Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Somewhere to Belong

This is my first Judith Miller book and it reminded me (in a small way) to one of all time favorite authors, Lauraine Snelling.

The story focuses mainly on two teen girls around the same age who have led very different lives before they meet. Berta comes from a bigger city life of luxury to Johanna's world of hard work and secluded simplicity.
The first comes to a religious village thinking of it as a lovely vacation spot and the latter has lived her entire life there.

I enjoyed this book and liked reading of the hard work done on with a steady routine each and every day. It was delicious to read of the foods made in the big kitchen and served restaurant style for three scheduled meals a day.

It was nice to imagine being there and pretending to be among the characters ... seeing what they were seeing and processing their emotions. When I finished this book, I felt comforted and happy and that was just what I needed!

Bethany House Publishers sent this book free of charge with the request for an honest review posted of the book. I love this company!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Leaving Yesterday

Review: Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman

A novel about a mother who has experienced grief, loss, and heartache for her two sons.
This mother suffers the loss of one son and finds out her other son is a possible murder suspect after he has spent considerable time away from family and home. Paths were separated due to the son's severe drug addiction.

The effects are shown on the whole family (there are other contributing factors, of course) and the main character here reveals what can happen when she pretends all is well when it simply isn't. Many Christian women, including this writer --- can relate to presenting things the way they should be instead of how they actually are.
The path seems safer that way ... but is it?
This story shows how it can look on the other side of the truth and makes you ask... "What would I do?"

My honest regard for this book is that I didn't really enjoy it. I had a hard time getting into it and an even harder time connecting with the characters ... especially the main one. Even though I am one who feels I must finish any book I start, I had to push myself hard to finish this one and I only did so because I got it to read and review.

Almost the entire book is a record of the main character's endless thoughts and her constant dragging through of assuming the worst seemed endless.

She came across as self focused --- constantly worrying about what others would think. The thing is, she never showed much care for any of them unless they were doing something concerning herself.
I am glad to be done with this book.
Everything was just too?
Perfect, perhaps?
I know the thought was to present someone who seemed perfect in every way who did less than perfect things when faced with hardship. I guess she really was too perfect for me to relate with. She was excellent at her job, at speaking, at writing, at motherhood, in appearance, with a beautiful home in a beautiful neighborhood.
In all of that, though --- she did nothing for anyone even once that I recall other than for her own family and visiting a neighbor who did more for her anyway.

Maybe this would go over better with someone more like the main character who I cannot even recall the name of. I am usually not so harsh with my book reviews but I will end this with one of the strong points being the point that "dirty" and bad things can go on in the best looking families. It also leaves me with the hope that I will have compassion on the woman I see who seems to have it all ... knowing the battle she might be having in keeping that pretense up for everyone in her life.

Bethany House sent this book to me at no charge so I could read and review it. Love this publishing company!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Watch Over Me by Christa Parrish

This book was about a marriage, learning and living through relationships and touches on small town community.

Benjamin takes a job as a deputy after returning from serving time in Afghanistan and his wife, Abbi, is a stay at home wife. The two are very, very different in belief and lifestyle and struggle for their strengths and weaknesses to compliment each other instead of tearing into their bond as husband and wife.

They take in a newborn baby after Ben rescues the abandoned infant and she becomes a huge part in their attempt at healing.

Matthew is a character I tried to hurry through at first so I could get back to the marriage story but that totally changed by the end of the book. I felt he was one of the main characters by the end of the book and I loved him.

Sometimes, I felt I had to force myself through some of this book. I did have a lot going on making me stop and start more than I would have liked. Over all, it was not page turning great but definitely chapter turning good.

I loved the one interaction shared between the Mother in Law and Abbi and felt it was a very "real" scene. Some other places in the book gripped me ---like the interaction between Abbi and her friend, Lauren and the one between Ben and his best friend's parents.

I also cried when I read about that best friend, Stephen. My son served in Afghanistan and came home to a wife and a lot of this book is very similar to how things have gone with them. It hit very close to home . . .

Voices of the Faithful Book 2

Voices of the Faithful Book 2 by Kim P. Davis and Beth Moore

This book is a visually beautiful compilation of daily devotions by and from missionaries from around the world. The truths shared aren’t for those in full time ministry only and can inspire anyone to live a life of sharing Jesus.

Something in the introduction highlights this point: “Lastly, I hope you’ll be motivated to cross your own river of fear and do the thing God has called you to do.

Some of the devotions in this book created a great deal of gratitude. Gratefulness in being free to transport, openly read and publically share the Word of God.

So many of us spend our days just trying to keep up and reaching others with the gospel is something we know we should do. Actually doing it tends to rarely make it on our To-Do list.

This book does inspire you to do more of that when you read testimony after testimony of living out each day focusing on serving others.

Voices of the Faithful
Book 2 would make a nice gift but for me, it hasn’t become one of my dog eared, beloved treasures as others have.

I had a hard time “connecting” with this book in a way and felt it was prettier than it was substantial. I’m not really sure why because it was okay … just not on my favorite and can’t wait to share list.

I am still reading each day’s devotions and I do enjoy seeing things from perspectives of those in the front lines in missions. All in all, it is probably about what someone buying the book would expect to get.

It is one I will probably tie a ribbon around and give out as a gift when I finish reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Book Reviews

I review for BookSneeze