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Book review: 'Small Grain of Sand' is a tender South Pacific romance

"SMALL GRAIN OF SAND," by Pamela Carrington Reid, Covenant Communications, $15.99, 228 pages (f)

Set in New Zealand and the Tahitian island of Takaroa, “Small Grain of Sand” by Pamela Carrington Reid is a South Pacific romance to curl up with on a cold winter evening.

Jennifer Mason, recently returned from serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France, now works as director of an early childhood education center in her native New Zealand. Simone and Patrick, 4-year-old twins who attend the school, have wrapped themselves around Jennifer’s heart.

Phillippe Durand, a handsome Frenchman and single father to the twins, is in need of a nanny to watch the children during a visit to his family home in Takaroa. Although in his youth he was a faithful Mormon, he tells Jennifer he is no longer interested in religion.

Somewhat reluctantly, but with the encouragement and support of her family, Jennifer accepts Phillippe’s offer to act as the children’s nanny in Tahiti.

Haunted by memories of a childhood tragedy, as well as threats from his ex-wife to take the children, Phillippe finds Jennifer’s faith, wisdom and effective way of handling his children — and him, very attractive.

Although it is quite predictable, the story is well-written and very family focused. The adorable children are the catalyst for the romance that develops between Jennifer and Phillippe.

The title of the book comes from a poem titled “The Oyster,” which Jennifer’s father recited to his children when someone or something irritated them.

Small things can be irritating, the poem says, but the small grain of sand that irritates an oyster eventually becomes “a beautiful pearl all richly aglow.”

The poem serves as a metaphor for the transformation that takes place in both Phillippe and Jennifer as their relationship develops.

The book contains no offensive language or inappropriate sexual behavior of any kind. It is a tender love story of faith, hope and redemption.

Reid is a native of Auckland, New Zealand, and lives there with her husband, Paul. They are the parents of five children. In addition to writing novels, Reid has also written for the New Era, Friend and Ensign magazines of the LDS Church.

Rosemarie Howard lives in a 100-year-old house on Main Street, Springville, Utah. She enjoys creating multimedia projects. Her website is at