Showing posts with label Christian Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian Fiction. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Historical Tuesday - The Brickmaker's Bride


The Brickmaker's Bride (Refined by Love, #1)

The Brickmaker's Bride


By: Judith Miller

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary:
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.

My thoughts:
This was a fun little read. When you want good clean romance this is a great book for that. I loved Laura and her mother and their interactions. It was a great mother daughter relationship to read. It was also nice to have a new time period and problem faced. Ewan was a great leading man and I found myself rooting for them.

The only reason I kept it from 4 stars was that the villains seemed far too one dimensional for my liking and  it at points I was just wondering why anyone still talked to them. 

It was a sweet christian romance and if that is what you are wanting to read this is a good pick for you.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Misc Monday - Driftwood Tides

Driftwood TidesDriftwood Tides

By: Gina Holmes
Genre: Christian
Rating 3.5 stars
Summary:He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making driftwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife's illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he'd given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby's father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.


My Thoughts:
"And wasn't that what humanity was really? Nothing by weeds in God's garden, waiting for the day they would be changed into flowers."

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, and one which I believe wonderfully describes the content. It is a book of people growing and overcoming the natural flaws which they have. All of the characters are flawed (some far more than others) but it was nice to get to know them, see them in their flaws and like them anyway. It was a good Christian novel in the fact that it wasn't preachy, it was just normal religious people letting their belief in God show. I like those far more than some of the others I have read.

A lot of elements come together to make this a sweet read - the stormy relationship between Libby and her mother, along with the confusion of two worlds colliding and the toll which it takes on Libby's relationships.

It was a sweet read, one that left me feeling happy and content with how everything turned out. It was relaxing and enjoyable and good if you have some time and just want a feel-good, warm fuzzy novel.



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

YA Wednesday - When the Bough Breaks


When the Bough BreaksWhen the Bough Breaks

By: Kay Lynn Mangum
Genre: LDS fiction
Rating 4.5 stars

Summary:
Rachel Fletcher thought that her biggest secret in high school would be her crush on Jason West, but after her father dies in a car wreck, one she thinks is her fault, all of that changes. She has to deal with the problems of a mother who is almost catatonic with depression and worse a brother who is turning into an alcoholic. As time passes and her mother remarries she has to add a new step-father and step-brother into the mix. Rachel's brother's addiction just gets worse. She wonders why God isn't helping out more, but God doesn't always help the way we think He should.


My Thoughts:
I love this book, and have read it several times. It's one that can be hard to read (especially the first time) but almost impossible to put down. Rachel is a quiet girl who prefers to spend her time writing poetry and working on her creative writing skills, she never asked for the problems of a lost father and an alcoholic brother. She has the typical questions of "why me?" I love how real Mangum can make her characters.

A criticism of LDS fiction is that it generally can't deal with the problems which face the world of today -drug and alcohol addictions and what not, this book proves that incorrect.  It illustrates beautifully what it's like to have a family member who is an addict and how people react to it. The whole plot of healing both for Rachel and her brother Ryan left me almost crying a time or two (I have only cried twice while reading) but not wanting to stop at all.


I would recommend this book to both YA and adults, and all religions, it is beautifully done. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fluffy Friday - The Wonder of Your Love

The Wonder of Your Love (A Land of Canaan Series #2)The Wonder of Your Love
By: Beth Wiseman
Genre: Christian Fiction
Rating: 4 stars


Summary From Goodreads:

Settling in to her new life in Canaan, Colorado, Katie Ann Stoltzfus gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. The boy's father - her estranged husband - died before their son is born. Despite his infidelities, Ivan was her one true love. She mourns his loss, vows never to trust another man, and resolves to fill the role of both mother and father to her son.
Then Eli Detweiler arrives in Canaan from Middlefield, Ohio, to attend his niece's wedding. He's been raising his kids alone in Middlefield since his wife's death fifteen years ago. Now each child is married, so Eli looks forward to living a less-structured life-and eating shoofly pie for breakfast every morning. There's no one to care for except himself.
When a meddling-but good-hearted-Englisch woman plays matchmaker for Katie Ann and Eli, they find themselves facing an unexpected, hopeful future…brought together by God's wondrous love.
My Thoughts:
This is a very nicely done novel on portraying a different aspect of the Amish lifestyle. It explores the fact that those of other faiths and backgrounds all experience the same challenges. Now I jumped into the series half-way through, and while this novel doesn't entirely work as a stand-alone, it does give enough explanations that you aren't super confused the whole time.
In the previous novel, Seek Me with All Your Heart, Katie Ann deals with the knowledge of her husband cheating on her. In this novel she deals with the aftermath, both with other people and within herself. I loved the fact that Wiseman chose to break away from the basic wedding plot which most novels seem to have and try to focus on other issues.
I loved Martha. She is the type of woman I hope to be when I am old. She has attitude and a kind heart which she tries her best to hide. I love the twist that her personal plot took in the story and am excited to see how it will play out.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for letting me read this book for review.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Misc. Monday - Hour Before the Dawn

The Hour before DawnThe Hour Before the Dawn
by: Penelope Wilcock
Genre: Christian
Rating: 4 stars


Summary from Goodreads:
Abbot John is undergoing deep, emotional shock after learning of the rape of his sister and murder of his mother; Father William is discovering his own vulnerability; and there, immersed in the daily routine of simple tasks, the brothers undertake the greatest task of nurturing the grace of God in their souls.


"The world is always darkest the hour before the dawn." Many of us have either heard or read this particular saying and it is from this that the title is taken from and it is a very fitting title for the story. It is a story which the author explores the varying paths of grief and the only way to truly come out of it. 

This is the fifth book of the series but can be read with minimal confusion on its own. It follows Abbot John and William, first as they travel to visit John's sister after her attack and then later as they go in search of Brother Oswald, one of Father Williams brothers from his old order. It is upon finding Brother Oswald that the path to happiness could finally be taken (you have to read the book if you want to find out why.)

As someone whose only knowledge of monasteries came from watching Sound of Music it was very nice to have it all spelled out so nicely both in the book and with extra explanations afterwards. Wilcock seems to have done real research into this topic and tells her story with ease.  It is a deep book and one which shows how God can lead individuals to a place of healing. as explained in one of my favorite quotes of the novel:

"God is the Creator who goes about making us and remaking us even when our hearts are broken and our lives are shattered. He searches for every shard of who we once were and makes something new of all those pieces and His love."

In all honesty I probably won't go back and read the rest of the books in the series, but I don't regret spending my time in reading this. Thank you to Crossway Books for giving me a book for review.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Misc. Monday - Lonestar Angel

Lonestar Angel (Lonestar Series, #4)Lonestar Angel
by: Coleen Coble

Genre: Christian, Suspense
Rating: 4 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen. Kidnappers demanded a ransom, but something went horribly wrong at the exchange: the kidnapper's car crashed into the river and was never recovered. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.
Now she's met Kent. He's everything Clay wasn't: funny, stable, and eager to please her. Just as he's about to propose marriage at a romantic dinner, Clay arrives and tells Eden she can't marry Kent. She's still married to him. He never signed the divorce decree. Even more earth-shattering than this news is that he's never stopped looking for Brianna. Based on a tip, he thinks their daughter is in Bluebird, Texas, at a youth ranch. All five little girls there are the right age, but he's not sure which is Brianna.
To discover the truth, the couple becomes counselors to the girls at Bluebird Ranch. They move into small quarters in the bunkhouse and oversee the kids as they try to find out more. As they work together, their love for the children grows and their love for each other is rekindled.
Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishing for giving me this book for review. 
I usually put that at the bottom but I put it first to explain why I am beginning a series at the end. I don't normally read suspense. I am more of a happy kind of person and want my stories to be that way too, despite this fact, this book was one that I really liked. Coble did an excellent job of not only developing the characters of the Eden and Clay but of the little girls who they take care of on the ranch. I find that most authors have difficulty with accurately portraying the personalities of children but these were very well done.
The suspense builds nicely and at the climax you get hit by something that you might of suspected but didn't necessarily see coming. I was pleased with the story and didn't feel like it was a waste of time.
I will most likely go back to read the rest of the series and other books by this author.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday -Christian Fiction


Widow of Larkspur Inn
By: Lawana Blackwell

Genre: Christian, Historical fiction
Rating: 4 stars

Summary From Goodreads:
Julia Hollis' opulent life in Victorian London crashes to pieces when her husband passes away. Worse, she is told by his bankers that he gambled away their fortune. Now, the family's hope rests on The Larkspur, an old abandoned coaching inn in the quaint village of Gresham. 
Driven by dread and her desire to provide for her children, Julia decides to turn the dilapidated inn into a lodging house. But can she--who was accustomed to servants attending to every need--do what needs to be done and cope when boarders begin arriving? And then an eligible new vicar moves into town....

Let me first say that with the school year now officially upon me I will most likely be taking more summaries from Goodreads

This was a wonderfully gentle read. It didn't particularly race along with its plot but rather moved at a sedate pace, meaning that yes in places it dragged for a bit, but on the whole was something that I read when I didn't need to think that much because I was recovering from studying for finals.  The characters are all likable, the plot doesn't really throw you for any loops and it has a nice message. There is a very strong Christian aspect (Main man is a vicar what do you expect?)

it's a perfect “recovery read” for when you simply want to relax and get a good story.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday - The Screwtape Letters


The Screwtape Letters
by: C.S. Lewis

Genre: Christian Fiction
Rating: 5 Stars

Summary:
This satire is a series of letters of an upper-level devil named Screwtape to his nephew Alcorn in regards to the best ways of keeping one from becoming a Christian. It systematically sheds light on all of the faults and foibles of human kind that keep them from religion.

I love this book. Lewis manages to point out exactly all of the nuances of human nature that can be used either for us or against us. The younger and more inexperienced tempter does his best to draw the Christian away with the bigger sins of adultery, greed and anger. These are the things which seem like they have the biggest impact yes? Well as Screwtape advises his young charge he explains that it is the smaller of the sins- those of thought, laziness, and bad intentions which are the most destructive.

An example that sticks out to me is the advice of distraction. Screwtape advises his nephew to make the human focus on the faults of the people around him when his is at the church service rather than pay attention to the meeting itself. He tells the younger tempter to make the man focus on the faults of all the others and remember how one has offended him. Lewis has done a masterful job in making us see the gravity of participating in such seemingly trivial matters.

This book caused me to really look inside myself to gauge where I am at in my life and if I am content with staying there. It brought up so many points in neat, concise writing that it was necessary to slow down and to ponder them. For all that it was done in a witty manner and so beautifully written as well.  

This is a MUST-read for all Christians and a book which should be discussed with friends and family.  

In the Shadow of Lakecrest

In the Shadow of Lakecrest By: Elizabeth Blackwell Genre: Fiction, Historical, Gothic Rating: 3.5 stars Summary: The year is 1928. Kate...