Tuesday, May 30, 2017

All Things Bright and Beautiful Illustrated by Dawn Machell

Dawn Machell takes a familiar hymn and transforms it into lovely lullaby for young children.  This book is smaller than the average board book but just right for those baby hands!  The hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful" are the text for this book.  The cover of the book has sparkles and a scene with a small child sitting on an elephant.  Other animals and birds with flowers, mushrooms and smiling sun grace the cover.  The border of the cover is bright primary colored flags.  As the child opens to the first page he will be delighted by the sparkly rainbow that fills both sides of the page.  The following pages match the text with corresponding, charming illustrations.  For example "little flowers that open" not only has appealing flowers but little lady bugs, butterflies and adorable bees peeking out from the flowers.  "Each little bird that sings" show a variety of sweet little birds in various shapes and sizes.  "Purple-head mountains" and "the river running by" are drawn with beauty with whimsical animals in the foreground.  One of the last pages contrasts the "cold wind" with the "pleasant summer sun".  The book ends with a scene of children from different cultures.Beautiful and precious!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A love so True by Melissa Jagears

Surprise ending!  I love a book where I can't figure out the mystery and even as it unfolds I'm surprised.  This book gives that and so much more.  Interwoven in this romance mystery is tender familial relationships and rock solid friendships.  Evelyn has a passion to help the unwanted children and orphans of prostitutes.  While she can find tender mercies for the "soiled doves" of her city she cannot forgive herself for a mistake she made and has hidden.  As Evelyn works to help others accept God's forgiveness she begins to see more clearly God's love for herself.  Her family and friends sense an unrest in Evelyn but cannot seem to gain her trust to release her hidden angst.  Meanwhile they remind her and assure her that God's plans often offer us a dream we didn't have the courage to grasp for ourselves because He is merciful.  This book packs a lot of deep truths between its pages.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan

The dialogue between the characters felt trite and stiff.  Conversations didn’t flow naturally.  The love story seemed stilted.  For example one page Grace says to herself that she realizes she not only loves the children but also loves Robert and wonders why she didn’t acknowledge this to herself early.  A mere two pages later when Robert asks if he may court her she stares at him blankly.  This time she says to herself that she must have given him the wrong impression that she cared for him like “that”.  This makes no sense.  Similar odd or awkward situations and conversations are throughout the book that made the characters not come alive for me.  The basis of the storyline was interesting but I just didn’t “feel the love” in this romance.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

I love this book!  Superb book on so many levels!  It is a satisfyingly romantic cowboy love story but so much more! The author paints a beautiful picture of a family turning to God for healing of past wounds.  The characters seem so real you forget you're reading a book.  You become immersed in their struggles.  I enjoyed the times in the book when each character would think back to a scripture that helped give them strength or encouragement for the moment.  The relationships and backstories of Trey and his brothers and father was unique and inspirational.  The way Lucy and Trey interact with each other and her children is heartwarming.  The interactions and conversations between side characters add richness and depth to the main plot.  This is a fascinating story with a lot of thought-provoking messages woven into an excellent story about God's grace, forgiving others and embracing love through the courage God gives us through second chances.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

An intriguing plot with lots of mystery and the quick pace kept my attention throughout the story.  I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations between the characters in this book. The unique phrases and terminology of the era made this a fun read as well.  I like the main character Annabelle.  She's had a lot of hard knocks in her life but she's determined to live a good life even if that life is vastly different from what her family or society deems appropriate.  She's not feisty but she's brave.  There's interesting exchanges and "chance" meetings between characters that will keep you guessing till the end of the book.  It was a very enjoyable read about lords and ladies and the common folk too.  Lots of detail given so that you feel like you are back in that time period.  Believable characters with believable lives yet never a dull moment in the tale.  Not a trite tale but rather a meaningful look into forgiveness, living out one's faith and acting upon what God prompts your heart to do.