06/28/2021 / Review

What Matters Most by LuAnn Rice

I always know that when I pick up a book written by Luanne Rice, I will be drawn into a wonderfully woven story. While this is not a new book, it is a treasured story that needs to be praised. I picked up my copy of  What Matters Most, and I have once again found myself swept away by another story masterfully crafted by Ms. Rice. This book is the second in the Star of the Sea Academy series, continuing with the characters from SandcastlesHowever, this story can be read and captivate the reader all on its own. 
 The main character, Sister Bernadette Ignatius,  has returned to Ireland with her caretaker/friend Tom Kelly to search for the son they gave up many years ago.  Bernadette and Tom have a past filled with young love and desire, that came to a halt when Bernadette felt a calling to a vocation as Mother Superior at Star of the Sea Academy on the sea-tossed Connecticut shore. Her decision to give up their son and life as she knew it, also affected Tom. He wound up giving up his fortune and taking the job as caretaker at Star of the Sea, so that he could remain close to his beloved Bernie, knowing he could no longer have  her but whom he never stopped loving. Bernie's calling may have changed the path of both of their lives, however, their journey together is far from over.

In Dublin, Ireland a young man named Seamus Sullivan is also dealing with finding his life's path and dreaming of being reunited with his own first love, the only “family” he’s ever known. They’d been inseparable growing up together at St. Augustine’s Children’s Home, until Kathleen Murphy’s parents claimed her and took her home to America. Years later, in a Newport mansion, Kathleen, now a grown woman, works as a maid and waits with a strong faith, for the miracle that will bring back the only boy she’s ever loved.

As the characters set out to find answers this story has twists, turns, and undeniable deep love to find what matters most. 

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Kathleen Palmieri

Kathleen Palmieri is a National Board Certified Teacher, a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Learning Facilitator, and a fifth grade educator in upstate New York. She reviews professional texts and writes education articles for Middleweb. As a writer with a passion for pedagogy, Kathleen's focus is on education practices and strategies, as well as her own experiences as an educator. She has presented at math conferences, writing workshops, actively collaborates in literacy projects, and networks globally.