25 Book Reviews

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Review of a book that makes you appreciative of your health!

"My Life and Lesser Catastrophes"
a memoire by Christina Schofield
This is one book that truly makes you thankful for your health and lack of tragic events in your life. Even when you think you have it bad, there is someone who has it much, much worse- and believe me, Christina and her husband, Allen did!!!
Life , as Christina had always known it changed in seconds, due to a few pebbles, yes, that is what I said, pebbles!  She and her husband, Allen were enjoying a wonderful summer with their three year old daughter , Lily,  with Allen being a campus minister and Christina illustrating children's books. Life changed in an instant, with a motorcycle ride that was supposed to be fun and romantic. Our for a carefree ride , the motorcycle suddenly hit some loose gravel and the two were thrown from the bike.  I won't give details , as that would be a spoiler for the book.

The essence of this book is how to make something good happen out of something tragic. Life turned into a tragedy for this great family , who certainly didn't deserve it. Good people get just rewards , right??? Not always what we consider just.  
As the cover of the book states., "Everyone was hoping God would take His big , awesome mistake eraser and rub this whole mess away. But he didn't."  It was a struggle for this couple to accept this fact  and make a happy life for themselves, with Allan left  helpless in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The whole truth comes to light- you can not change what God has chosen for your life, but you can choose how you are going to deal with it and use your faith to become a stronger person. That is what this young couple did . After their struggles continued to multiply, they learned to count on the Lord to solve their problems and give them happiness. They give up their all to Him and become stronger because of it.
This is a book to make you think, appreciate your life and learn to walk more closely with the Lord. A tearful theme, but a valuable lesson. EVERYONE needs to read this book!!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Chosen, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, July 21, 2011

True Amish Fiction

Review of : A Baby for Hannah

 By Jerry Eicher

This book, A Baby for Hannah follows in Jerry's tradition of the writing of Amish fiction written true to the Amish faith in all aspects.
I have read each and every one of his Amish novels and this one was every bit as good as the others.  I love the series that Jerry has come up with- and follows through with!
You feel as if you know and each and every character. When they are going through their periods of trials and challenges, you travel along beside them. Jerry's ability to exhibit the fact that the Amish, although they practice their faith, with peace and forgiveness, still go through difficult times the same as you or I. I felt Hannah's fear of losing her baby once again, as I did Miriam's happiness of finding true love.  But this road to happiness had its bumps. Jake, Hannah's husband, as a young preacher, must deal with many difficult decisions , along with family concerns.
This book, again exhibits humor, drama and the Amish romance as do all of Jerry's books. I just LOVED this book, couldn't put it down, once started!!!
Can hardly wait to see what the next book brings.

Ann H. Gabhart does it Again!!!!

A Book Review of one of the best Shaker novels!!!
"The Blessed"
By Ann H. Gabhart

Ann outdoes herself again in this fourth Shaker novel, part of her series,  The Outsider,  The Believer, and The Seeker. The Blessed is a truly a a work of art. I enjoyed the story line immensely, but also learned so much about the Shaker faith. There were so many facts that I was unaware of and the characters exhibit the true beliefs and  feelings of this now extinct faith.  

The setting is a Shaker village in Kentucky  and the time is 1843. The main character, Isaac Kingston, a pastor ,  who is devastated after having just lost his wife.  In their household, lived a young lady, Lacey, to whom his wife had become very attached to and loved dearly and a small child, Rachel, who had been found on the doorstep , as an infant. Ann has the ability to draw you into their lives and feelings, such that you become one with them.  Their attitudes and feelings are described with precise detail.

Shakers arrive in the midst of this upheaval in Isaac's life. Due to his grief and loneliness, he had remarried very quickly and now the problems begin. He is so distraught that he decides the only answer is to to and become a Shaker. God took his beloved wife, he is in a loveless marriage and there is nothing else to try.  In order for Lacey to stay with her dear little Rachel, she must accompany him, however does not realize the implications. She will be separated from the child anyway, as the children in the Shaker community live separately.

There are many twists and turns as the plot thickens in this new living arrangement. Shakers do not marry or touch the opposite sex. They believed in celibacy, communal living and the belief that perfection can be reached in this life. A challenge in itself!!!

This is a novel that I could not put down. Although it is lengthy, every chapter brought new thoughts, problems and adventures, often heartache.
What a fantastic book!! Can hardly wait to see what Ann Gabhart comes up with next!! Can it get any better???  I highly recommend this to all readers, although it is historically based, the facts and storyline are so wonderful , anyone would enjoy it.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Monday, July 11, 2011

Review of A Roland March Mystery- and a great mystery it is indeed!!

"Pattern of Wounds"
By J. Mark Bertrand
If you love a good murder mystery, this is the book for you.  I found the plot to be amazing with all the twists and unexpected turns. As soon as I thought that I had the killer figured out, another tragedy would occur and my thoughts were totally wrong!! Roland March, the  detective , has the job of tracking down the killer of a female- very strangely murdered - BUT the case keeps multiplying and becoming more difficult- more victims are discovered- similarities between the cases are starting to  be like a dot to dot puzzle.

It's Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective  Roland is on the hunt for a killer in an affluent neighbourhood. This turns into what we observe to be a serial killer- on the loose. But there is a major problem- Roland sent the man, he believed to be the murderer to prison  ten years ago- OR did he?????

March has been alienated from his colleagues , also experiencing a rift in his marriage. Then comes the sting- he, himself, begins to receive taunting messages from the apparent killer. Bertrand does a fantastic job of describing Roland's feelings and pressures.  March's job is to understand the hidden messages given concerning the pattern of wounds before the time runs out. Can he do it??

This author is well versed in his knowledge of  detectives'  feelings and behaviours enabling you to actually  feel the fear and mystique in each of the characters.  Although he uses a lot of dialogue, it is well done.
An excellent book- you can visualize the scenes of the crime, but they are not described in gory detail.  Great book again, Mark!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group". 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Book Review- "Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me"

A Giveaway- Read this review and leave a comment.  I have a copy of this book to give to anyone who comments. Will be chosen randomly! Offer only available to Canada and USA.

Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me : A Memoir .....of Sorts
by Ian Morgan Cron
When first flipping through this book, which my usual way to begin a book I am going to review, I had the thoughts that this was going to be an easy read- not many pages, larger printing- oh this will go quickly. I must admit, I was wrong. The topic was different than my usual- it is non fiction and that is not usually my first choice, but the  subject matter was intriguing.
Ian writes in metaphors, which take some getting used to. He tells you the story of his life , which is one of remembering his many hurts endured, coping with them and coming to an understanding- but not until he was an adult himself of why and how this happened the way it did. Ian has a father that he just does not understand- why he acts the way he does, where he goes and why there is such unhappiness in his home.
Ian has made his memoir into somewhat of a parable. How can he love a parent who has hidden away from his fatherly duties?  He approaches dealing with the act of using God's love and forgiveness to discover empathy for this man and the past.
I have to admit this was not an easy book for me to read. I prefer fiction and lighter topics, however Ian writes in a very engaging and clever way , that I feel those who love biographies, etc. would love the detail and the showing of spiritual growth that takes place in his life as his takes this journey back to his childhood and beyond.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 
Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson". 

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...