Saturday, January 28, 2017

Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turnanksy

This book is an excellent mixture of mystery, romance, suspense and historical drama!  Set in the early 1900s the heroine faces challenges of raising her younger sister while helping her grandmother operate a millinery shop.  There are union riots, threats of strikes, an unsolved mystery of how her father died and a childhood crush that comes back to town.  How all the characters interact and find God's path again after years of misunderstanding, bitterness and sorrow make for a real page turner.  Detail is given to the historical times as well as to the emotional journey one makes through grief and seeing God in the midst of trials.  The spiritual nuggets of truth are woven into the story in a natural way and fit right in with the character's musings and feelings.  The path that the two main characters take separately and then together was very moving.  I liked how the author showed that each had to be strong individually before they could come together in an emotionally healthy way.  I really appreciated the sweet love story that did not include sexual tension.  I've been so tired of that in "christian" romance!  This story instead dwelt on the aspects of learning to trust each other, learning to share even when fearful, learning to be honest, learning to see each other's core values and appreciate each other's strengths.  The descriptions of scenery, homes, town, hats at millinery really added to the story.  But what I enjoyed the most was each character's battle with self to trust fully in God's guidance and how God worked through each person's life.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Baa! Oink! Moo! God Made the Animals by Rhonda Bowler Greene

This is what I'd call a "keeper".  Sweet pictures and sweet words.  They rhymes are brilliant!  Simple yet really show a God who loves us deeply.  One line I really enjoyed was:  "Who makes those birds sing coo...coo...coo?"  "The One who wraps us in His love.  Only God can make a dove."  Lines like these make this book so special and unique.  As the little boy goes through his day on the farm with his favorite animals the reader glimpses God as creator and friend.  It is a lovely book that delighted me and my kindergarten students when I read it to them.

I received this book from the publisher.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

An Uncommon Courtship by Kristi Ann Hunter

WARNING!  If books had ratings like movies do this would be a PG-13!  It had unnecessary descriptions of painful consummation of the marriage.  It dwelt too long on this aspect.  It was actually embarrassing to read the pages about this.  I was shocked!  While the idea of a man wanting to woo and court his wife before consummation was noble.  In the end he consummated the marriage not sure if he really loved her or not because he was still debating what love really was. And then he just ignores her the next day because he doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings of inadequacy. 

The story also plodded along at a slow pace with neither character able to express their true feelings or fears.  I found Trent to be unrealistic because if he was honorable and courageous enough to marry her so she wouldn’t face social ruin why the hesitation about facing her as his wife and getting to really know her.  It made him sound wimpy and immature when he could not decide how to proceed in his marriage.  I’m not talking about physically but rather emotionally.   I was disappointed in this book.  It started out with great promise but ended with a thud.

I received this book from the publishers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

God Made You Nose to Toes by Leslie Parrott

 I love this book! This is my first time with author Leslie Parrott but it won't be my last.  She has a warmth and tenderness to her prose that really makes for an endearing children's story.  Estelle Corke is the perfect compliment as illustrator for Parrott's heartwarming book.  Each page tells about some part of the child's body that God gave such as eyes to see.  Each page is beautifully illustrated to show what wonders God gives us through our senses such as a "Little nose to smell things that grow" etc.  I really enjoyed the fact that she added a reference to the verse that God loves us so much he counts the hairs on our head.  This is a perfect toddler book!  It teaches the basics nose, eyes, ears, mouth and hands.  It adds interesting things like fingers, knees and teeth.  Adorable little boy and cuddly cute animals fill the pages.

I received this book free from the publishers.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Moonbow Night by Laura Frantz

This story takes you into the midst of the harsh frontier life during the year 1777.  Much unrest dwelt between settlers and Native Americans wanting to claim the same lands.  To further fuel the discord was the colonists stand to be free of British rule.  While Native Americans were caught in the crossfire of this revolution they were also enlisted on both sides of the battle.  The heroine of this book is Tempe.  She is not your typical damsel in distress.  Tempe is a strong, capable frontiers woman who can shoot, hunt, track, and    guide as well as her brother and father.  Through her loss, trauma, fight for survival and confrontation of her own emotional scars we see early America in all its raw bleakness and beauty. 

I obtained this book free from the publishers.