©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Who I Am With You

 Robin Lee Hatcher writes excellent novels.  I don't always like her subject matter, but that's a matter of personal taste.  Who I Am with You takes on a modern day woman whose husband killed himself and their daughter by his reckless driving. It also takes on a media consultant for a woman running for office who had information from her past leaked to the press.

Jessica and Ridley both hide out in the southwestern Idaho mountains--as luck would have it--next door to each other. Jessica is pregnant with her late husband's baby and just lives in her house and continues working at her art business. 

At her grandmother's funeral, Jessica is given her great great grandfather's Bible. At this point, the story goes back and forth between modern day and the Great Depression.  The only criticism I have for this book is that Robin's transitions are abrupt and lack smoothness that leads from one era to another and from one generation to another. 

Still in all there are parallels between the two generations and the growth of faith among all the characters. This is a solid 4 star book.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Legacy of Mercy

Lynn Austin writes the most compelling books and I find them engaging and enlightening. In this sequel to Waves of Mercy, Anna has gone back to Chicago with a serious disquiet in her soul about her upcoming wedding and marriage with William Wilkerson.  Her parents are struggling financially and her marriage to the banking heir will solve a lot of their issues.  

Back in Holland, Michigan, Anna's Oma, Geesje is helping with a new family from the Netherlands--a Dominie, and his granddaughter who'd been orphaned in a fire. The Dominie preaches a fire and brimstone life, even at his granddaughter.  

The one thing Anna has in common with the young girl is that she, too, was orphaned when the ship that was carrying her mother and her sank. She was adopted by the man who saved her life and his wife.  Her adoption set her apart from the teen.  

While Anna's and Corina's stories parallel in the book, there are divergences and set these lovely young women apart. The differences make the book stand out as a great novel to read.  Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a trip through genealogy to find some answers. 

My thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book. 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Third Strand of the Cord

This is not my usual review style, but there are just too many important things to say about this book.  Third Strand of the Cord is mostly invisible, but is there to help with all the slings and arrows of the enemy.  The enemy makes his appearance in the form of Bryan, Caroline's ex. Bryan strikes at everything Caroline loves, especially her son, Trent.  Bryan is abusive, short tempered, and has his sights set on political greatness and will nothing short of perfection stand in his way.

Caroline needs help with Trent, his Down's syndrome has kept him delayed in his scholastic endeavors, his behavior is that of a child half his age.   Instead of finding help with the school district, she finds help in the form of a karate teacher named Lee.  Lee shows Caroline how she's holding Trent back.  He begins to show Trent how to do things for himself, simple things like peeling an orange, and more difficult things like vacuuming the house.

The devil that prowls like a roaring lion seeking to destroy Caroline is Bryan.
Lee is the one who helps her put on her spiritual armor.
Her neighbor, Sharron, is the one who stands with Caroline in prayer, like Aaron and Hur stood with Moses.

Catherine Richmond also treats several social ills and some social mores:

  • domestic abuse
    • verbal abuse
    • physical abuse
  • stigmas for birth defects
  • using children as pawns in divorce cases
This is beyond a five star book, with two thumbs up, and sign language lessons for communication

My thanks to BooksGoSocial for allowing me to read and review this book and to NetGalley.com for providing the galley I read. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

When the Heart Sings

This is one of the darkest books I've read--in tone, and in subject matter.  It was tough to read of some of the unspoken atrocities of World War II.  The Germans invaded Poland and took the country's men to work in the factories making weapons for the German War Machine.  This is where we meet Natia and Teodor as they have received their letters telling them where to report. The men in the factory are not allowed to know what they are making.  The men are treated as slaves and "less thans."  Natia's father, brother, and sister are also in the factory prison. Natia was noticed by the wife of the officer in charge of the factory and brought to his home to act as a maid and cook.  As she ran errands, she'd walk by the factory and sing, hoping her Teodor would hear her.

Liz Tolsma has had to spend hours and hours of research in order to make this plot follow a plot line that makes sense.  Natia went from singing her love to not being able to sing at all.  With the help of her employer, Natia finds her song again.

This is a five star book, two thumbs up, and a song for your heart

Thanks to Gilead Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

In Times Gone By

Tracie Peterson weathers out the storm of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake in her final book of this series.  Kenzie's former fiance shows up "still wanting to marry her." Caleb visits Kenzie's family and brings them back to San Francisco.  Corruption is still rampant in San Fran and Caleb still wants to dig it out and eradicate it from the city.  Tracie Peters knows her characters, her settings, her history, and her research.  She especially knows how to pull this all together into a cohesive novel or series of novels. 

Here's how it all plays out:  Caleb's sister Camrianne marries Patrick Murdock.  Judith finds her family only to lose them in the quake.  She ends up marrying Caleb.  Kenzie works for Micah as a nurse, and finally comes to realize she loves him.

There is so much I have left out of this review, but there just isn't enough time to give it the full treatment it deserves.  It is just a captivating series of novels that is hard to put down once you pick it up.  Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, some special chocolates from Ghiradelli.

My thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book and this series.

Friday, September 28, 2018

In Dreams Forgotten

SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!  The dream is Judith's dream for a family.  The parents who raised her have passed away and she wants to find the remainder of her family if at all possible. 

The year is 1906.  The Place is San Francisco.  The overarching event is a massive earthquake that devastates the entire city.  The characters are continuing the story begun in Hidden Places (reviewed here).

In Hidden Places, Camrianne Coulter falls in love with Patrick Murdock.  Now the girls are trying to get Caleb to notice Judith, because she fell in love with him at first sight. 

Not many characters have changed, a few new ones have been temporarily added.  Caleb is still fighting corruption, Patrick still wants his business back, Judith still wants to find her family remnants, and Kenzie wants to just lick her wounds.

Tracie Peterson still has a masterful touch in bringing these characters to life and giving a glimpse into the world of San Francisco in 1906.  In Dreams Forgotten, Tracie shows that not all dreams need to be forgotten, but God may have a different dream for you. 

This is a five star book, two thumbs up, and a dream come true.

My thanks to Bethany House for allowing me to read and review this book.  The galley I read was supplied through NetGalley.com.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Seat by the Hearth

Priscilla Allgyer left home and moved to Baltimore to get out from under her father's hyper-criticism.  But what she did was jump from the frying pan into the fire. She got involved in a relationship with a man who physically abused her.  In desperation, she takes her six year old son and goes back to Lancaster.  In order for her to stay, her father lays down some rules:  she must re-join the church, serve her shunning time, and find a husband.

Mark Riehl is the first face she sees when she returns to town.  Mark has always had the reputation of being a flirt--always chatting up the other ladies to the point that two of the ladies believe he is going to ask them to marry him.  Oh yeah, he also works for Yonnie Allgyer--Priscilla's father. 

Mark tried to get Priscilla to talk to him, to open up to him, and allow him to share her burdens.  He found her in the barn crying and was trying to talk to her there and she was trying to get away from him, but her sleeve got caught on a nail and tore. That is when Yonnie and John, the bishop, come in and find them together.  Yonnie demands that they set the soonest wedding date possible.

Once Priscilla agrees to marry Mark, Yonnie has a self-satisfied look about him.  He had manipulated the situation to his desires.  His daughter is no longer his problem. 

Amy Clipston does her research on the Amish life and makes the research come alive in her characters.  A Seat by the Hearth is one of those slices of Amish life.  My favorite part is when Mark comes in on Yonnie's tirade on Priscilla.  He rips Yonnie a new one for his treatment of Priscilla and moves her out from under her father's thumb.

This is a five star book, two thumbs up, and a man who will stand up for you in all circumstances.

My thanks to Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.