Read So Much of Life Ahead by Dean Hughes Online

so-much-of-life-ahead

In this concluding volume of Hearts of the Children, we come full circle to bid good-bye to the Thomas family. The characters we met in Children of the Promise, and their posterity in this sequel series, have filled our hearts for years. As four young cousinsGene, Kathy, Diane, and Hansfind their own paths in life, they are propelled forward by their strong heritage and thIn this concluding volume of Hearts of the Children, we come full circle to bid good-bye to the Thomas family. The characters we met in Children of the Promise, and their posterity in this sequel series, have filled our hearts for years. As four young cousins—Gene, Kathy, Diane, and Hans—find their own paths in life, they are propelled forward by their strong heritage and the power of their faith. Hearts of the Children honestly portrays the explosive problems of the sixties and early seventies, but this concluding volume offers the hope that families can hold together and that good people, with the resources the Lord offers, can not only survive but prosper....

Title : So Much of Life Ahead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781590384725
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 433 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

So Much of Life Ahead Reviews

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-22 21:48

    This was such an amazing book! They wrapped everone's story up perfectly, except for Diane's. The ending was very well done. From when everyone started visiting Al before he died to the end of the book, I was choking back tears. I was determined not to cry but it was so hard! It was all so very well done! Dean Hughes made it seem as if their stories went on, so the book ended but it didn't at the same time. He made it feel like the characters were real people whoes stories continue past the series. This feeling drives me crazy but I like it at the same time! I wanted a nice ending but at the same time I didn't want the books to end. I feel like I'm being severly tortured by this feelign but I don't think I would have it any other way. The ending was fantastic!I'm SO glad that Kathy and Marshall get married! Plus, Gene and Emily surive! YAY! He finally starts to get better! Diane's ending was disappointing, which is why I'm definately going to read Diane's Story. Over all it was, yes, WONDERFUL!

  • Beth
    2019-03-05 04:37

    I loved both the Hearts of the Children series and its predecessor, Children of the Promise. This book was to be the capstone of the books, and I thought it was a great one.I love Hughes’s writing — he uses lots of dialogue, which makes it fun and easy to fly through the pages. But, unlike so many other dialogue-packed stories, I feel like each of his characters has a unique personality — and he even avoids much of the temptation to turn the characters into simple stereotypes, allowing them to grow and change and become better.I appreciated that the story wasn’t just gift-wrapped for us with a nice “and they lived happily ever after.” We have hope that the main characters do, indeed, live satisfied lives, but not all consequences of major decisions are not neatly forgotten about or resolved: while LaRue and Kathy finally find love, Diane is left a single mom and Gene, while he is improving as the book closes, may be haunted by the images of war for a long time to come.I found myself enjoying this book even more than its predecessors. Somehow I was drawn in to each characters story. This hasn’t happened in the past (it’s hard for me to really get interested in the descriptions of war).This was a great book — one for laughing out loud in places and for crying (okay, coming close to crying) in others. I think I’ll have to go back and read the whole series again (or both serieses!) so that I don’t miss the Thomases too much.

  • Ann Baxter
    2019-02-20 03:43

    Stop me if I’ve said this before, but I think one of the reasons people liked the first Hughes series better than this one is the subject matter and the tone the author conveyed throughout each. Children of the Promise; set in World War II, aptly portrayed a family caught up in the times and events of an era that was at once was devastating, yet also warm and fuzzy in retrospect. In contrast the Hearts of the Children series, of which this is the final installment, dealt with a much less fondly remembered time period. The mood reading it was one of discomfort which was, I think, appropriate for this cold and prickly era.Perhaps I’m giving Hughes too much credit. Perhaps the characters in this second series really did becoming annoyingly cliché. And perhaps I really didn’t care for the eventual ending when “all is well.” One of the things I appreciated about Hughes was his understanding that sometimes, it doesn’t all work out. So why he wrapped it all up so nicely this time is beyond me. Not bad, not great.

  • Sadie
    2019-03-07 23:46

    I am reviewing not only this book but the overall series. I enjoyed this book as all of the stories started towards resolution. The characters that were starting to annoy have grown on me and I enjoyed them a lot better near the end. As far as the series goes, it was good, but a little too much of a variation on a theme with all of the characters stories. They were too close to their parents' storylines (if you read "The Children of the Promise" series). Overall it was enjoyable but I can't say that I've jumped on the LDS Fiction bandwagon. I thought he did a good job developing the characters and making their situations and their reactions to them realistic. It never felt preachy or too sugary-sweet as some LDS fiction can get. Again, if you like LDS fiction--and maybe some who don't---you will like this series.

  • Cathi
    2019-02-28 02:54

    I finally finished the HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN series, and it's a satisfying feeling to be done with the story of the Thomas family, next generation. This book is set in the 1960s and 1970s and is quite enjoyable and compelling in many ways. However, it's not nearly as good as the previous Hughes series, CHILDREN OF THE PROMISE, which is set during World War II. I'm not much for books in a series, but this was fun. I like Dean Hughes a lot, no matter what he writes.Not that it matters, but I read the first book of the series years ago, while I was recovering from some surgery. I put that book on Good Reads back then. Frankly, I kind of forgot what was happening in the plot, so I re-read it to give myself a fresh start with the series. Fun!

  • Dad
    2019-03-02 22:50

    This is a beautiful book and series. I had now read all five in Hearts of the Children and all five in Children of the Promise. Dean Hughes did a masterful job. The characters are so interesting and the plot so realistic to me. To have a novel that deals with my church that I belong to and played such a role in shaping my life and seeing how it plays out in another family and others' lives is a wonder to me. I borrowed all five books in this series from my daughter rather than buy them myself. It saved money and gave me satisfaction to know we had read the same work. It gives us an added thing in common.

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-19 21:44

    These books were a lot of fun to read. I learned a lot about life in the 60's and 70's, my parents generation. They kept my interest and made me want to keep reading them every night. They had a great message!

  • ReaderTurnedWriter
    2019-02-20 00:47

    A great ending to a great series. I actually liked the ending of the Children of the Promise series more, but it was still a good one. I loved where the characters ended up, it felt very realistic but still put them all in a good place and ready to move forward with their lives.

  • Danni
    2019-03-04 05:43

    good stuff.

  • Hannah
    2019-02-18 23:52

    Oh my goodness. This was FABULOUS! A superb wrap-up to the series that have hooked me since the beginning. It was very compelling and once I really picked it up, which was yesterday, I could not put it down!!!The writing as simply sublime! I was so into it and following the story, there were times I skimmed political descriptions, and other things, but it hooked me right off.It ended so well. I'm so glad that Kathy and Marshall finally got together! Oh, I have been rooting for them since the last book. They were so sweet. *sigh*I'm very glad Gene is doing better. I really was getting sick of him, and sad that Emily had to leave for a time because of Gene's stupidity. I'm glad that Gene is still struggling a little, because it's realistic. With Gene, I've felt that his story is almost a repeat of his Dad's in Children of the Promise. But one thing that was different was the way that Gene overcame his struggles and I think that was good. But things are good for him and I'm so glad. Diane. Oh Diane! I've always had a hard time with your story. From the start I knew Greg was going to be hard to deal with, but I'm so sad that you didn't get you love. I am so going to try and get my hands on Promises to Keep: Diane's Story if I can. I need a happy ending for her.Hans and Elli are to cute. I'm glad they are doing good. I was a bit mad at him for his reoccurring stupidity, but that ended well. I'm sad there were less chapters of him. I had grown to love his story. But all's well that ends well.I'm so glad this was a great series ender. It's sad when the ending isn't that great. An amazing back, I'm so glad to have read and journeyed with the Thomas family. I'll never regret the time spent with them. They've touched me and will join my growing pile of LDS fiction families. :D

  • Andrea
    2019-03-06 04:50

    This series had it's ups and downs for me. I really enjoy history, so historical novels are typically quite captivating for me, but at times I was wishing the author would move things along. I did like learning more about what was happening with the Berlin wall, all of the "movements", Nixon, Vietnam, etc. In fact, the sentiments expressed about Vietnam paralleled those for Iraq. It's really too bad we don't learn from our own history.I also enjoy reading books with happy endings and closure. That may not be reality, but I don't read to get a good dose of reality. I want some fluff. Of course there has to be conflict (books are really bad without it), but this series had the characters (in general) making so many bad decisions that it hurt. The worst decision to me was Diane marrying Greg. I could not believe that she went ahead with it, especially with her uneasy feelings and with others pointing out how bad he was. She grew from it, but I didn't think the series ended "happily" for her (or Gene). It was frustrating that equal time wasn't given to each character. I really wanted to find out more about Diane, but I'd say the author did two chapters for Gene and Kathy to one of Diane (possibly Hans too). Even with all it's "flaws" I did have a desire to keep reading to find out what would happen to the characters.

  • Stan
    2019-02-19 23:38

    I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author.I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) "Far From home," and a few of the sequels, that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, making the background and historicity of his novels very accurate and believable. His characters are also very compelling and 3-dimensional, and I guess there's just something in me that enjoys following the lives of a couple of families across several generations.This is clean, easy reading that doesn't insult the readers' intelligence, and doesn't compromise any standards (at least not LDS standards). It's a good escape, reading-wise, and though it has the semi-meandering quality of any soap opera, the stories are ones that are good enough that you want to keep following them--even across consecutive series.It's not great literature, necessarily (hence 4-star vs. 5-star), but Hughes makes for good reading that's engaging and entertaining. I'm going to recommend his books.

  • Stan Crowe
    2019-03-19 21:44

    I think one of the best things about Dean Hughes' authorial style is that it's clean and transparent. The story pulls you in, but you're not constantly being reminded that you're *in* a story--that, to me, is a mark of a skilled author.I had to laugh, a little, when I realised that after reading (well, listening to) several of the "Hearts of the Children" series that I had become engrossed in what essentially amounts to and LDS literary soap opera. But Hughes has definitely done his homework, making the background and historicity of his novels very accurate and believable. His characters are also very compelling and 3-dimensional, and I guess there's just something in me that enjoys following the lives of a couple of families across several generations.This is clean, easy reading that doesn't insult the readers' intelligence, and doesn't compromise any standards (at least not LDS standards). It's a good escape, reading-wise, and though it has the semi-meandering quality of any soap opera, the stories are ones that are good enough that you want to keep following them--even across consecutive series.It's not great literature, necessarily (hence 4-star vs. 5-star), but Hughes makes for good reading that's engaging and entertaining. I'm going to recommend his books.

  • Amy
    2019-02-21 04:40

    After LOVING the first series about the Thomas family in WWII era, I had high expectations of this one. It was disappointing ar first - but I stuck with it because I was very interested in the history of that time. By the 3rd book I was finally interested and by the end I really enjoyed it. The story of these people in the 60s and early 70s facinated me because of how little I really knew about the time. More than anything it gave me a greater appreciation for my parents and inlaws, who were right in the middle of all of these very struggles. I gained a real feel for what it felt like to be in this time and events. I love how Dean Hughes paints a well rounded view of how one might feel in the midst of the struggle for racial equality, inner turmoil over the Vietnam war, drastic cultural changes, debates over trusting the government and the changing climate of women's rights. I could look at each charachter and assign a name of someone I know today - then more fully grasp what experiences they had that shaped who they are now. At the same time, the author asks you to look into your life and heart to analyze the depth of your beliefs. A rough start for me but worth reading.

  • Janice
    2019-02-18 21:51

    I loved the first series so much, "The Children of The Promise", we bought all 5 volumes of "The Hearts of The Children". I loved these books because they seemed to be about real people, not perfect people. Just like you and me.A comment by Dean Hughes that will give you an idea of how he thinks and writes:"Before we have children, we think most of the parents sitting in sacrament meeting ought to “do something about their kids.” Once we have kids, we think everyone ought to be a lot more understanding about what we’re trying to survive during the meeting. And once our kids are grown, we think, “I never let my kids get away with that.” We really all need to chill out." — Dean Hughes (All Moms Go To Heaven)

  • Crystal
    2019-02-21 05:40

    This book is the end of a series that I thought was a little too stereotypically "cheesy" Mormon. However, this particular book, while idealistic, is honest from a Salt Lake insider's point of view. Fortunately, it allows for differences of opinion, life experiences, and chances for people to step outside of "Zion". It even pokes fun at some Mormon idiosyncracies. It's a little unrealistic in my experience with regard to laying open everyone's feelings and assuming that with enough faith, everything will turn out great and all serious problems will resolve. It's kind of like a Sacrament Meeting talk in that regard. Nevertheless, I liked it. It's an uplifting story and a slice of Mormon culture.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-16 05:44

    How I managed to finish this series is beyond me. Gene is an idiot, and there's only so much you can read about a guy who is messed up but won't get help. Nothing is happening in Kathy's life. Diane and Hans' respective lives are boring too. And then all the sudden at the end, everyone is getting married and getting pregnant. Wow, so much for nothing. THis book isn't worth reading, neither is this series. Audrey, if you're reading this, don't waste your time on this series. I don't know what Emily thinks, but this series should have left off with the LAST series. I like Hans', but not enough to ever read this book (or series) again.

  • Rex Cluff
    2019-02-26 22:42

    I was a bit disappointed with this final volume of the series. It felt like the author knew the story was over and he was in a hurry to wrap it up. Yes, there were touching moments and not everybody had a "Disney", happily-ever-after ending, but at times the dialogue and settings seemed forced, unrealistic and even "campy". Still, the overall message was worthwhile and each family should take that message to heart and do their best to apply it in their current settings. I have thoroughly enjoyed all ten volumes. Thank you, Dean Hughes.

  • Michelle
    2019-02-28 01:03

    This series of books really got me interested in learning about the Vietnam War and what life was like in the sixties and seventies. The author really has a way of pulling you in to the characters' lives and really showing what it was like to live during that time and experience some of the things that were going on. If you're interested in this time period or LDS fiction, I would definitely recommend the series. Dean Hughes does a wonderful job of capturing real world experiences for four different characters living in different parts the world.

  • Todd Lemmon
    2019-03-16 00:02

    I was captivated from start to finish for about 3 months while I read all 10 volumes of the two-part series. I gained a greater appreciation for my own heritage as well as those who have gone to war. I found myself able to relate to pieces of the lives and experiences of each character. The books gave me a better resolve to pass on to my posterity the ability to live the gospel despite the conditions of the world or what we may experience, good or bad. I think in part that is what Brother Hughes is trying to portray.

  • Amber
    2019-02-25 03:45

    All in all I enjoyed the ending of the series, I wish there could have been something better for Diane, but I'm glad that she grew up and is starting to make better choices.I was happy with Kathy's ending, but a little saddened by Gene's. I wish that he could have been completely healed, but I was happy to see that he was making progress and stopped being so stinking stubborn.I'm glad I read the series because I did enjoy it especially once the characters were out of their teens and early 20's!

  • Angie
    2019-03-09 23:57

    This book pretty much amounts to Mormon soap opera, but I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoyed it. Hans' storyline felt more superfluous than ever, but it was fun to tag along with the Thomases for one more book. Not everything wrapped up neatly—thank goodness—but this was a satisfying ending to the lives of a fictional family I really grew to love. Not to mention I learned a lot about this time period—the 60s don't capture my interest like the 40s do, but it was good for me to have it brought to life somewhat. I ended up enjoying this follow-up series a lot more than I thought I would.

  • Jasmyn
    2019-02-27 02:49

    I was glad I finally finished/re-read this series. It's kind of a hard one to read at times--you wish the author would "fix" everything and make everything better, but unfortunately, he tries to make it as real to life as possible. So Diane stays divorced and Gene is still struggling with his emotional wounds from the war.I really like this author, though. I love the historical details he gives--it always makes me want to read some history from that era.Also, I've heard he has a book about Diane's experience after this novel, so I'm excited to pick that one up too!

  • Katy
    2019-03-06 01:33

    I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed with this series. I enjoyed, for the most part, Diana's and Kathleen's story line. But I didn't have any closure when the series ended. I didn't like most of the characters and how they ended up. But, saying that, it was still enjoyable to read. I liked to see the character's reactions to historical events, like the Kennedy assassination and the Civil Rights Movement. The story is very moving from a historical stance, but lacks in connection with the characters.

  • Karen
    2019-03-04 00:57

    I really enjoyed this series. Children of the Promise and Hearts of the Children Series are both very well written and I understand that his research into the history is pretty accurate. I like reading his thoughts at the end of each book that share what he was trying to portray while writing the book. I am at a loss for what to read now. I really got into these books and feel that my time reading them was well worth it!

  • Tami
    2019-03-07 02:53

    I liked being able to continue the story of the Thomas family. It goes through typical life challenges and gave me a better perspective of what things may have been like in the 60's. It is realistic. Not every ending is a happy one, but it shows how we can cope with our challenges. I felt most connected to the Character of Cathy. She is very stubborn and constantly questioning things. But, she seemed to have learned more compared to her cousin by the traits that she has.

  • Debbie
    2019-03-16 22:41

    I really liked this series and this was a pretty good end to the series. I liked the previous books a little better because this book felt like it was more of a wrapping up of four major story lines and it had to be done by a certain page, rather than letting the stories play out to the end that was more natural. I liked these books enough that I have looked by another book by this author. Overall, well done!

  • Amie
    2019-03-20 22:46

    It was good...wrapped up the cousins' stories neatly (most of them) and ended with a bit of a climax and closure to the story. Though now I'm hearing rumors that there is yet one more book following just Diane's story, which I'd like to find and read. Very interesting series--I think Children of the Promise was a better series, but this was good too.

  • Stephanie Price
    2019-02-20 05:38

    Oh my goodness, so many feelings! This book made me cry several times. It was a great conclusion to a great series. I feel like I learned so much and gained so much insight from reading these books. The Thomas family seems so real, it's hard to believe the series is over. I loved reading both the Children of the Promise and Hearts of the Children series. So good!!

  • Mdonalds1
    2019-03-11 00:37

    I read the 5 books in Dean Hughes series "Children of the Promise" and his 5 book series "Hearts of the Children". I enjoyed them thoroughly! He has done a great job bringing the events of World War II through the Vietnam War into the setting of the fictional Thomas family. I would recommend them to anyone!