©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Two Sally Johns and One Penelope Stokes

I really should keep up better with my reviews, but sometimes reading interferes with blogging.

In the Safe Harbor Series by Sally John, A Time to Gather and A Time to Surrender continue the story of Claire and Max Beaumont and their four children.

Erik, the eldest, is in need of an intervention, and the policewoman Rosie knows just where it can happen. Jenna, the second child, is missing her husband Kevin, who re-enlisted with the Marines and got shipped to the Mideast. Danny and Lexi, the twins, each have their own battles to fight. While Max spent most of his children's childhoods working more than being home, the fallout is pouring out of the children like an open spigot.

Again A Time to Gather shows the nitty-gritty of life, and then the work that needs to happen to heal the hurts. There is realness to the struggle of faith for all the characters, a depth to the character development, and a sense of hope that things will work out, at the right time.

A Time to Surrender focuses on the Hacienda Hideaway's new cook, Skylar, and her relationship with Danny, as well as Jenna and Kevin's relationship from far away. Skylar has to learn to trust God while Danny has to learn that life isn't all black and white--there are shades of grey.

Jenna has to find her place in the world of Marine wives, beginning with the funeral of another Marine where a bomb goes off in protest. Jenna is slightly wounded while her friend, Amber, receives a more serious injury. Jenna quickly comes to depend on her principal a little too much. Claire and Max continue to grow closer together and continue to watch their children learn the faith they will need to get them through the bumps and bruises of life.

This whole series was a good read that is definitely worth the time.

Since my father passed away, I have developed an interest in World War II fiction, especially well-researched fiction. Penelope Stokes has a series called Faith on the Homefront. The first book in this series is Home Fires Burning. It begins the story of Libba Coltrain and Link Winsom who fall in love in Eden, Mississippi, before Link ships out to fight in Europe. Penelope has researched WWII, and gave good descriptions of the battles and life in small town America. I cannot wait to read the next two books in this series. Very Promising!

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