25 Book Reviews

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Review of a "MUST READ" Book!! Amish Fiction at its best!!

Search, The: A Novel (Lancaster County Secrets)The Search
By Suzanne Woods Fisher

Once again, Suzanne outdid herself!!  It doesn't seem possible, but each of her books seems even better than the last- but, that can' t be, I absolutely LOVE each and every one!!
Suzanne's ability to describe the characters  (in such detail that you feel they are part of you) and portray the Amish faith so accurately , with such feeling, is outstanding.
The Search is the third in her series, Lancaster County Secrets, leaving one eagerly waiting to see what will happen in the next book.

Lainey O'Toole , now an adult, was once a child in crisis.  Fifteen years after the fact, her car breaks down in Stoney Ridge, the very town in which she had made a split second decision that affected her own life and that of others.  She is forced to face the past and discovers, while there, how it has impacted so many others. 
Bess, a young girl, is NOT happy to have been sent to spend the summer with her grandmother at Rose Hill Farm, supposedly to help her recover from surgery. It does not take long for Bess to come to the conclusion that she was coaxed to this location for a totally different reason.. Bess' summer looks up , as she meets the hired hand, Billy. Maybe the summer won't be so bad!

The Grandmother, Bertha , is quite a character, who Suzanne makes come alive with humorous descriptions and antics. Along with the involvement of deep emotional challenges of everyone in the story, she adds the laughter and lightness that makes this book so different and enjoyable. Bess' s and Lainy's worlds are about to collide and secrets come out that shock them both, as well as the reader. Bertha's comic relief is much enjoyed as you immerse yourself in this heartwarming tale of love, forgiveness and healing.
As the truth becomes known, a couple of statements made an impact on me -"But God is a redeemer. Never,ever  forget that truth." and "What is done and past cannot be called again".

Suzanne's deep thoughts and understanding of the Amish faith is seen throughout this novel.
The twists and turns just keep you guessing throughout.
The Search is definitely a winner!! Can hardly wait for the next book in the series!!
Book was provided by LifFuse in exchange for this review.
The Search is available now in stores everywhere and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Search iPad Giveaway! http://litfusegroup.com/Blog-Tours/the-search-by-suzanne-woods-fisher.html

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Fantastic Mystery!!! Thriller too!!!

Review of a book not to be missed:
Fatal Judgment
By Irene Hannon

A quick synopsis:
U.S. Marshal Jake Taylor is the main character who has seen plenty of tragedies and action in his career in law enforcement.  He has spent years solving difficult cases, most recently, in Iraq.  Glad to be on homeland soil  once again, he is ready to continue his work. BUT, a new challenge awaits him- one he would rather avoid- in fact, he would rather go back to Iraq then investigate this case!! Jake's newest assignment is to provide protection for a federal judge, Liz Michaels. Doesn't sound complicated does it?? BUT,  she is an acquaintance from the past- the widow of one of Jake's good friends, who died in a suspicious way-  perhaps suicide!!
Danger mounts and Jake gets to know Liz better, changing some of his preconceived notions about her.  A mysterious enemy wants her dead and Jake is determined to prevent this from happening.  The stakes are high, as both her life and his heart are in danger.
Irene's ability to involve you in this mystery thriller is amazing. The characters become very real to you. Her description of the events and challenges are real cliff hangers. You just can't wait to turn the page and discover what is going to happen next.  What really impressed me, was that I could NOT guess the ending. Tension builds within, as you read this book. It is a page turner, from start to finish!!  If you want to get some sleep, don't start this book at night- you will not be able to put it down!!
A fantastic thriller/mystery!!! A definite must to read!! I just loved it!!
"Book has been provided by courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Wonderful Amish Fiction Book!

A Book Review : "Paradise Valley"
          By Dale Cramer
If you have already read Dale's prize winning book, "Levi's Will", you know what a talented writer he is!!  This new book, Paradise Valley, was certainly no disappointment after reading his Winner of the 2006 Christy Award.  A tale of love, danger, and redeeming faith (taken from back cover) is a very accurate description of the tale, that does stem from some real history in Dale's family.  In the early 1920's, five Amish fathers were imprisoned for not sending their children to school in Ohio. The children were removed from their homes and placed in a Children's Home , where they were to lose all their appearance of being Amish- clothing, hair, kapps, etc. Dale builds his story from this incident, which then is followed by an immigration of some of the families to Mexico to build a new life and live their faith freely.
He uses facts to build a wonderful fictional story- his characters become part of you and you become totally involved in their trials while travelling and attempting to succeed in setting up a new community in a strange land-where you can NOT trust anyone, residents speak a different language and live a totally different lifestyle. All I can say is WOW!!
This book had me so totally involved, that I became involved in each challenge faced. Rachel, a young woman, has to leave the  love of her life in Ohio, as she travels afar with her family. Upon arrival in Mexico, this small group has so many difficulties to face, but their faith remains strong and their influence on others is unbelievable.  We see one young girl teach- her own Amish  families as well as the Mexican children, another becomes a midwife, another who has sinned, has to face many decisions. A father has to make the right decisions for his family and those around him when lives are threatened.
As I don't want to add any spoilers, I would just say to read this book! You won't be able to put it down.With the fantastic characters , descriptions of the land and changes, it is definitely a winner!!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc. Available now at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Review of An Excellent Read- BUT not a new book!

A Time to Dance
By Karen Kingsbury
Karen Kingsbury is a talented author who has written many superior Christian fiction books, however, I was very disappointed, upon the arrival of this book, that it was a book written in 2001, that had a different cover, but was the same story that I read 10 years ago!!
The main characters, Abby and John are well developed throughout the book and you become fully engrossed in their family problems. They are parents of almost grown children, with the youngest son going off to college , as a fantastic football player, having been coached throughout high school by his dad.  Abby and John had grown apart but were waiting for their children to leave home, before telling them their devastating news. It was time... they thought.
Instead, of being able to announce their "news", their daughter surprised them with the happy  announcement that she had been saving for the right moment.  You can actually feel the tension in this household, living a life that isn't truthful and is a complete lie to what is really happening between husband and wife. The lies and deceit eat away at this family, throughout this story. It is not book to put away unfinished. You get the distinct feeling that God is at work, but have no idea how or if they will allow God's plan to be fulfilled. 
The Christian faith rings out  throughout the book clearly and concisely.  God can take control but only if we allow him to do so. Well written and worth reading- if you haven't read it before!!
Book provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.

Another Fantastic Read by One of My Favorite Authors, Vannetta Chapman!

An Amish Proposal for Christmas  By Vannetta Chapman Synopsis: Her deepest Christmas wish will bring more than she imagined…in this novel by...