Tag Archives: christian fiction

Book Reviews for March 2019

12 Apr

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for at least two weeks. Yikes! So much for getting it written early and scheduling it for spring break, eh? But, all well, ce la vie.

I hope you find something to add to your To-Read pile! And as always, I want to remind you that: while covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

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Levi’s Will by W. Dale Cramer- When Will runs away from his Amish community at nineteen, he leaves behind his faith, family, and a pregnant girlfriend. Years later, he returns – with a wife and two sons, and with a very different world view. What he won’t realize for many years is that his new family and life are tainted by sins of the past. And if he ever wants to reconcile with his father, or himself, he must face those head-on.

~I have had this on my shelf for quite a few months (sorry mom) and despite having picked it up several times, I never read it. I’m pleased that I finally did though- it was a different Amish story than I normally read. Part of that was that the main character was a man, and well, just the story itself. I don’t want to spoil anything for you here, but looking back on Levi’s life with him, and seeing the present consequences of it, was heartbreaking and encouraging and just…tinged with sorrow. Cramer really pulls you in with his descriptions of the locations – the Amish countryside, the mobile home the young family lives in, the war, etc. Along with that the characters were well formed – and useful. (I have this thing about useless characters in a novel). All in all, I really enjoyed this story. I don’t know how young of an audience I would recommend for it though as it does deal with some pretty heavy stuff. As always, I suggest you read it yourself before passing it on to someone younger. A book I definitely recommend!

Amish Peace : Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher – Peace is something that we all strive for – each in our own way. Fisher shares the way that the Amish have found it – by focusing on five different themes of their faith, she shares stories, proverbs and interesting facts about their life. She’s also included questions and thoughts to help you find peace in your own life.

~Thanks to Beverly Lewis (and some other historical fiction authors), I have a mini love for the Amish. While I don’t agree with all of the tenets of their faith, I was still drawn in by this book. Their focus on community, forgiveness and faith is incredible. Fisher shares some great stories to move her point along. I recommend this book for anyone wanting to slow down for a few minutes and think about how they are living their lives.

The Love Comes Softly Series by Janette Oke  – A separate review of this series will be coming – once I finish the last two books! Suffice it to say, right now, that I adore this series.

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Praying Through Lyme Disease by Rebecca Vandemark – A compilation of prayers and verses that focus on topics that Lyme disease patients deal with daily. A daily reminder that you are not alone.

~First off, I received this book free for my honest review. I wasn’t compensated in any way. I have been following Vandemark for years now. (I’ve also reviewed December Caravan) I greatly appreciated these heartfelt prayers and corresponding scriptures touching on so many of the struggles/emotions that I, as someone who struggles with chronic Lyme, deal with on a daily basis. If you know someone, or are yourself, struggling with Lyme, don’t hesitate, get this book! I anticipate going through it again and again. Did I mention that there are pages to take notes for each prayer? Love it. 

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Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery – When his younger brother is stolen from them, Dym Ingleford promises his dying mother that he’ll never stop looking for him. That promise hasn’t been forgotten when, years later, he rather stumbles upon young Max Eckermann, a German prisoner.  Dym is convinced he’s Anthony. But the years of Nazi ideology have not been lost on the young boy, and convincing him that he’s now home, and safe, is quite the task. (first published 1944)

~Another book that I haven’t read in a few years, although now it will probably get moved to the ‘read-yearly’ list. Savery delivers a delightful, heart rending tale set WWII, which she wrote during the war. DURING THE WAR. That, for me, really made this tale come alive.  But the story itself is so good that I had a hard time putting it down. Max’s flight(s) from the White Priory (the family home), the patience of Dym and the danger of the war all join in a wonderful story. A five star book for me! 

Princess Aline by Richard Harding Davis – Falling for a picture of a Princess, a young American artist sets out across Europe to meet her. When they are finally close enough to speak, to touch, he stands, propriety-bound and too scared to offend such a creature. He does all he can to meet her properly, but will it be enough? (first published 1895)

~ I hadn’t pulled this off of my classic shelves in so many years, I only vaguely remembered it. It was delightful. It’s a light-hearted story that you just don’t want to end. It was fun to follow Carlton as he traveled across Europe, always one step behind Aline. I highly recommend this classic!

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Dear Theo by Vincent Van Gogh, edited by Irving Stone – Vincent and his brother Theo, kept up regular correspondence for years. This collection of Vincent’s letters shows how close they were; his feelings on everyday life, his family and art. (first published 1914)

~I cannot believe it took me eight months to read this book. While on the other hand, I do. It is a hard one to read in a way because he did lead such a difficult life and you already know how it ends… and in such a tragic way. (spoiler: he commits suicide). But reading in his own letters the descriptions of the places he saw – the way he saw his own art – the way he saw colors – it keeps you reaching for it again. Will I ever read it again? I don’t know. But I’m glad that I read it at least once. 

Joyful: the Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee — as I didn’t finish this book before it had to go back to the library, I’m just going to quickly say that what I did read was interesting and I have plans to one day request it again. What I didn’t like was the talk of evolution (how that has any real bearing on the talk of color and how it affects us, is beyond me – I thought the author could have handled that differently. Overall, what I read (the first 1/4 of it?) was interesting.

 

Currently Reading:

Sons And Soldiers by Bruce Henderson

At the Back of the North Wind by George Macdonald

Eliza by Patricia Campbell

 

To Read:

The Fires of Heaven (book 5 of the Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King

Love Finds a Home (#8 of Love Comes Softly series) by Janette Oke

The Painter’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

 

Coming up in April’s book review: 

Love Takes Wing (book 7 of Love Comes Softly series) by Janette Oke

The Blue Sword by Robin Mckinley

A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke

A Falcon For a Queen by Catherine Gaskin

~I am going to say that I’ve got a few trilogy’s to read but I’m waiting until I finish at least one of the series that I’m currently in. Anyone else have this problem?! The nice side effect of that is, that I’m reaching for books that I haven’t read in quite a while (that are mainly quick-reads).

~Laura

What have you been reading?

If you missed it, go check out the Michelli Family Series Review. Also, the City of Tranquil Light Book Review  is a must read as well!

 

October 2018 Book Reviews

1 Nov

It’s already time for the monthly book reviews! I will admit that these are always the posts that I enjoy writing the most. I am such a book nerd, folks. SUCH a book nerd. At the moment, I’m trying to figure out the best (read : least-shocking) way to tell my OH that I want to bring my collection of old books out of storage. My collection is, at minimum, 5 boxes of classics mostly printed in the early 1900’s and quite a few from the 1800’s. They’ve been in storage too long, my book-heart says. They need to come out to live in my office.

That’s not why you’re here though, is it? On to the reviews!

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Undetected by Dee Henderson – Mark Bishop is commander of the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, a job that he loves despite the responsibility that comes with it. The dangers abound under the waters, though Gina Grey is doing her best to diminish them. Ocean science research is about to get a breakthrough with her newest findings, but it’s one that, in the wrong hands, could open the U.S. to more dangers than ever before.

~ As usual, I did enjoy this novel by Henderson. But… I wasn’t completely in love with it like I normally am. There was too much repetition in some of the areas about both Mark and Gina. It was interesting reading about ocean science research – first for a novel for me! And I did overall like both of the main characters. All in all, a good novel to read by Henderson, but a bit bogged down for me to fall in love with.

Threads of Suspicion -Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2 by Dee Henderson – As part of the newly appointed Missing Persons Task Force, Evie is feeling eager to get started, just like the rest of the governor-appointed team. They’ll need to get solid resolutions to their cold cases, but as Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, dig deeper into their individual cases, the going gets slow. She is looking for a missing college student, and he’s searching for a missing private investigator – two cases that are completely unrelated. Or are they?

~ be still my heart- I’m now eagerly awaiting the next book in this series that I’m really hoping is in the works! I like Evie so much and as well as the characters that you see again (one example: Ann Silver) and the new characters! Sigh. Henderson shines in this series of cold case investigations. If you enjoy who-dun-it’s with a splash of faith and romance, check this series out!

The Eye of the World – Wheel of Time Series #1 by Robert Jordan – When memories become legend that turn to myth that then turn to something long forgotten, the Third Age is on the brink of destruction. The Shadow is covering all, and only a few know the Prophecies to try and fight it.

~My brother recommended this series to me, since I like Brandon Sanderson’s style so much. I was nervous as this is a hefty book (@800 pages) and the series is 14 books long (!!). I quickly got into the story though, it does remind me a bit of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in ways. Trollocs look like Orcs in my mind’s eye, Fades look like the Ringwraiths and so on – but I think it’s helping me follow the story better. Keeping track of all the different story lines is the biggest thing with this series I think! Highly recommend if you enjoy Tolkien! 

Shadowfell Series Review here just in case you missed it!

 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo (this is taking me ages to read but I’m absolutely enjoying it!)

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

Only the River Runs Free by Bodie Thoene

The Great Hunt – Wheel of Time Series #2 by Robert Jordan

 

To Read:

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

book #3 of the Jordan Series

The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen

 

Aug/Sept 2018 Book Reviews

29 Sep

Looking at July’s review, I realized that I ended up reading exactly what I had planned to on my to-read list! That doesn’t normally happen, so I’m a little pleased with myself. My list of books is rather short for two months but most of the novels I’ve been reading have been LONG. The Shadowfell series are about 400 pages each, and the Robert Jordan one I’m currently enjoying is about 700 pages. . . I like the extra story development that is allowed in these longer books though! I’m not sure I could ever write that in-depth though.

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Shadowfell series by Juliet Marillier – separate review coming in the next few weeks

Gifts of the Spirit by FFOZ – as of right now, I’m going to just direct you to First Fruits of Zion’s website that gives great info into this well-written and informative book about the gifts of the Spirit and different perspectives on them.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson -Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~The first time I read this, I wasn’t sure if I would read it again but I decided to give it another shot. (I’m a sucker for Sanderson apparently). The way he weaves together a story is just incredible. The political and personal struggles of the different characters is engrossing. You can read my original review here.

Unspoken by Dee Henderson – Almost twenty years later, Charlotte Graham still hasn’t spoken about her past. A past that includes her being the center of the most famous kidnapping in Chicago’s history. A past that includes such pain and fear that she’s never risked telling anyone. Can she finally take that risk?

~You might notice that another Henderson kick is beginning… This one is ‘connected’ with Full Disclosure and Taken. While there was a lot of detail about coins, I appreciated how much she researched it out – it didn’t take away from the novel for me. As usual, some of the faith struggles of the characters hit a bit too close to home for me – but that is one reason I appreciate Henderson’s books. She writes not only good fiction, she gives real-life faith struggles to her characters. I highly recommend this book!

 

Trouble in Store by Carol Cox – When her prime governess position is abruptly ended, Melanie Ross sees no other choice but to travel to Idaho to the mercantile her cousin left her in his will. But someone else feels he has the same rights to the store, and Caleb Nelson isn’t about to just step aside and give up his new life to her. He sees her as the newest obstacle to the new life he’s carving out for himself, and he’ll try just about anything to get rid of her.

~ I borrowed this book from a friend as it is by a new-to-me author that I just read a book of hers earlier this year – Truth be Told.  I like Cox’s easy-to-read style and how she actually made me dislike Melanie for a little bit! I was so put off by her actions at one point that I had to keep reading to see how Caleb dealt with her. Brilliant move on Cox’s part. Highly recommend as a relaxing, faith-focused novel.

Traces of Guilt – An Evie Blackwell Cold Case by Dee Henderson – Watch for a separate review of this series! (I know, I said that about the Shadowfell books too but bear with me, the wait will be worth it!) 

Currently Reading:

Dear Theo by Irving Stone

Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll

The Eye of the World  book 1 of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan

Undetected by Dee Henderson

 

To Read:

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (book 2)

Traces of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

~Laura

~What have you been reading lately? I’d absolutely love to hear about it and add them to my to-read list!

Dec 2017 Book Reviews

5 Jan

It’s a blustery day here in Oregon, leaving the landscape looking slightly barren and depressing. There’s no snow, no sign of a cold, beautiful winter. Just windy, cloudy and rainy. But, that’s why there are such wonderful things as books to get lost in. I cannot believe I read 70 books in 2017 . I’ve decided to set this year’s reading goal to 60 books. I have always been an avid reader but I’m hoping to tone down my amount of reading just a smidgen and increase my amount of writing a lot! I enjoy keeping track of what I’ve read on Goodreads, it’s so much easier than writing them all down like I used to do.  (please tell me I’m not the only one who did that).

If you  missed it, I shared a post of my Top Reads of 2017 just last week, check it out!

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Photo by Alice Hampson on Unsplash

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – Two princesses’ lives are thrown into turmoil. While both scramble to learn the ways of their new environments, political upheaval is on the horizon.

~As good as this story was, I admit to being a little disappointed with how much sexual content there was. While I realize that it was mild, it was still more than I like. Because of that, I don’t think I’ll read this book again – which makes me sad because I really liked Siri and Lightsong, and the different twists and turns and character development that happened throughout.

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis – Shasta and Bree – a young slave and a talking horse – are running away from cruel masters. Their destination is Narnia.  But when they discover a plot to overthrow Narnia, their journey becomes a race to warn the people of the impending attack.

~Series review coming next month!

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman – A compelling love story between a young Irish girl, Katherine Mary O’Fallon, new to the Canadian wild, and Sergeant Mike Flannigan of the Canadian Mounted police.

~This is a yearly – winter read for me. The wilderness and those occupying it – the animals, peoples and nature itself – are described so vividly, it’s a delight. The heartbreak that occurs will tear your heart out just as surely as you’ll rejoice when good things happen. If this book isn’t considered a classic, I’m not sure why. Read it, you’ll be glad you did. 

Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy – When singer Annette Talbot shows up, with trouble following close on her heels, Elijah Walker has to decide if she’s telling the truth or lying. Like his ex- fiancee. Despite himself, he’s drawn to her – and just when he decides to trust her, he finds out she’s a wanted woman. Will he find out the truth before he loses Annie forever?

~ This was my second time reading this sweet romantic mystery. I liked how Connealy dealt with Elijah’s struggle to forgive himself and Annette’s mis-guided belief in ‘bearing her cross’. Faith is central to this novel, and it’s done very well. It’s a great Christmas-time western read.

For Men Only by Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn

~A full review along with its companion book, For Women Only, will be up this month!

An Amish Christmas : December in Lancaster County by Beth Wiseman – Forgiveness is on the horizon – or is it? – for several people in Lancaster County. Facing some of their deepest fears at Christmastime has the potential to change their lives.

~I forgot how sweet these stories were. I enjoyed all 3 of them – I am seeing on Goodreads that it says there’s four novellas, my copy doesn’t have “Christmas Cradles”. A good way to describe these are Hallmark movies set in an Amish community – and that’s not a bad thing. They deal with different struggles, but all 3 stories tie in with each other. They may be a bit cliched but sometimes that’s what you want. It only took me a few days to read all of them, they are quick, fun reads for anyone. 

 

Currently Reading: 

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson

Samantha Among the Brethren by Marietta Holley

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis

The Supernatural Ways of Royalty by Kris Vallotton

 

 

To Read:

A Yellow Journalist by Miriam Michelson

The Writer’s Journey by Vogler (finish!)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

 

What are you reading?

 

While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

~Laura

My Top Reads of 2017

29 Dec

I decided to do something a little bit fun – share a list of my favorite books of this year. We all love lists, don’t we?! We do.

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These aren’t in any particular order – just my Top 5 in each catergory:

New Reads:

~ Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

~ Failure is Impossible (Susan B. Anthony ) by Lynn Sherr

~Timber Ridge Reflections by Tamera Alexander

~Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris

~Guardians of Childhood by William Joyce

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Classics: 

~Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling

~Lorna Doone by R. D. Blackmore

~ Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

~ Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

~Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte’

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About Writing: 

~ Revision and Self- editing for Publication by James Scott Bell

~ The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler

~ The New Book of Etiquette by Lillian Eicher

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Fantasy :  (note: remember I am still new to this genre. . . .)

~ Beauty by Robin Mckinley

~ Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

~ Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

~ Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

~ The Hero and the Crown by Robin Mckinley

and a bonus one :

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

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Marriage/Faith: 

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

When God Doesn’t Fix It by Laura Story

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Messianic Jewish Manifesto by David H. Stern

For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn

 

 

What’s your favorite read from this year? Do you love some of my top reads as well? I’d love to hear about it! 

~Laura

Nov 2017 Book Reviews

8 Dec

Hello again! I read varying types of books this month – and am sad to say there are a few that I didn’t care much for. I do love how much I was able to read this past month though! I have already more than met my Goodreads goal of reading 52 books this year.

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Just the Essentials by Adina Grigore 

~This was a fun book that tells about the history, composition and encouragement to enter the world of essential oils. To make it even better, there were several do it yourself recipes for the home, personal care and cooking.

Jewish Roots by Dan Juster

~ As an introductory book about Messianic Judaism, this book (originally printed in 1995 I believe) did a nice job of answering a lot of questions. It was easy to read. I recommend this as a good starting place if you’re curious about how it got started, where it was at at the point of printing and the basic beliefs and traditions. It would go well with God-Fearers as well.

Beside Still Waters by Annalee Conti  When Violet Channing’s aunt, her sole relative, dies, she isn’t sure what she’ll do. She certainly doesn’t want to continue working in the Boston garment factory, so she takes a job in the Yukon Territory as a live-in teacher for a sick child. As she’s traveling, she falls in love with a Yukon riverboat captain. But, tragedy strikes again and Violet has to decide if she’ll become bitter or learn to love again.

~I received this book free from Ambassador International for my personal review. I was excited for this book as it’s set in the early 1900s and in Alaska, no less! After receiving it, I realized that it’s the third book in the Alaskan Waters Series. Perhaps this is why I didn’t get into the book until I was three-quarters of the way into it. I couldn’t connect with Violet well. It was interesting and fun to find out the history of Alaska that is sprinkled throughout the book. Some of the side characters I really liked and would have liked them to have an even bigger part! (like Cally).

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann – When Trevor MacDaniel rescues a toddler from a cougar, he inevitably meets sculpter Natalie Reeve.  But trouble comes at them from all sides, including a twisted mind seeing him as an adversary. Can the hero save himself?

~I tried to like this one so much! My mom recommended it and let me borrow it but… I got a quarter of the way through (barely) and haven’t picked it up in weeks. I normally like Heitzmann’s books so I really want(ed) to like it but it just hasn’t hit the right note for me I guess.  I felt like I couldn’t get connected to one character before being introduced to another one; it almost felt like I was expected to already know a few of the characters; the main character felt like they should be more of a minor character (and then with talking to mom, apparently someone else is the main character so now I’m really confused). Anyway, since I have it for a few more months I’ll keep trying it but it might be a lost cause. Which makes me sad.

Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia #2) and Voyage of the Dawn Treader (#3) by C.S. Lewis

~I will be doing a separate post on the Chronicle series (how have I not done it yet?!) but for now –  I love the completely different people they meet and  ‘worlds’ and they enter as they travel! And Reepicheep. Always Reepicheep.

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The Mermaid in the Basement (Lady Trent Mystery #1) by Gilbert Morris – In London, 1857, Lady Serafina Trent has one goal – prove that her brother is not a murderer. In order to do this, she must ally herself with people outside of her social class. But nothing will stand in her way.

~This book is probably in my top ten historical fiction list now. It’s also a mystery which, let’s be honest, makes it even better. I haven’t read much of Morris’ novels ( mostly just The Price of Liberty series, which I reviewed a little of here and here) so I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I quickly got pulled in and found it hard to put down! I highly recommend this novel. (fun fact: this is one of almost a dozen books my mom and I got for $1!!)

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For Women Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

~I read this right after we got married and did a short review on it . I’m planning on reading the accompanying book For Men Only next and want to do a separate review for both – so here’s hoping! Suffice it to say that this book is well worth the read!

 

Currently Reading:

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

The Horse and His Boy  by C.S. Lewis

For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn

 

To Read:

Adrenal Fatigue by Dr. Wilson

Samantha Among the Brethren by Josiah Allen’s Wife (printed 1892)

Next Narnia book

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

 

I hope you found something to add to your to-read list! Happy December!

~Laura

 

Book Review – Stepping Heavenward

19 Oct

Stepping Heavenward by Mrs. E. Prentiss is, I feel, a book that every woman should read – no matter their age or where they are in life. It was given to me by some dear friends when I graduated from culinary school and I thoroughly enjoyed  it, and learned from it then. But this time reading it as a wife and sufferer of chronic illness, I feel like I gained so much more from it.

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(side note: I’m currently trying to learn a new image editor… bear with me as I figure it out) 

We watch as Katherine grows from a sixteen year old girl, in the year of 1831, to a woman of God with a husband and children. The trials of life beat against her as she seeks to live her life honoring God.

I marked a few sections that I wanted to share in this review:

“I see now that my first desire has not been to please God but to please myself, for I am restless under His restraining hand and find my prison a very narrow one. I would be willing to bear any other trial if I could only have health and strength for my beloved ones. I pray for patience with bitter tears.”

“The scenes of sorrow through which we have been passing have brought (husband) nearer to me than ever… Besides we have modified each other. (He) is more demonstrative, more attentive to those little things that make the happiness of married life; and I am less childish, less vehement- I wish I could say less selfish, but here I seem to have come to a standstill.”

Trying not to give anything away by taking out the name of her husband!

“Bishop Wilson charges us to bear all things ‘as unto God’ and “with the greatest privacy’. How seldom I have met them save as lions in my way that I would avoid if I could, and how I have tormented my friends by tedious complaints about them! Yet when compared with the great tragedies of suffering I have both witnessed and suffered, how petty they seem!”

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I identified so often with Katherine in the struggles of life and seeking to do the right thing, that I ended the book encouraged in the path. It reminded me that we all grow and change, even if we don’t see that growth. That we are not meant to suffer through life but to thrive and to make our will aligned with His. As I said before, I recommend this book to anyone. Yes it’s written in an older style, as you can see in the sections I shared but how deep and rich a meaning of daily faith is weaved throughout this book.

Also – Elizabeth Elliot even recommended it to “men, who need to better understand the wives they live with, and to any woman who wants to walk with God.” 

~Laura

Have you read this book? what did you think of it? Have you read a book like this, that inspired you? 

Series Review – English Garden by Lori Wick

6 Oct

Ahh, fellow book lovers. If you’ve been following SGL for a while, you know that I love Lori Wick books. This series is probably my favorite of hers. Although, to be completely transparent, I feel that way after every book or series of hers. They all are so delightful that the most currently-read one is my favorite.

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Photo by Ruxandra Mateiu on Unsplash

This series is set in the early 1800s in Collingbourne, England and by the end of the four books you will wish you could live in the delightful small town that Wick creates.

The Proposal – When William Jennings finds three young cousins on his doorstep, he is at a loss as to what to do with them. Needing guidance, he seeks out his sister and her husband. In the process, he meets Marianne.

The Rescue – Weston had planned on a quiet entry into town but instead is forced into marriage within hours of his arrival. Eventually he sees that his new wife, Anne, had no choice in the matter either, but still chose to risk her reputation to protect his good name.

The Visitor – Alexander Tate has come to town to rest- and hopefully regain his eyesight. As a distraction, one of the beautiful Steele sisters comes to read to him. But he never expects to fall in love with her.

The Pursuit – Edward Steele is finally heading home from Africa when his trip is waylaid by fellow passengers in need of assistance. This adventure, from Portugal to England,  eventually leads to meeting the mysterious Nicola Bettencourt.

 

Wick admitted to being a Jane Austen fan and this series is a sort of tribute to her. Which, really, makes it that much better. I love reading books set in this time period. Wick, as usual, filled them with so much good, faith-based lessons that at the end of each one I was contemplating them just as much as I was the story. I will add that the last novel, The Pursuit, is probably my favorite of the four- it deviates from ‘just’ a romance story in a delightful way.

This series would be great for early-teens (it’s when I started reading them!) as they are clean, fun, faith-based and just great stories.

 

~While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.~

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of Lori Wick’s novels? What did you think of them? 

(also, I love getting comments from you guys! please share what you’re reading, or what you’re wanting to read!)

~Laura

Book Review – August 2017

1 Sep

I’m so proud of myself for getting this up today, I really wasn’t sure if I was going to! I feel like I should get a gold star. Kidding, just kidding. There’s quite an array of genres this month, so hopefully you find something to add to your to-read list!

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Anathema by Colleen Coble – In the peaceful Amish community in Indiana, Hannah harbors a secret. She has an English beau that she sneaks out to be with. But one night, while she’s gone, her parents are brutally murdered. The entire community is shocked but encourage Hannah to forgive the killer. Instead, she runs away with her English beau, Reese. When circumstances force her to return to the community, can Hannah find forgiveness and a place to call home once again?

~I’ve read many Amish-based novels over the years so when I heard this one was really good but very different, I was kind of skeptical. I mean, how different can you get? Well. Coble did it. This is a tear-your-heart-out story that you are so glad you read. (as opposed to those that leave you dissatisfied and wishing you hadn’t ever heard of it much less read it). There is faith mentioned but it’s not as big a message as many of the Amish books I’ve read. This would get a four out of five stars from me for characters and story line, I enjoyed it that much. I would recommend this to anyone – although you might want to pre-read it before passing it to a young teen as there are some intense scenes.

Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss- The beloved tale of a Swiss family being shipwrecked on an island and using everything around them in order to survive and thrive for years. From taming wild animals to building a spinning wheel and drawbridges, the Robinson’s ingenuity and tenacity inspire readers of every generation.

~If you’ve been following SGL for a while, you’ll know that I started out listening to this story via Libravox sometime near the beginning of the year. I finally bought a copy so I could finish it. Thank goodness for Powell’s, feeding my book addiction. Anyway, while there was much described that I didn’t understand (names of animals for instance), it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of this story. I love the faith displayed as well. A great adventure story for just about any age.

Love Finds You in Sisters Oregon by Melody Carlson – It’s been over 10 years since Hope has been back to her hometown of Sisters, Or. And just as long since she saw her two sisters. But when her grandmother passes away, she can’t avoid them any longer. Her plan is to be there just long enough to attend the funeral and then she’s out of there. But then she finds out that she inherited Nona’s house and little dog. Not to mention a friendship with Nona’s handsome young attorney. In order to keep her inheritance, Hope is going to have to learn how to live among her sisters – who are none too happy about her inheriting everything.

~ The Love Finds You series is a large series and Carlson wrote a few of them – In Pendleton, Or, being one of them. This was a cute story overall – and it was fun knowing the places she was talking about. I  have to admit to being a bit disappointed with it though. The development of the characters seemed rushed at the end. I liked the parallels/comparison of the sisters to the Three Sisters (mountains) but the discord among them honestly got on my nerves. By the end of it, I liked it better than I did halfway through, if that helps! It was cute and it’s a good light, fun read overall though.

The English Garden Series – The Proposal and The Rescue by Lori Wick – Set in the early 1800s in England, this series has a delightful ‘Austen’ feel that I just love.

~I have read the first two and am waiting to read the rest! And then I will share a full series review with you. For now, suffice it to say that I enjoy this series every time I read it. 

I also shared three series reviews with you this month. Check them out if you missed them!

Series Review – Guardians of Childhood

Series Review: Mistborn Trilogy

Series Review: Seasons of the Heart

Currently Reading:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

The Prayer of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

Spindle’s End by Robin Mckinley

 

Once again, I’m linking up with the Reading Roundup! Click the picture below for some great book reviews!

Reading Roundup
Laura

Series Review: Seasons of the Heart

8 Aug

I’m sure you know by now that I enjoy Janette Oke’s novels – Roses for Mama   being one of my favorites. Recently I was wanting a light read (I believe it was while I was in the midst of Hero of Ages – yes, that review is coming next week!) and pulled the first of this series off the shelf. I don’t remember the last time I read this series although I’m guessing it’s been more than five years.

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Janette Oke changed up her normal style with this series. It’s written in first person – and the main character is a young boy. Joshua Jones has been raised by his Aunt Lou, Grandpa and Uncle Charlie. The series follows his growing up – in faith, age and love – as times change and they live through the Great Depression. Each book is absolutely delightful. The situations make you alternately laugh out loud, sniff a little and sigh happily.

By the end of the series, I want to stay up late with Grandpa and Uncle Charlie while they drink coffee, go fishing with Gramps, go on a sleigh ride and sit and sip tea with Aunt Lou.

 

Check out the books on Goodreads

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My collection of Oke’s books

I believe I first read this series as a young teen – possibly even a pre-teen – so can definitely recommend them for younger readers as well! Oke fills her books with good theology and I am always convicted about how I am living out my own faith, when I read her stories. This series is a must read!

~Tip : If you like Lori Wick or Beverly Lewis, you’ll like Janette Oke!

~I was searching through past book reviews in the midst of writing this one (score one for me for getting distracted!) when I skimmed through this review and knew I had to share it again! I have actually been wanting to read several of these books again too. 

~While covering different genres, I do not read anything that has blatant sexual content. I will tell you if there is any sort of such (typically very mild and delicately put) in them and if I don’t think they’d be appropriate for young/teenage readers.

Happy Reading, Laura

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