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The Monk Upstairs    by Tim Farrington order for
Monk Upstairs
by Tim Farrington
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Lori Waddington

Rebecca Martin was a single mom. Mike Christopher was a former monk. When Rebecca, mother of seven-year-old Mary Martha, decided to rent out her in-law apartment, she never expected it would be to a man fresh from the monastery. And she certainly never expected that they would fall in love. In this touching and very funny sequel to The Monk Downstairs, Tim Farrington tells us what life is like after Mike and Rebecca are pronounced 'monk and wife.'

As expected, being married to a former monk does have its challenges. Mike rises way before dawn every morning to pray, doesn't care much for socializing, and he can be rather obtuse when it comes to real life. But Rebecca soon realizes that the good definitely outweighs the bad in this marriage, as Mike seems to mesh perfectly with Rebecca's family. Mary Martha absolutely adores Mike, and Phoebe, Rebecca's ailing mother, has fallen in love with him as well. Mike is probably the only person who can calm Phoebe when she gets agitated, which happens often, as Phoebe is recovering from a stroke; the pair also have a standing date for Phoebe's daily walks. To Rebecca's amazement, Mike even manages to form somewhat of a bond with Rory, Rebecca's ex-husband and father to Mary Martha.

Mike's sense of peace is not lost on Rebecca. She comes to look forward to the simple pleasures of cuddling together in bed, and she discovers that watching the sunset with Mike and sipping a glass of wine is a perfect way to end the day. The Monk Upstairs is a nice follow-up to the love that grew between Mike and Rebecca in The Monk Downstairs, which I recommend reading first.

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