©picture by scribbles (Marye McKenney)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Sometimes I read so much so fast, I can't keep up with the reviews I need to post. That's the case today. So you get three reviews in one post!

The Reunion by Dan Walsh

This book is one of the best I have read in a while. The book revolves around Aaron Miller, a Viet Nam vet and Congressional Medal of Honor winner. He is also the caretaker for a trailer/RV park. He's a quiet, unassuming man who does his job, reaches out to hurting people, and does what he can to be the best he can be. He also doesn't care for limelight very much. In Aaron, Dan Walsh has built the quintessential hero--he saved three men in Viet Nam who would have been killed without Aaron's intervention; he saved Heather from an abusive boyfriend; he saved Billy from himself; and he saved Irene from her trailer after a tree limb crushed it. Little did Aaron know but there are three men who are looking for him--the three vets Aaron saved. They want to thank him for what he did.

The Reunion will take you through the jungles of Viet Nam, the trailer court in Florida, and the minds of Aaron's children. Aaron's story isn't all that unusual--vets often come back home without being able to cope after all the trauma they have seen in battle. While this book wasn't based on any one particular vet, it does have inspiration in two World War II vets--Bobbie E Brown and Bill Crawford. After finishing the book, I had to look these men up. It amazes me that two Medal of Honor winners ended up as janitors/custodians at two of our military academies.

This book gets five stars, two thumbs up, and a medal.

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer

This is a book about living in tenements, getting out, and making a life up out of poverty. Mary and Joss have two children: Emmy and Nate. Mary wants nothing more than to leave the New York City tenement where they live and make a life where the children can run free with grass under their feet, but most of all, Mary wants her children to have a Daddy who cares about them and doesn't drink their groceries away. Mary has a friend Tarsie who wants to help them move. Mary, Joss, and Tarsie make their way to Kansas for a fresh start in life, but on the way Mary passes away. Joss and Tarsie "marry" to create a family for Emmy and Nate. This book does more than tell the story of Joss and Tarsie falling in love, it tells the story of Joss learning life's hard lessons and learning to see the way God sees.

A great read, two thumbs up, and two beautiful children.

A Hidden Truth by Judith Miller

I finished this book last night and it was a quick read. I have enjoyed every one of the Home to Amana books Judith has written, an this one is just as good as the others. Dovie Cates wants to find out why her mother left the Amana Colonies, so she goes to East Amana to stay with her mother's cousin, Louise, and Louise's family--her husband George, and their daughter Karlina.

Judith has done her research to make the Amana Colonies come to life, with how the people lived, with how they were governed, with how they made their money.

Dovie is no flibberty-gibbet, but she can drag Karlina into her activities and into trouble. She does not intend to cause trouble, it just happens because she doesn't always think things through.

One thing about the Amana Colonies is that everyone in the villages works together for the good of the community, and Karlina works with her father with the sheep. Anton comes in from High Amana to learn shepherding. Dovie and Anton arrive at the same time--both to live with Louise and George. Dovie rooms with Karlina and Anton takes the spare room. As Karlina teaches Anton what he needs to know about the sheep and the business of growing sheep. In the meantime, Anton is learning patience and anger-control, as well as falling in love with Karlina.

While Dovie is searching for answers, she develops an ever-deepening relationship with Berndt, who delivers the bread to the East Amana kitchens.

Every book in this series is worth the time to read it. This one gets five stars, two thumbs up, and a bale of wool.

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