If I’m totally honest, the primary reason I signed up to be on Chautona Havig’s launch team last year was so that I could read about Aggie. Of course, I love her other books, too, but Aggie is my favorite character. My introduction to Mrs. Havig’s books was the first Aggie’s Inheritance book, Ready or Not, in which Aggie, freshly graduated from college at age 22, suddenly inherits her sister’s 8 children. I loved the book so much that my daughter gave me an Amazon gift card to get me to buy the other two books in that trilogy! That was over a year ago, and I’ve been waiting impatiently since then for more about Aggie. It’s finally here! Ante Up! publishes this week, on the 26th of June, but it is available for preorder already. If you do purchase the book, any time between now and July 7, you can ask for the bonus that Chautona wrote. It is a devotional with a chapter for each chapter of the book, exploring the song that was used for the title of that chapter. I’ve read the devotional, Tune My Heart, already and it is very good. One thing that especially spoke to me was a sentence in Chapter 15: “Mrs. Keary said that she believed those things that interrupt our great plans were sent by God to keep us from becoming selfish.”
In some ways, Ante Up! is my favorite of the series. Aggie has now been married for nearly four years, and she has been mothering her sister’s eight orphaned children for nearly five years. Her second pregnancy is nearing its end, and she has the perfect birth plan mapped out. However, God throws a few monkey wrenches into her plans, as He does to all of us at times. How will Aggie respond? Will she continue to lean on the Lord and trust Him for grace? Or will she snap and show her all-too-human side? As one thing after another goes wrong for her, the challenges to her faith grow harder and harder to handle. Christmas is coming and she doesn’t have anything ready.
Meanwhile, the children have their own challenges to face, besides helping Luke to take care of the house and the little children. Vannie and Laird are faced with young people of the opposite sex being attracted to them (I loved the advice Laird got from older men—it was right on). Tavish is suffering physically from a somewhat foolish action, and Ellie desperately wants to try science experiments. Ian and Ronnie egg each other on as they act like typical little boys, and neither Luke nor Aggie has time or energy to deal with them properly. As the home spirals into chaos, what will bring back the order that Aggie thrives on?
I loved the humor that was woven into the story. My favorite scene involved stitch witchery and a worried little girl (Mommy wouldn’t have used that!). I also loved the roll-baking scene. Poor Ellie wanted to crawl into a hole at the end (“My career as a scientist is over before it even began.”) If you enjoy reading about large families or mothers, you will enjoy this book. If you enjoy watching God work to refine His people, you will enjoy this story. You will be challenged to check out your relationships with others, especially your husband, and your faith in God. Once again, Chautona Havig has crafted a great story that makes you think.
To get your own copy of this wonderful, encouraging book, the Kindle version is available here, and the print version here. If you are one of my friends who doesn’t have a Kindle, you can download an app to read books on your phone. I found a page here that has what you need (and if you’re local to us, Esther can help you install it–you know who you are!).
I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. If you read this, Chautona Havig, thank you very much for allowing me to be on your launch team!
Edited to add: Chautona is having a giveaway of a Kindle Fire. To enter, go here: https://promosimple.com/ps/9ddb
WARNING: Not a story for children or men; there are a lot of details about pregnancy and labor.