Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Very Thankful Prayer by Bonnie Rickner Jensen

The book is a sturdy square shaped board book.  Cover has shiny, foil leaves in autumn colors.  A little rabbit riding a bicycle with a dog in the basket graces the cover.  Rabbit and dog are dressed in sweaters, scarves and hats with pom poms.  The verse to the book is written in rhymes.  Each page focus on a different aspect of thankfulness.  Various animals are shown doing different activities in which they are thankful.  Rabbit wakes up on a carrot quilt and is thankful for morning. A bear, cat, olw, badger and mouse play together happily at the playground and are thankful for wooly scarves.  A mouse family rakes leaves and delights in fall colors.  Squirrels help a farmer harvest corn.  A bear cub is thankful for love in his family.  A group of rabbits gather pumpkins.  Puppy, kitten and ducks are thankful for their friendship.  Foxes climb ladders to reach apples for apple pie.  A cat family celebrates thanksgiving around a table laden with food.  A deer, raccoon and penguin roast marshmallows around a bonfire under the moon and stars.  The book ends with verse on thankfulness in being able to help others and recognizing God as the giver of all things.  The illustrations throughout the book are detailed and delightful.  The animals are adorable and each scene is interesting and exudes warmth and love.

I received this book from booklook and was not required to write a positive review.

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

This story draws us deep into a dark period of America's history as white settlers and Native Americans fight for the same land.  It was a time of intense unrest, distrust and often violence.  The characters in this book come from both sides of the line drawn by this turbulence.  Beware for there are graphic depictions of the savagery inflicted by one upon another.  The author did an excellent of showing that you cannot lump all people into one kettle.  There were good and bad in each culture as well as innocents who paid the price for those who were bent on evil.  Through her riveting story of love, loss, betrayal, reunion and restoration she weaves together a brilliant revelation of what it was like to live during those years.  Through the characters' self reflection and self revelation we begin to understand the immense struggle for peace and justice.  She also taps on our hearts for a deeper level of compassion and forgiveness and self-sacrifice for others.

I received this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

Dinah Jefferies has created a heart twister of a tale.  Fascinating historical facts are revealed in the pathos of one woman's life as  a tea planter's wife.  She leaves England for a life in Ceylon where nothing is familiar and secrets have been kept with horrendous consequences to all.  The interpersonal relationships between Gwen, her husband Laurence, his sister Verity and former love interest Christine all bring to a boil hidden rages, jealousies and anguishes.  The past connects with the present in explosive, shocking revelations that will change everything.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

While Gathering the Threads is the third book in The Amish of Summer Grove you don't have to read the first two books to enjoy this book.  The author gives a detailed summary of the other two books at the beginning of this book to "catch you up".  However, this whole series is so good you will want to read book 1 and book 2.  In Gathering the Threads we find Ariana and Skylar still trying to navigate their emotions and beliefs.  There's a lot of deep family interpersonal drama as well as a mystery or two to untangle.  I really appreciate that the author takes time to develop each character and the various situations throughout the book.  When Ariana is faced with a dilemna it is thoroughly investigated from different angles.  You feel her turmoil and angst.  You root for her as she braves new patterns in her thinking, emotional responses and actions.  This is not a "typical" Amish book.  It is just brimming with deep and riveting dialogue that will touch and maybe even change your heart. Unusual and yet realistic situations arisen to challenge everything Ariana once thought were rock solid beliefs.