The Edge of Over There By Shawn Smucker

This book was a great disappointment to me. The author is obviously a talented writer and I love the cover, but I found the book very confusing as to the characters and events going on.
That is not where the problem lies for me though. There is no way I can qualify it as Christian fiction. The story refers to angels and the tree of life but not in a biblical sense and that was the first thing that came to my mind when seeing those words. God, Christ, and everything associated with such terminology was never mentioned. I felt that the sacred things of God and His Word were used as part of something dark, even evil. To me this was a sacrilege. I was unable to finish the book I found it so offensive. I do not believe you can associate the Holy things of God with demonic, sinful ideas. Sci-Fi and the Lord just do not mix.
I hate to leave negative reviews but this book was not for me.
I received this book from Revell Publishers for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.

Minding the Light by Suzanne Wood Fisher

I was so happy to get to read this second book in the Nantucket Series! I must admit I was thinking, “How can the author top Phoebe’s Light?”, but she did! It is now the 1800’s and the story of Mary Coffin Starbucks family continues as does her mysterious and treasured diary from 1660.
The last book was such an interesting wealth of information about the life of whalers. This books shares another side of their story, what their families faced while they were out to sea earning a living.
Daphne and Jane Coffin Macy are Mary’s great-great-great granddaughters. Great Mary’s diary has been passed down through the years and falls in to the hands of Daphne. As with the last book, pages of her diary are shared throughout the book.
I cannot imagine having my spouse away for that long of a time, not knowing if he were dead or alive or even to return. The hardships financially and emotionally of the wives, children, and family was incredible as Ms. Fisher so deftly draws the reader into. Look at it from the whaler’s view. How much as his home and family changed in that time? I saw Ren struggle with adapting to home and the difficulties he was presented. After all, the challenges on a ship are far different than those among family and at home. There are so very many adjustments for everyone even though they are blessed to be back.
I always like how Ms. Fisher’s characters, no matter how small, are fleshed out that you feel as you know them and have met them. No matter how many years pass, man’s shortcomings never change nor does virtue and character. Daphne was so sweet and kind, always putting others needs before hers. Her faith and reliance on God was inspiring. You can’t even begin to believe, that she is Lillian’s daughter. Lillian is her opposite, a very bitter, dishonest greedy woman. I think my favorite character was Abraham; Ren’s extremely loyal black officer and friend on Ren’s ship. He had more character in his pinkie than some of the wealthy, “upstanding” citizens of the island.
This story holds more surprises and intrigue than the other book, especially concerning Great Mary’s diary. I even more anxious for the next book to come out!!!
I received this book from Revell publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

Phoebe’s Light By Suzanne Woods Fisher

I knew where Nantucket was and of course I had a general idea about the whaling industry in the past, but I knew NOTHING about the actual life and facts this vocation entailed!
Ms. Fisher’s talented writing made me feel as if I was on Nantucket Island watching the people and on the ship experiencing the work of the crew and captain. Amazing! Phoebe Starbuck was an 18 year old teenager in the 1760’s. Upon her birthday she was given a much coveted diary of her great-grandmother, Mary Coffin Starbucks who wrote it 100 years earlier. The wisdom of “Great Mary” as she was called was legendary. Throughout the story pages of the diary are shared, giving the reader glimpses into the founding of Nantucket Island. Most of all Phoebe’s great-grandmother’s experience and faith helped her face insurmountable odds. I loved great Mary’s wise writings. Some of them I wanted to write down and keep!
Her childhood sweetheart, Matthew Macy had turned away from God and Quaker church so she ended relationship with him that was to end in marriage. She shows that young teens 350 years ago in many ways are not different than they are today. She had a crush on the dashing and wealthy Captain Phineas Foulger and just KNEW he was the one for her to marry, not even bringing God into the equation! Suddenly he asks for her hand and after a hurried she on cloud 9. She convinces him to let her sail with him on his next whaling expedition, something totally unheard of. Surprisingly he agrees!
This is where the adventure and suspense begins. The descriptiveness of the living and working on a whaling ship were incredible! I was riveted to the book! Poor Phoebe’s dreams and life were overturned, especially her stomach. Her suffering with sea sickness and the harsh environment made me think I was going to have to go take some Pepto-Bismol at some points!
She learned that seeking your own way instead of God’s will not work out like you think. But her story also shows that He will take care of us even in our foolish choices. Another incredible read from Suzanne Woods Fisher. I can’t wait for the rest of the books in this series!