The Lacemaker By Laura Frantz

This book gave me a personal view of life during the American Revolution I had not seen before. I hadn’t thought how much of a perilous time it was for many. History is great at giving the facts but does not share the intimate experiences of individuals during that era. I knew the Patriots and Tories were passionately opposed America’s independence, but I had never taken into consideration the great cost and private losses to those faithful to the Crown. I found it strange to think George Washington and Patrick Henry were viewed as the bad guys, when they are our heroes!
Through Elizabeth Lawson I was able to experience all of this. It is 1775 in Williamsburg Virginia. Wealthy and socially elite, she plans her wedding to Miles Roth. There is no love involved; it is arranged by her father. Sadly what Miles has in social standing he lacks in morality and character, a skirt chaser and gambler. On the night of their engagement party he is involved in is favorite pastimes and sends his cousin Noble Rynallt to escort her. This causes quite a stir in more than one way; Rynallt is a Patriot. She is extremely impressed by him, especially in comparison to his no-count cousin.
Then one night her entire world is turned upside down and her future changed forever. The Tories flee, including Elizabeth’s father and fiancé, the revolutionaries ransack her beautiful mansion, looting and destroying. All her servants flee but two and she survives unharmed. She goes from being rich to homeless. Noble steps up and to offer his protection by inviting her to his home. This was an awkward situation at best, especially considering their opposing political sides. Having no choice she accepts.
I was amazed at her strength and faith! She was not the whiney, shallow rich girl that many of that time were. I saw a great lesson in controlling one’s thoughts. She did not allow negative, self-pitying, or fearful thoughts to remain, but consistently directed her mind back to God’s Word. This was quite a feat considering her French maid was constantly bombarding her with negativity.
Noble, lives up to his name and proves to be a man of integrity and compassion. He too has a strong faith in God and that his guide. I admired how he was able to allow Elizabeth her views while continuing to pursue and stand for his quest for our nation’s independence.
Through Ms. Frantz’s skilled writing I was a part of the scenery, customs, and drama of the time! A book I truly enjoyed!
I received a copy of this book free from Revell Publications. 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

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Missing Isaac By Valerie Fraser Luesse

I spent my childhood in the 1960’s so I felt a certain connection with Pete McLean. I was not faced with the loss of my father as he was but the times he lived in I vividly remember.
After his father dies in a terrible farming accident on their land, he feels lost and overwhelmed. He was blessed in having Isaac Reynolds, a Negro farm worker that had been there as long as Pete could remember. He was not only a loyal friend to the late Mr. McLean but also to Pete. While the McLean’s embraced all people the same regardless of their skin color, at that time society did not. Isaac had character, wisdom and gentleness despite his background of poverty. But the young boy’s source of comfort is quickly gone as his friend suddenly disappears without a trace. He resolves to discover what happened to his dear friend no matter what it takes. For the next six years as he grows from boyhood to young manhood he puts his heart and soul into solving the mystery. In his searching for the truth his path crosses with Dovey Pickett. There couldn’t be two more opposites socially. A wealthy white boy and a back woods impoverished girl. Here again Pete turns his back on societal norms and romance blossoms.
The book was entertaining and informative. I grew up in a middle class family that had enough, and I had friends that were wealthy, but I had no idea there were people living in such hardship and deprivation. I saw on the news about racism in the nation, but I had trouble understanding why such conflict existed.
I admired Pete’s integrity that gave him the strength to not give into hypocrisy or discrimination. He was a strong testimony of what child is taught in the home will carry into his adulthood and values. His relationship with Isaac and Dovey shows that compassion and character override any obstacles in friendship or love.
An outstanding first novel for Ms. Luesse! I look forward to reading more of her books to come!
I received a copy of this book free from Revell Publications. 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

Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children By Jodie Berndt

I have purchased several books through the years on praying for my children. I believe it is the most powerful life changing thing a parent can do: ask the Lord that entrusted them to you to direct their lives. Who knows a child better, their needs and challenges than a loving parent? Second only to God of course!
After my children were grown, some of those petitions still applied but some did not. It was a whole new chapter in their spiritual walk. They were adults making their own choices in navigating life. I could no longer protect them in ways I could before, nor could I have say so in their direction. I had to release then to His guidance. No matter how strongly we raise them in the Lord they will make mistakes (didn’t we) and face problems.
Scriptures swirled around in my head, there were so many it became confusing. Some areas I knew what to pray for, others I was not sure exactly what to pray and of course there was the concern of what was I missing I should pray for. I was delighted to get this book.
I liked that it was not just an entire book of prayers to insert your child’s name in, as were some books I got and was very disappointed. Yes, there are excellent prayers based on scripture, but there is much more! The focus on your prayers is God’s Word and His promises; exactly where it should be. It also includes praying for your grandchildren, who too soon become adults also.
The book is divided into 5 parts and each of those is divided into specific areas our grown children are in need of prayer. Though I would suggest it, you do not have to read the entire book in order. You can turn directly to the prayer need you have at the time. The book was loaded with scripture references which is very important to me! The stories the author shared of what other parents have faced was comforting, taking away the “am I the only one” feeling. Consciously we know we are not but subconsciously we find ourselves doubting.
Sprinkled throughout the book are “prayer principals”, comforting reminders of wisdom we may overlook or forget about prayer when we are overwhelmed with concern and feeling helpless. It is a book to keep, to refer to over and over. The size is perfect for carrying it with you. This is a dynamic book to direct you in releasing your precious children to the One who created them for Him, then petition Him in caring for them. I am so thankful for this book!
I received this book from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

A Song of Home By Susie Finkbeiner

It just can’t get any better than this! A third book in the Pearl Spence series! Some times when there are installments in books they tend to get watered down and a bit repetitive. Not with Ms. Finkbeiner’s books! Each one exceeds the other!
Pearl and her family have just moved to Michigan to start a new life after surviving the dust bowl and experiencing horrific tragedy. While the beautiful green land and new experiences were wonderful, Pearl and her family found it a huge adjustment in many ways. Although it promised a bright future new troubles lay ahead for all of them.
Mama is struggling with the death of their other daughter Beanie and just can’t seem to move on. Grief consumes her and she ceases to be the ideal loving mom and becomes someone they never dreamed she would. The strong family unit begins to fracture.
Opal, a mulatto housekeeper steps to help Pearl’s Dad with the home and children. Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie are wonderful to provide the extra love and stability Pearl and Ray so desperately need.
I truly admired Opal. Being half Negro and half white left her not accepted by either race, and with racism at its peak she had a difficult existence. Yet she was a young woman that conducted herself with grace, kindness and character in the face of cruelty. She did an excellent job of taking Mama’s role, but also became a friend to Pearl. Rejection though in greater and different ways was something they both had in common. Pearl by the peers at her new school and Opal by society.
Uncle Gus and Aunt Carrie made me want to move right in with them. The home cooked meals, and open door hospitality drew me in. I was touched by how Aunt Carrie, never having had children of her own, was so sensitive to Pearl’s emotional needs. She was never too busy to stop everything to listen or spend time with her. It was the children’s safe place.
Pearl’s dad, melted my heart. The world needs more dads like him; patient, loving, firm, tender and protecting. He was always a wealth of wisdom and a rock in such difficult times. No matter how bad the situation or how much he was hurting, he gave Pearl the reassurance and hope she needed. The way he always called her, “Darlin” endeared him to me even more. He had great integrity as he treated Opal with equality and respect.
This story is amazing. There were so many lessons. It is filled with incredible forgiveness, showing that true love will outlast even the worst of offenses and new beginnings can be made when there is mercy. Faith in God can have a lasting impact from even a very young age. I loved Meemaw’s teachings and sayings about the Lord that continued to sustain Pearl long after her grandmother’s death. While we might say, “Haven’t they been through enough already? This isn’t fair!” life doesn’t know the words “enough” and “fair”. It isn’t what we face that will make or break us but how we face it. I finally understood Pearl’s homesickness for her ravaged Oklahoma home. It wasn’t the place but the memory of happier times they had shared.
A beautiful beautiful story! You will want to read all 3 books, I promise! To borrow part of a line from Oliver Twist, I would like to say to Ms. Finkbeiner, “Please … may I have more?” I hope there is another sequel to Pearl’s story!!!

A Trail of Crumbs By Susie Finkbeiner

I was over the moon about Ms. Finkbeiner’s first book, A Cup of Dust, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see the continuing story!
The worst of the Dust Bowl has passed and but the devastation that stands in its wake is overwhelming. The victims are not only dealing with this but also the Great Depression. I honestly do not see how they continued and hung on with so little left.
As if all Pearl and her family had not been through enough, a double tragedy strikes again but in an even more shattering way. The family is forced to leave Oklahoma and move to Michigan and start a new life. I was surprised at how sad they were to leave their home. With nothing left but miles of depressing landscape, it grieved them to leave. You would think they would be ready to go. I do understand Pearls sadness at leaving the family friend Millard. He was a constant and comforting part of her life for as long as she could remember. I had someone like that in my life as a child.
Once again the author captures living history. Not just the facts and details but through the eyes of those that lived it. I love that the story is written from a child’s viewpoint, now 11 year old Pearl Spence. The saying, “out of the mouth of babes”, comes to mind. Nothing is held back and her innocence and honesty paints a true picture.
Once again I love Pearl’s humor. Not that she was trying to be but the simple way a child see’s things and the quirky twist they put on it. I felt such warmth at the closeness of her family and the strong support. It made me happy that she’s has her friend Ray that the family has taken in. They have close bond, without all the boyfriend girlfriend stuff that goes on today with young kids. This book introduces the characters, Gus Seegert, her Dad’s cousin, and his wife Carrie. They generously and lovingly open their home and lives to give Pearl’s family a new start.
At the beginning of the book it gives a short recap of the previous one, so this could be read as a standalone. Trust me; you will want to read the first book as you will not want to miss out on anything! You are an amazing writer Ms. Finkbeiner! If I could give this book more stars I would!
I received a copy of this book free from Kregel Publications. 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