Lady of Tarpon Springs By Judith Miller

I love it when I love learning something new about history. Not just facts and dates but unusual subjects I would not have dreamed of. This novel truly did that! I never thought of the sponge business and the divers or how they risked their lives.
I felt as if Ms. Miller took be back in time and dropped me into the early 1900’s in the town of Tarpon Springs. Zanna Krykos and her friend Lucy Penrose are challenging the norms of the day. Zanna is a lawyer and Lucy is the town’s doctor. They are very close friends. When Lucy’s father suddenly dies she finds herself inheriting a sponge diving business he had arranged and she knew nothing of! She wants zero to do with it and asks Zanna to help. There is no way out and on top of that, 50 sponge divers are coming from Greece to be housed and fed! Lucy hands it ALL over to Zanna to manage. Heading the crew is Nicos Sevdalis. He and his men are unaccustomed to women filling any management capacity or giving them directions. Nicos and Zanna are forced to work together. He knows no English and depends on Zanna (Greek also) for translating. Their beginning is pretty rocky, but they become a team.
I am absolutely fascinated by the details about diving during that era. Having seen the big heavy diving suits I never thought of how difficult and dangerous it was. Not to mention the medical problems should something go wrong. My knowledge of sponges was zero. It impressed me how incredibly hard the work was for something I am sure people during that time took for granted.
The Greek customs, food and family dynamics was wonderful. There were times I felt I was hiding behind chair listening. I would love to try some of the food mentioned. When I pick up books by Judith Miller I know without a doubt I will enjoy them! She checks all my boxes for a good read: Christian, historical, suspense, and a dash of romance!
I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.


It’s Okay Not to Be Okay By Sheila Walsh

The title says it all! We go through life fretting because we are not okay in so many areas; like something is badly wrong with us. Instead of turning to the Lord, we try to stuff our perceived failures and limitations under the rug, which only stresses us more. Media, magazines, books everything around us shouts that we can and should reach some sort of perfection. This lie has become so ingrained in us we are blinded and view it as “truth”. Ms. Walsh’s book blasts fib to pieces with the real truth.
I found the book to be comforting, inspirational, and helpful. The author’s openness and honesty were a blessing. I could relate to her frustrations, depression and struggles. I wasn’t happy she had them but it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one. Someone else was facing the same thing plus sharing their insights to overcome. Also it was a reality check that even the most successful and spiritual people face the same conflicts.
We can’t be perfect in any area because we aren’t; only Christ is, and we live in an imperfect world. No wonder it all seems so impossible! God is always there to help, heal, love, pick us up…everything. Trying to fix ourselves is doing it in our own strength and we don’t have that kind of power, only God does. She reminded my past doesn’t irreparably break me nor does my present defeat me! The 8 steps she shares to move forward so simple and clear! We have to get our focus off of circumstances and self, plus trying to make our world “just” right and focus on the One that can! An outstanding book!
I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.