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To Have and To Hold

To Have and To Hold

By: Trae Stratton
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publishing Date: April 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4637-8323-5
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: October 9, 2014

Talk about a breath of fresh air to all the readers out there. Instead of zombies, gore, grim fairytales, or murder and mayhem, this author has put together a truly inspiring, emotional, humorous, and perfect story that people can relate to.

A middle-class family living in the suburbs of New York City, the MacLann’s, are all about living life and loving each other. The crew includes Mom and Dad and their brood of five children, who are living the good, bad, and sometimes difficult life, along with their dog, Storm; a Husky with two different colored eyes.

As the story begins, Colin MacLann is about to take the big step into matrimony. Colin is a smart boy who has enjoyed a good upbringing and was very close to his brother, Matthew. He was one of those charmers who had numerous girlfriends over the years and the five girls he wooed over time liked him in all different ways. Some of them even broke his heart for a while...but not for long.

Colin has made his choice to settle down, and a narrative begins that goes back in time, remembering each and every niche of the MacLann’s early days, delving into both the great times and the sad that transformed the family dynamic in different ways over the decades. Centering the narrative on the soon-to-be groom, the love story between Colin and his bride-to-be comes to life. Now, they are suffering from pre-wedding jitters, yet remembering the family, and the fun had in the MacLann home, brings relaxation to the scary moment.

Flashbacks galore, as Colin strives to keep his nerves in check. From the days leading up to the wedding to the family members adding in their own thoughts, like Mom and Dad viewing the years of their children’s lives as they grew into adults and began lives of their own. There are trials and tribulations that must be taken on, learning how to succeed and how to brush yourself off and stand back up again, when circumstances weigh you down. And remembering Mom’s ‘look’ that could come from nowhere, and was like a laser shot directed at the member of the family who had just made a bit of a mistake by angering her. Even the smallest family tidbit is told.

As the wedding day unfolds, readers will finally realize who the bride actually is, chosen from the bevy of beauties that made up Colin’s past loves, and as the time ticks off to the moment where aisle-walking is imminent, the MacLann family makes everyone realize and remember how wonderful and necessary a strong, loving family unit can be.

Quill says: Funny, enlightened, kind, nurturing and real, this is a thoughtful book about a family anyone would want to be a part of.

For more information on To Have and To Hold, please visit the author's website at:

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