Jesse Goossens - It's a Wonderful Life


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A captivating coming-of-age story

A movie can be like life itself. And sometimes, life can be just like a movie.

What a pity excuse for a holiday!

While her friends party in Europe, Anna – a Dutch seventeen year old – is sent to her uncle who lives in a tiny town in Pennsylvania. Bakerton: two streets, a church, a diner, two undertakers and a steam engine that spills out a bunch of tourists on a daily basis.

Anna feels betrayed.

How was she to know that she would feel at home in Bakerton?
That she would meet the most intriguing people?
That she would spend her holiday wearing vintage dresses selling antiques, and learn about funeral rituals?
If only she knew that she would learn about life this summer… and a little more about herself as well…

"Interesting characters abound, all thoughtfully, believably sketched ... A slowly paced, heartfelt coming-of-age tale that effectively, albeit placidly explores life-and death-in small-town America."
-Kirkus

"I just finished this wonderful story and was sad that it was over! Since I am an American living in Europe, I could understand what differences Anna was experiencing with customs and the way things are done in the U.S. I loved the small town she visited with the friendly people at every new place she visited. They made her feel at home just as I did by reading the story. I'd love to live in a small town just like Bakerton! In such a short time, Anna found a home there and grew to be a part of the big family that a small town is. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read a story that made them feel good and to keep an open mind about new things!"
- Speaking-many-languages-all-at-the-same-time Blog

"I don't even know where to begin telling you how much I liked this book ... The characters were amazing. Anna is kind of an outcast even among her friends back home, but you feel she doesn't give a damn. Spending the summer on another continent, away from everything she knows, gives her a chance to look at her life and find out who the real Anna is. Down to earth and real, she's imperfect but lovable ... This book is magical while being firmly on the ground. It shows you that it's really a wonderful life ... Highly recommended. Many thanks for allowing me to read this book!"
-Willing to See Less Blog

"This was a great look at life from an outside looking in perspective. Many of the young adult books appeal to me because they renew that youth that still lives deep inside of me soul. I think we are all sorta like that. In this one Anna gets to experience life if a different setting from her home. Across an ocean and from her European life to a rural American town. Never did she guess that in this new setting she would experience more and relate so well with the community as she did. It just goes to show you that when you get involved your heart and soul open up ever more. This is what let's the goodness of life fill you."
-Lenore Webb on GoodReads.com

"I had a great time reading A Wonderful Life, and I dare to say that it is one of it's kind. I love how the story was narrated, short and simply, fun and witty, and absolutely no roll-your-eyes drama ... Another aspect I came to like is the variety of personalities in the characters. Like I said, 'exotic'. In A Wonderful Life, you'll meet an 18 year old Funeral Director Daniel who thinks 'directiing a funeral' is an art worth respecting, an ancient grave digger who still digs graves and is mighty fine, Tilly, a Jewish old woman with a young heart and also Ben, a big guy who could be so very gentle. One sentence, not your everyday people. Overall, it has a good plot with a good moral value. It was a story of how a summer in Bakerton changed the life of a teenager who's searching for her true identity (gosh I love these books!) and encountered a series of life-changing experiences, by meeting the small town residence of Bakerton ... end result = love it!"
- Dreamland Teen Fantasy Blog, Reviewed by Natasha Anne (Natshane)

"...a great read that I think many different age groups would enjoy. I plan to get this book for my library and I think many students will enjoy it. The cover is great- it's what will draw in many readers at first glance but the story itself is strong enough to hold its own and keep the reader wanting more."
- Nicole Johnson

It's a Wonderful Life | author: Jesse Goossens | Paperback / softback, 188 pages | 9781935954040 | $9.95

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Other books by Jesse Goossens: