestselling Author of Spare Change, comes a powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother...Her only daughter is gravely ill...Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing... After years of writing l From the Bestselling Author of Spare Change, comes a powerful story that is a heart-wrenching reminder of how fragile relationships can be. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story. Claire McDermott is a wife, a mother, a grandmother...Her only daughter is gravely ill...Her son-in-law is resentful and angry... Her grandchildren are missing... After years of writing letters, hoping to find the children, hoping to bring them back, Claire receives a reply...a dog-eared gray envelope is stuffed into her mailbox, but will it bring hope or simply put an end to the waiting?

30 review for Cracks in the Sidewalk

  1. 3 out of 5

    Sharon

    Having never read anything written by Bette Lee Crosby I really didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. MY OH MY I must admit once I'd finished this book I was absolutely speechless. USA Today Bestselling and award winning novelist, she most certainly is. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story which will not only pull at your heartstrings, but it will also make you look at life a lot differently. A truly captivating story about family, love and loss. When a book has you r Having never read anything written by Bette Lee Crosby I really didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up. MY OH MY I must admit once I'd finished this book I was absolutely speechless. USA Today Bestselling and award winning novelist, she most certainly is. Cracks in the Sidewalk is based on a true story which will not only pull at your heartstrings, but it will also make you look at life a lot differently. A truly captivating story about family, love and loss. When a book has you reaching out for the tissue box before you hit the end of it you know it's going to be a brilliant book and that's precisely what this book was. Without a doubt this was a very emotional read, but one in which I have no hesitation in HIGHLY recommending.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bette Crosby

    This is the Second and slightly revised edition of Cracks in the Sidewalk. This novel is based on a true story of losing hope and finding forgiveness. The book was the @011 Winner of the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal and it took First Place in the Royal Palm Literary Award Competition. It is a story that will touch your heart and leave you with a feeling of inspiration.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    An old woman at the start of this novel, Claire Mc Dermott reflects on her life. After her marriage to Charlie and birth of their daughter Elizabeth, Claire received a shock. But it was nothing compared to what was to come in later years. When Elizabeth is pregnant with her third child, she encounters a problem that threatens her marriage but also her life. Instead of being the support she needs Jeffrey (known as JT) is concerned only about himself, his failing business and the need for more mon An old woman at the start of this novel, Claire Mc Dermott reflects on her life. After her marriage to Charlie and birth of their daughter Elizabeth, Claire received a shock. But it was nothing compared to what was to come in later years. When Elizabeth is pregnant with her third child, she encounters a problem that threatens her marriage but also her life. Instead of being the support she needs Jeffrey (known as JT) is concerned only about himself, his failing business and the need for more money which he hopes to borrow from Elizabeth’s parents. But Claire and Charlie need the money to help pay for hospitals and care for Elizabeth. Thwarted, JT turns vengeful. A court case ensues. Elizabeth or Liz as she is commonly known has to fight not just her treacherous illness but for the right to see her children. This is an emotion driven story that had me right there with Claire, Liz and her family and directing lots of extremely angry thoughts towards JT. Tears resulted at times at the unfairness of life and the way things happen but it also shows the important of a caring supportive family and the lengths they will go to, to help those they love. If you can get through this book without resorting to tissues then you are stronger than me. This was one of those books I didn’t want to put down and had to keep reading. I have read and loved a number of Bette Lee Crosby books and this is among my favourites. Absolutely another five star recommended read. Just a word of advice, I wouldn't read the blurb on the back cover until after you've read the book.. It gives too much away.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Anne Kleinberg

    I "met" the author of this book, Bette Lee Crosby, through the Internet. She was kind enough to send me congrats on my book "Menopause in Manhattan" and I was delighted to be able to read "Crack in the Sidewalk". All I can say is WOW! I just finished it - with tears streaming down my face. It will take you to many places - a beautiful marriage, a horrible marriage; a mother's fierce and devoted love for her daughter and another mother's yearning for her children. All in all, I found the book dif I "met" the author of this book, Bette Lee Crosby, through the Internet. She was kind enough to send me congrats on my book "Menopause in Manhattan" and I was delighted to be able to read "Crack in the Sidewalk". All I can say is WOW! I just finished it - with tears streaming down my face. It will take you to many places - a beautiful marriage, a horrible marriage; a mother's fierce and devoted love for her daughter and another mother's yearning for her children. All in all, I found the book difficult to put down. No doubt that Bette has a gift - and I suspect she's also got a kind, optimistic nature - which comes through in the writing of "Cracks in the Sidewalk".

  5. 3 out of 5

    Angie Mangino

    Cracks in the Sidewalk By Bette L. Crosby 2009 Reviewed by Angie Mangino Rating: 5 stars Cracks In the Sidewalk begins with readers meeting Claire McDermott in 2006, immediately setting the tone for this compelling story. “I’m an old woman now. Some might say too old to dream, too old to still believe in miracles.” However, a miracle does take place for Claire in the form of a letter she receives from her grandson, Christian. This unexpected, but much longed for letter, reestablishes a lost connection Cracks in the Sidewalk By Bette L. Crosby 2009 Reviewed by Angie Mangino Rating: 5 stars Cracks In the Sidewalk begins with readers meeting Claire McDermott in 2006, immediately setting the tone for this compelling story. “I’m an old woman now. Some might say too old to dream, too old to still believe in miracles.” However, a miracle does take place for Claire in the form of a letter she receives from her grandson, Christian. This unexpected, but much longed for letter, reestablishes a lost connection that occurred over twenty years prior at the death of her daughter, Elizabeth. Crosby then brings readers back to 1984 where the family dynamics unfurls, giving insights into each member with excellent character development. The dialogue is real, giving readers witness to the family’s lives and events, leading up to a return to May 2006 to see if Claire and Christian can actually reconnect the long separated family. Written well, with a realistic, compassionate telling, Cracks In the Sidewalk will bring readers into the family, happy to be a part of it.

  6. 3 out of 5

    Lyn (Readinghearts)

    Every once in a while an author comes along who writes with such heart and compassion, that even a book with a storyline that explores a difficult subject in such a way that I can not put it down, and would choose to read it more than once. For me, I can count the number of books one one hand where that is true. Also, for me, Bette Lee Crosby is one of those authors and Cracks in the Sidewalk is one of those books. Claire McDermott's only child, her daughter Liz, is diagnosed with an inoperable Every once in a while an author comes along who writes with such heart and compassion, that even a book with a storyline that explores a difficult subject in such a way that I can not put it down, and would choose to read it more than once. For me, I can count the number of books one one hand where that is true. Also, for me, Bette Lee Crosby is one of those authors and Cracks in the Sidewalk is one of those books. Claire McDermott's only child, her daughter Liz, is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor during her third pregnancy. For Claire and her husband Charlie, this means rallying around Liz and her family with love and support. For Liz's husband, JT, it is just another item in a long list of things that he does not want to deal with. What develops is a heart-wrenching character study of all that is both good and bad in humanity. This is not the first book that I have read that was written by Bette. Prior to this I read Spare Change and Cupid's Christmas and loved them both. Bette has a wonderfully intimate writing style that makes me feel that she is talking specifically to me. In addition, her prose flows off the page with such beauty and grace that the reader can't help be be entralled. This excellent writing style is the most reason that Cracks in the Sidewalk won the Royal Palm Literary Award for women's fiction, and the with good reason. This story definitely invoked strong emotions in me as the story unfolded, and the ability of Bette to balance the feelings of anger and resentment that I felt with the calming grace of Liz and the perserverance of her parents made this book a powerhouse read for me. The characters in this book are what really sell it. They are so real and their emotions so well documented that the reader cannot help but become involved in their lives and what they are going through. While most of the book centers around Claire and her feelings and viewpoints, the author's ability to highlight Liz's grace continually amazed me throughout the book. In addition, JT's anger and resentment jumped off the page at me, illiciting anger and resentment in me toward him. Even her portrayal of the supporting characters of doctors, lawyers, judges, etc.,and of the children involved recieved the same effort and attention to detail as that spent on the main characters in the study. As a result, I honestly felt like I knew the characters involved and could have a conversation with them if I ever met them. All in all, this is the best book yet that I have read by this author and I would class it as a definite must read. I would especially recommend it to readers who like to immerse themselves in real life stories filled with emotion and purpose. I am giving this book 5 stars as I know the characters will stay with me and help shape the way that I look at life and relationships for a long time to come.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Bette Lee Crosby has a way of writing a story that pulls you in from the start and does not let go until the very last word. This is a story that is so emotional and in so many way uplifting too. It shows the true love a real mother has for her child. What she will go through to help her, to make her happy and to ease her pain. Both physical and emotional pain. Claire McDermott does everything in her power for her daughter and would for her three grandchildren if there dad would let her. Both he Bette Lee Crosby has a way of writing a story that pulls you in from the start and does not let go until the very last word. This is a story that is so emotional and in so many way uplifting too. It shows the true love a real mother has for her child. What she will go through to help her, to make her happy and to ease her pain. Both physical and emotional pain. Claire McDermott does everything in her power for her daughter and would for her three grandchildren if there dad would let her. Both her and her husband are facing the worse kind of pain a parent should never have to face. Their daughter has an illness that could take her life and her husband refuses to let their children come to see her or her parents. He didn't want her anymore because to him she is broke and he hates anything broke. He does not care who he hurts. He is a selfish person of he worse kind. To keep Elizabeth's children away from her is to cruel. Everything wrong in his life he blames on her dad and her. He won't accept any responsibility for his own failures and thinks he is above anyone else. It is a touching story even though it is so emotional. The way Claire takes care of her daughter and the way her and her husband fight for their daughter to see her children no matter the cost is so heartwarming while they are both grieving for their daughter. For many years they don't see their grandchildren. But five years after Claire's husband dies she gets a letter from the baby child that was to young to remember his mother wanting to see her. Do all three children come to visit their grandmother or do they believe the lies that their dad told them over the years? Will Claire finally get to see the children she has looked for for many years? Will they have the happy reunion that she wants so bad and has wanted for so many years? It is a book that you won't be able to put down until you have read every word and found out what happens. It will make you cry and at some times even put a smile on your face. A daughter, three beautiful grandchildren and a son in law that won't let you like him make for a sad, yet beautiful story. Only Bette Lee Crosby could write a story like this that you will love from start to finish. Without a doubt a 5 star read and even more if that were possible. I loved every word, sentence, page, chapter of this awesome story that is based on a true story. One you won't be sorry you read and that will stay with you for a long time after you finish.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Colette

    A very heartbreaking story about family, love, loss and faith. Elizabeth becomes very ill during her 3rd pregnancy and is diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. Instead of supporting and loving her, her husband complains about his problems and his worries and asks her father for another loan (in addition to $110,000 he has already squandered. When he is refused, he cuts all ties to Elizabeth and to her family and it takes a court battle to allow Elizabeth to even see her children. Eventually her hu A very heartbreaking story about family, love, loss and faith. Elizabeth becomes very ill during her 3rd pregnancy and is diagnosed with an inoperable tumor. Instead of supporting and loving her, her husband complains about his problems and his worries and asks her father for another loan (in addition to $110,000 he has already squandered. When he is refused, he cuts all ties to Elizabeth and to her family and it takes a court battle to allow Elizabeth to even see her children. Eventually her husband disappears with the children leaving the grandparents with the loss of not only their daughter, but also their grandchildren. Any more would cause a "spoiler alert" so I am going to stop there, but if you enjoy a story of family, love, loss, faith and life, you will enjoy this book.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Agnes (BeaderBubbe)

    First let me get the box of tissues. This was a love-hate book. Some of the characters I loved - Elizabeth, Claire - and some I hated - definitely Jeffrey! Families are quite a mixture as i know from personal experience - but this one had me wishing I could hit someone. Claire's only child, Elizabeth, is dying and her only wish is to be with her 3 children - and Claire's only wish is to be with her grandchildren.....but...Elizabeth's hubby Jeffrey is a son-of-a-b---- Sorry, only description I can First let me get the box of tissues. This was a love-hate book. Some of the characters I loved - Elizabeth, Claire - and some I hated - definitely Jeffrey! Families are quite a mixture as i know from personal experience - but this one had me wishing I could hit someone. Claire's only child, Elizabeth, is dying and her only wish is to be with her 3 children - and Claire's only wish is to be with her grandchildren.....but...Elizabeth's hubby Jeffrey is a son-of-a-b---- Sorry, only description I can think of. But alas Ms Crosby, the author, brings this story to the ultimate ending - but make sure you have a box of tissues handy..... If you are looking for your next book to read, make it this one. You will be hooked on Bette Lee Crosby....I am.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This book, for me, was emotionally draining and unforgettable. I think anyone who has had part of their family desert them would feel the same way. My case was not in any way like this family's, but similar enough that I completely understood the loss and grief that Liz and her parents felt. The fact that JT was such a inhuman human being didn't really grab me as much as the fact that a man withheld the love of her children at a time when she needed them so much. This book caused me so many emot This book, for me, was emotionally draining and unforgettable. I think anyone who has had part of their family desert them would feel the same way. My case was not in any way like this family's, but similar enough that I completely understood the loss and grief that Liz and her parents felt. The fact that JT was such a inhuman human being didn't really grab me as much as the fact that a man withheld the love of her children at a time when she needed them so much. This book caused me so many emotions - sadness mostly. But, there was forgiveness and redemption at the end. Beautiful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa B

    What an awesome book. Ms Crosby evokes all kinds of emotions in her writing. It shows all sides of those involved in not only a terminal illness, but those with emotional illnesses: the patient, her parents, her children and her cold, unfeeling husband. The legalities involved, the emotions of all. I couldn't put it down, but when I did, it was on my mind.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Omg!!! This woman's books have such a way of making you love,hate,feel so much for the characters, I love her books,she has now become one of my favorite authors,the way she sucks you in with her Words and storytelling ,is amazing ,this was such a heartbreaking story but so beautiful ,a mothers love is the strongest love there is!! Bette hands down best book ever!!

  13. 3 out of 5

    Sherry Fundin

    How can you look into those gorgeous blue eyes and not want to wrap your arms around the child and fill his life with love and happiness? The emotion this cover evokes almost overwhelms me. It's as if he is pleading with me to make it all better. I received a letter and immediately sat down and wrote a letter in return. I hadn't seen my grandchildren in 20 years. My dreams had always been of a large family, always together. I was an only child, but I didn't know it. I filled my life with an imagi How can you look into those gorgeous blue eyes and not want to wrap your arms around the child and fill his life with love and happiness? The emotion this cover evokes almost overwhelms me. It's as if he is pleading with me to make it all better. I received a letter and immediately sat down and wrote a letter in return. I hadn't seen my grandchildren in 20 years. My dreams had always been of a large family, always together. I was an only child, but I didn't know it. I filled my life with an imaginary family, to take the place of my cold and unloving parents. Charlie and I could only have one child, but I filled Elizabeth's life with playmates. When she married Jeffrey and they said they were going to have a houseful of kids, I was ecstatic. Elizabeth told us of her first pregnancy twenty-two years ago. That's when I told her of my imaginary family of kids. We joked and laughed about how we both could picture their faces. When Elizabeth became pregnant with their third child, she knew something wasn't right, I did too. J. T rode her hard and criticized her at every turn. Elizabeth knew it was because of his own failure, but she loved him and made allowances. Funny how you think you know someone,but they are totally different. They have kept it hidden, but something like money problems go expose their weakness. Elizabeth's dad, Charlie, wouldn't give him any more money. So, in an attempt to blackmail him and extort more money from him, he wouldn't let them see the kids. He didn't care who he hurt. As Elizabeth's health deteriorates, no one sees his next move coming, until it is too late. 5 STARS - Would Buy It For Them (lol) Bette Lee Crosby's covers always portray such a mix of emotions, foretelling the roller coaster ride inside the pages of the book. How can you look into those gorgeous blue eyes of the child on the cover and not be overcome with a desire to protect and love. I just know something bad is coming by the look in his eyes, the pain I see there. A very sad and tragic story. As I read, I became very angry. I can't say much about why, but when you read the book, you will know what I mean. No words can tell how upsetting parts of the book were, while others were so uplifting. Whenever a child's heart breaks, the mothers breaks also. Whenever a child's heart soars, so too does the mothers. Our children are always a child to us parents. Elizabeth was a good and kind person. When she was a little girl, she brought home every stray she found, feeling it necessary to care for them and give them a loving home. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would respond - a mom. She loved being a wife and mother. I remember my own mother's answer when I asked her if she ever regretted staying at home and being a wife and mother. She said no, she loved every minute of it. Elizabeth would do almost anything for her husband and kids. She was a loving daughter, insightful and forgiving. Everyone loved her, except for, maybe, her husband. J. T. was a mean, selfish, self-centered and vindictive adulterer. Because of his inability to accept blame for his failures, he had to blame them on someone else. So he picks the one person who loved him most, to become his whipping post. If I could have leaped into the pages of the book and punched his lights out, I would have. Claire was wonderful, loving and caring mother. She would do anything for her daughter. Sacrifice anything. She ached for her daughter pain. A heartbreaking vigil. "Nothings perfect, life is like a sidewalk leading to heaven, we're bound to come across a few cracks in it." "They're Gods way of moving aside life's cement. He's giving us a chance to let something new grow." Bette Lee Crosby's writing evokes such wide range of emotions. I am continually surprised at how deeply her books affect me. Bette s books are so well written and the stories are so heartfelt and realistic, that you cannot help but respond to them. I couldn't put the book down, as I read the blurred words through the tears in my eyes, until I reached the last word and closed the book. I received this book in return for an honest and unbiased review. That is never a problem with Bette's books, because they do not disappoint. Cracks in the Sidewalk Bette Lee Crosby

  14. 4 out of 5

    sue

    I was privileged to be gifted this book Cracks In the Side walk by the author. I haven't read any of Bette Lee Crosby's books before, why? is what I need to ask myself! This author has been firmly planted upon my favourite authors list. What can I say about Cracks In the Side walk. Well, it was my type of reading material. I could get into this story within the first chapter, and for me, this is a good sign that an author can draw me in, its means to me that I know I am going to stay glued with thi I was privileged to be gifted this book Cracks In the Side walk by the author. I haven't read any of Bette Lee Crosby's books before, why? is what I need to ask myself! This author has been firmly planted upon my favourite authors list. What can I say about Cracks In the Side walk. Well, it was my type of reading material. I could get into this story within the first chapter, and for me, this is a good sign that an author can draw me in, its means to me that I know I am going to stay glued with this book. I didn't realize the storyline was based upon a real true story. This brought this poignant story home to me even more. I really felt for all of the people in it, all except Jeffrey. How can you stay married to a rogue, unfeeling, selfish SOAB, I couldn't have. Of course I felt for the Mother of the children so badly, I walk in her footsteps, felt every inch of her pain. As for the Grandparents, I've seen my Mother go through life not having access to one of her grandchildren and the pain, heartbreak and anguish this has caused. So not only did they loose one precious gift, they were on the verge of loosing them too. At the end of this book I had to keep drying my eyes, and in the mist of my tears I finished the last page. Bette Lee Crosby, you got me! I was in floods of tears at the end and found it hard to choose the next book. Whatever am I going to read next that is going to match this.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Babs

    4.5 stars for Cracks in the sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby. One chapter I want to throw the book across the room promising myself I'm not going to read any more. The next I can't read fast enough. A story of Elizabeth and Jeffrey who date as kids and get married very young. So in love Jeffrey would follow her around every where she went. Elizabeth's parents Charlie and Claire McDermott loved them and would have done anything for them. They loved Jeffrey as a son. Something very sad and tragic happen 4.5 stars for Cracks in the sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby. One chapter I want to throw the book across the room promising myself I'm not going to read any more. The next I can't read fast enough. A story of Elizabeth and Jeffrey who date as kids and get married very young. So in love Jeffrey would follow her around every where she went. Elizabeth's parents Charlie and Claire McDermott loved them and would have done anything for them. They loved Jeffrey as a son. Something very sad and tragic happened when Liz was carrying their third child; something that changed the whole tone of the book. Lives were changed, stretched to impossible lengths. It's a story of love and hate, fear and revenge. The evil force driving the mind of the antagonist was nothing more or less than hate fed by blame on everyone but himself for being responsible for every one of his failures, especially his financial ones. It is a story also about a depth of a mother's love for her children and how far she would go to protect them. One more thing...never give up praying; you never know when or how God will answer, but he always does.

  16. 3 out of 5

    Susan

    Loved, loved, loved this book! A very endearing story about a parents love for a dying daughter, a grandparents love for their grandchildren, and a snake of a husband who's picture should accompany the word despicable in the dictionary. I fell in love with the characters (Elizabeth, Claire, Charlie)and felt true hatred for characters (Jeffrey, Kelsey). I could identify with the emotions of the characters and rode their ups and downs like I was experiencing them in real life. Knowing that the boo Loved, loved, loved this book! A very endearing story about a parents love for a dying daughter, a grandparents love for their grandchildren, and a snake of a husband who's picture should accompany the word despicable in the dictionary. I fell in love with the characters (Elizabeth, Claire, Charlie)and felt true hatred for characters (Jeffrey, Kelsey). I could identify with the emotions of the characters and rode their ups and downs like I was experiencing them in real life. Knowing that the book is based on a true story made me appreciate and recognize the depth of love and strength that only a parent can possess. I got a true sense that when all seems futile, hope must never be abandoned. The ending of the book had me in tears (and I'm usually not that big of a sap). The tears were mostly of joy as there is as happy of an ending as is possible in such a story. However, some of my tears were due to my exit of the story and knowing that I will wonder about Claire and the grandchildren for many days to come.

  17. 3 out of 5

    Ronna

    Loosing their only daughter to a brain tumor, the McDermott family longed to spend their years sharing their time with their three grandchildren. But this was not to be. Once a loving family, their daughter's husband became bitter, heartless, and mean,when Liz got sick. He blamed his failures on everyone and everything but his own faults. When his in-laws finally said 'no' to yet one more loan for his failing business, he used his ability to keep the kids from them as revenge. Bette definitely sh Loosing their only daughter to a brain tumor, the McDermott family longed to spend their years sharing their time with their three grandchildren. But this was not to be. Once a loving family, their daughter's husband became bitter, heartless, and mean,when Liz got sick. He blamed his failures on everyone and everything but his own faults. When his in-laws finally said 'no' to yet one more loan for his failing business, he used his ability to keep the kids from them as revenge. Bette definitely shows that when the sidewalk cracks, The Lord provides another sidewalk, though God's methods may not always be our methods! Having worked in the courts with abused and neglected kids, I found some parts of the story strained for credibility, but her handling of the emotional issues well surpassed these nick picking issues! The way Bette Lee Crosby handles the workings of The Lord was wonderfully inspiring! Good read!!

  18. 3 out of 5

    Valerie

    A love story...but not a romance novel. This book is about familial love - between parent and child and between grandparents and grandchildren. What happens when that natural bond gets stretched to the limit, or breaks entirely due to financial problems or serious illness? The answer is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. On a general note, while not overly preachy, it does have some religious references/overtones. However, they were mild enough to not really detract from the story. I will defin A love story...but not a romance novel. This book is about familial love - between parent and child and between grandparents and grandchildren. What happens when that natural bond gets stretched to the limit, or breaks entirely due to financial problems or serious illness? The answer is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. On a general note, while not overly preachy, it does have some religious references/overtones. However, they were mild enough to not really detract from the story. I will definitely read more from this author.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Paige

    I loved this book! I love sad stories - I love happy endings- I love family relations stories- I love strong characters. It does not matter if the character is a good guy or a bad one if it is a well drawn character. This book has all that and more. Bette Lee Crosby is a great writer- give her a try- you will love her!

  20. 3 out of 5

    Sara Freitag

    WOW!!!!!! This was an amazing book! It caught my attention right from the beginning. I love This authors writing. I have never had someone in a book that I hated so much! But you fall in love with the other characters. A must read!!!

  21. 3 out of 5

    Nancy Keller

    I love, love, love all of Bette's books. I am in love with almost all her characters and continue to think about them after I finish the book. I did actually cry at the end of this book, but they were happy tears. Thanks for the great stories, Bette. I can't wait to read Memory House.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Coral

    Loved this story and it was a tear-jerker! I cried TWICE with this story and that hasn't happened since I read The Notebook.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    The best I've read by this author. The author states that it's based on a true story, which makes the premise all the more heartbreaking.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    **This book was given to me by the author for a fair and unbiased review** Elizabeth is a devoted mother to her 2 children and would do anything to support her sleaze of a husband. During her 3rd pregnancy, Liz is diagnosed with a neurological disorder that requires an early ceasarian birth for her son, Christian. After his birth, Liz is officially diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Jeffrey, Liz's money hungry, selfish, narcissistic husband makes the quick and terrible decision to from tha **This book was given to me by the author for a fair and unbiased review** Elizabeth is a devoted mother to her 2 children and would do anything to support her sleaze of a husband. During her 3rd pregnancy, Liz is diagnosed with a neurological disorder that requires an early ceasarian birth for her son, Christian. After his birth, Liz is officially diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Jeffrey, Liz's money hungry, selfish, narcissistic husband makes the quick and terrible decision to from that point on keep the children away from Liz and her parents as punishment. Jeffrey has already borrowed thousands of dollars from Liz's father Charlie and when he finally says no to another loan for a failing business, Jeffrey begins to blame Liz and her family for all of his problems. Jeffrey is truly a character to hate but on the other hand, he is a little unbelievable. Unfortunately I have a narcissist sociopath in my family, which is pretty much how I would describe Jeffrey. In a similar situation in my own family, this family member did not treat his wife this bad and he is what I would call crazy with a capital C. He also tried to alienate family members and blame everyone but himself for his problems including his terminally ill wife. But for Jeffery to follow through on his threat seems totally over the top and, even though I hated this character, I think he was a little over the top. After Liz's diagnosis, Jeffrey doesn't allow Liz to come home because "she has one foot in the grave" and Jeffrey has no intentions of taking care of his "lousy money hungry wife". Liz therefore returns to her parents home. She is then hospitalized for several months and once home, Liz and her family decide that they want to see her children. This part was also hard to believe. How can any mother go 10 months without seeing her kids without a question as to why. I personally would be going crazy. And again I will draw from my own experiences with my terminal family member in an extremely similar circumstance. Even with her terrible illness and multiple setbacks, she never forgot her 6 children. She fought with every ounce of strength she could and would never have let it go 10 months without seeing her kids, even when her husband would have preferred that and worked actively to keep them from her. It certainly makes for an emotional story and a protagonist to loathe but it was just too much to believe. Liz and her family take Jeffrey to court where he continues his antics and the judge sees fit to take in consideration Jeffrey's crazy rants. There is no way any court in the country would let a father keep his children away from his sick wife. It's not going to happen. Now as much as I have said about how hard it was to believe in the story, it was an emotional story. It tugged at my heartstrings and I finished the book and the ending was as expected. All in all the story was ok. I would say this was more of an exaggeration than realistic fiction. It's more of a cautionary tale or a story meant to pull emotions out of a reader rather than sticking to the true realistic fiction genre. I am curious to read what else this author has written and will check out her other novels. This book was 3 stars for me....I liked the actual writing but the story could have been more believable. ***I was just given some background information about this book by the novel and realized that this book is not as far fetched as I first thought. I honestly thought my own family member was the worst of the worst and after talking to the author, I realized that there truly are people out there like JT and those people are the true monsters in this world. Thanks Bette for your time and insights!!!!***

  25. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    Read my full review @ http://bit.ly/RTrwKP Synopsis: Claire and Charlie McDermott's daughter, Elizabeth Caruthers, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and requires long hospitalizations and continued care at her parents home. Once her illness is concerned, her narcisstic husband, JT, who runs a high end woman's apparrel shop and thinks that is his destiny, deserts his wife and decides after Liz with her parents after they will no longer give him money to support his fail to continue Read my full review @ http://bit.ly/RTrwKP Synopsis: Claire and Charlie McDermott's daughter, Elizabeth Caruthers, has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and requires long hospitalizations and continued care at her parents home. Once her illness is concerned, her narcisstic husband, JT, who runs a high end woman's apparrel shop and thinks that is his destiny, deserts his wife and decides after Liz with her parents after they will no longer give him money to support his fail to continue to be his piggy bank to keep the business. The McDermott's only option is to take JT to court to demand visitation of the children which in his violative personality, doesn't take it well. After Liz wins visitation, an angry JT refuses to comply and makes a drastic decision. My rating: 4 Stars My opinion: This book has the hallmark high quality writing of Bette Lee Crosby. Her characters are consistently written in a vivid manner as though the reader is following them through a looking glass to the inner sanctum of their lives and her stories are incredibly fast pased. To a point, Cracks in the Sidewalk was no different. However, I felt like I couldn't really get "close" to any of these characters, as I have been able to do with the better chunk of Bette's books. It seemed just from the theme of the story, it was one crisis after another, as a result of the storyline, which really made it difficult to "attach" to any of the characters. One must remember that this book is on several gut wrenching topics wrapped into one story. Now, does that mean that this book garnered less than 4 stars...no way! This book was a solid 4 where, in my ratings, several of Bette's books garnered slightly higher ratings from me. I am very happy that I read it. Now, Bette compares this book to the writing of Jodi Picoult, but Bette consistently produces books that could run circles around the writing of Jodi Picoult, who produces, in my humble opinion, a much more commercial style book. One can NEVER say that about a Bette Lee Crosby novel!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Synopis: Claire and Charlie McDermott's daughter is diagnosed with a terminal, in-operable brain tumor. Elizabeth and JT Caruther's have three beautiful children. Claire and Charlie's pride and joy. JT was Elizabeth's love of her life until her illness. JT became a hateful, evil monster who wouldn't let her come home to convalesce and die, and refused to let the McDermott,s or Elizabeth see her chilidren. Charlie had bailed JT's butt out of financial ruin many times before and finally said no to Synopis: Claire and Charlie McDermott's daughter is diagnosed with a terminal, in-operable brain tumor. Elizabeth and JT Caruther's have three beautiful children. Claire and Charlie's pride and joy. JT was Elizabeth's love of her life until her illness. JT became a hateful, evil monster who wouldn't let her come home to convalesce and die, and refused to let the McDermott,s or Elizabeth see her chilidren. Charlie had bailed JT's butt out of financial ruin many times before and finally said no to him for the last time. JT's selfish rage really took over then. Claire and Charlie took Elizabeth into their home and cared for her. Nothing short of taking JT to court and taking a sledghammer to his door could get those children back. Yet, Claire, Charlie and Elizabeth trusted in God no matter what was thrown at them. And although Claire had to deal with the loss and pain in her own way, she was there through her faith to help and love others. This was a very powerful, emotional story. There were many times reading this that I almost, literally, threw the book across the room I was SO angry and agitated at characters in this story.I never thought I could hate characters more than I did JT, the Judge, the Attorney's, and even the Phychiatrist. The telling of each person's story throughout the book is one of the authors greatest writing skills. I got so involved in each character. This was not my usual "warm, fuzzy,feel-good" book. After reading this I felt emotionally drained. I cried at the end when it all came together. Another of Bette Lee Crosby's heart wrenching books.All I can say is "WOW!"

  27. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Young

    Imagine your grandchildren being ripped from your life, as your daughter is losing hers. This is what happened to Claire and Charlie McDermott when their daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Elizabeth’s loser husband, Jeffrey, denies his wife and in-laws access to the children until they hire a lawyer and sue for custody. The judge grants Elizabeth visitation, but because of her failing health, leave the children in the custody of the incompetent Jeffrey. After Eliza Imagine your grandchildren being ripped from your life, as your daughter is losing hers. This is what happened to Claire and Charlie McDermott when their daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Elizabeth’s loser husband, Jeffrey, denies his wife and in-laws access to the children until they hire a lawyer and sue for custody. The judge grants Elizabeth visitation, but because of her failing health, leave the children in the custody of the incompetent Jeffrey. After Elizabeth dies, Jeffrey disappears with the children, and although the McDermotts hire a private investigator and Charlie goes looking for Jeffrey and the children, their whereabouts remain obscure. Claire continues to buy birthday cards and Christmas cards for their grandchildren and tucks money into them, keeping them as well as gifts in boxes for the children over the years. One day, Claire receives a letter that brings memories flooding back of her daughter and grandchildren. Ultimately, there is a reunion, but will it be a happy reunion, or will the grandchildren hold animosity toward Claire? This book is so well written, and Bette Lee Crosby tells the story so beautifully, you can’t help but become a part of it. Ms. Crosby is a natural story teller, and gives the characters of this story incredible dimension and personality. This is one of those stories that will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen

    Bette Lee Crosby writes so beautifully that you are drawn in from the first paragraph. I wish to thank Bette Lee Crosby for gifting me with a copy of “Cracks In The Sidewalk”. Claire and Charlie McDermott lost their grandchildren when their daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Elizabeth’s husband, Jeffrey, denies his wife and in-laws access to the children until they hire a lawyer and sue for custody. The judge grants Elizabeth visitation, but because of her failing Bette Lee Crosby writes so beautifully that you are drawn in from the first paragraph. I wish to thank Bette Lee Crosby for gifting me with a copy of “Cracks In The Sidewalk”. Claire and Charlie McDermott lost their grandchildren when their daughter, Elizabeth, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Elizabeth’s husband, Jeffrey, denies his wife and in-laws access to the children until they hire a lawyer and sue for custody. The judge grants Elizabeth visitation, but because of her failing health, leave the children in the custody of their father. After Elizabeth dies, Jeffrey disappears with the children, and although the McDermott’s hire a private investigator and Charlie goes looking for Jeffrey and the children, their whereabouts remains unknown. Claire continues to buy birthday cards and Christmas cards and tucks money into them, keeping them as well as the gifts she purchases, over the years. Twenty years later Claire receives a letter that brings back the memories of her daughter and the grandchildren she hasn’t seen in all this time. She anxiously prepares for their arrival pulling from the closet the boxes with the names of her 3 beloved grandchildren. What happens next is what makes this such a beautiful story as 4 people discover family, memories and love.

  29. 3 out of 5

    Andrea Corley

    First of all, what's not to love about this book? The characters, the story, everything about this book is top of the line! This story is gut-wrenching and bittersweet all at the same time. I felt as though I could feel the character's heart aches right along with them throughout the whole story. There was never a dull or boring moment throughout the entire story. It flowed nicely, smoothly, and easily. This was a story that pained me to stop reading each day as it felt like I was propping my eye First of all, what's not to love about this book? The characters, the story, everything about this book is top of the line! This story is gut-wrenching and bittersweet all at the same time. I felt as though I could feel the character's heart aches right along with them throughout the whole story. There was never a dull or boring moment throughout the entire story. It flowed nicely, smoothly, and easily. This was a story that pained me to stop reading each day as it felt like I was propping my eyelids open just to read! The characters were so superbly written. You had several characters that you couldn't help but love and a few that you couldn't help but hate and those feelings never changed! The sad truth of it is, that there are so many despicable people in the world, just like Jeffrey, Kelsey, and her sister! I felt super involved throughout the whole story but often found myself with a little grin as I read at the truly endearing parts of Elizabeth with her children, and Claire's undying love for Elizabeth. I also could feel the anguish right along with Claire as she was dealt blow after blow but never gave up. This is truly a story of a two mothers (and father's) unconditional love, faithfulness, unwavering devotion to her family. Spectacular read!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marci

    Wow. Once again, Bette Lee Crosby displays her technical expertise at storytelling - she is not just a good writer, but a good storyteller. The two together make for a book that is hard to put down. Cracks in the Sidewalk is a story that pulls at you throughout, and leaves you at the end wanting to know these people, live next door to them, and see where they go from here. You want to sit down with each of them to counsel, symapthise, or just knock some sense into their heads. None of the charac Wow. Once again, Bette Lee Crosby displays her technical expertise at storytelling - she is not just a good writer, but a good storyteller. The two together make for a book that is hard to put down. Cracks in the Sidewalk is a story that pulls at you throughout, and leaves you at the end wanting to know these people, live next door to them, and see where they go from here. You want to sit down with each of them to counsel, symapthise, or just knock some sense into their heads. None of the characters is perfect, but who in life is? Claire and Charlie are loving parents who do their best and still suffer heartbreaking losses. You want to call, "Time out!" for these folks, give them some room to breathe, make the chaos settle down a bit, but, just as in life, time doesn't stop. Take the time to read Cracks in the Sidewalk, it is well worth it - and you will have a rosy glow when you are done, just happy to have shared this journey with these folks. Cracks in the Sidewalk

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