Come Back To Me By Jody Hedlund

I always enjoy reading Jody Hedlund’s books.  This one really caught my eye. While I am not a fan of time travel this one was different, especially being my favorite genre, historical romance!

After his wife died from a rare genetic disorder and upon finding his daughter, Ellen also inherited it; Marian’s father poured his life into finding a cure.   His theory was that water that had come in contact with seeds from the Tree of Life had the power to transport people back in time and cure any disease in the present day.  It was so outlandish she just chalked it up to him possibly being mentally off.  That is until she is summoned to his bedside in England where he lay in a coma.  As she follows cryptic clues he had left her she quickly realizes he was onto something. 

Upon finding an ancient flask he has left with a residue of the water, she experiences passing back in time.  Convinced this is something that can save her sister and bring her father out of a coma; she drinks some of the water.  She finds herself transported back to the middle ages where she meets Will Durham, a handsome and brave knight for the King of England.  The adventures she faces not to mention the time restraints to return to present day are harrowing!   What an adventure!  I found myself actually becoming anxious. I loved the detailed description of her experiences in the late 1300’s from the view point of a 21 century woman!  I must admit she took it in stride much better than I would have.  I felt her yearning for a hot shower and a cup of coffee.  There was much Marian  could not have for seen in facing but she never dreamed she would fall in love.    What a story; suspense, excitement, and mystery!   I read at night to go to sleep and for 3 nights it was the wee hours of the morning before I could put it down!  The only part I did not like about the book was, while in good taste, there were way too many parts of steamy sensuality between Marian and Will.  I was a bit surprised with it being a Christian novel.   Otherwise it was a really great, unique book! 

I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.

Helen Roseveare By Janet and Geoff Benge

Helen was raised in family of financial means. Her father placed great importance on her receiving a good education.   She worked hard and acquired a medical degree, not to make money but to use the skills as a missionary.  She was a rarity in her time, not only as a female physician but also as a doctor on the mission field.  I loved how the Lord guided her through sermons, scriptures, and the guidance of other Christians.  He led her to the Congo.  Here women were not respected by the nationals.  She had many hurdles to overcome in addition to the dangerous political upheaval of the country and how impoverished the area was. Upon her arrival she was put the work the very next day. The clinic had 500 – 1000 people waiting for medical help.  Many had traveled long distances on foot.  There were diseases and injuries she had never seen or been trained for in medical school. 

Her energy and motivation amazed me.  She didn’t just serve as a doctor but also trained medical workers, established nursing schools, and built hospitals in her career. This is quite astounding considering how little there was to work with regarding supplies, materials and workers.  Her strong willed attitude which aided in success also caused on going struggles and conflicts with her colleagues.  This distressed her greatly. When a civil war broke out and other missionaries were leaving, Helen stayed. At one point rebels destroyed her clinic, and was held hostage.  She was violently physically, emotionally and sexually abused for 5 months before she was rescued. In spite of this after recovering at home in England she returned to the Congo. She was broken hearted at the destruction of all she had built and condition of the people. Memories and fear of what she endured were always with her.  She continued there 7more years trying to rebuild even making further improvements.

I was shocked at all the suffering Helen faced during her time of service. Her courage, faith and strength left me in awe.  What incredible situations she went through and still desired to serve God. She left after 20 years of service, returning once to see how her work still flourished.  God truly created a legacy through her. 

Helen Roseveare is a missionary I had not heard of.  This one thing I like about the Benge’s Christian biographies.  They write about incredible people that many do not know of.

Thank you to YWAM Publishing for a providing this book for me to review.  The opinions stated are my own.

Lillian Trasher By Janet and Geoff Benge

Lillian Trasher’s story reminds me of Proverbs 16:9. “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.  Seventeen years old and filled with the hope and zeal of youth, Lillian wanted to spread her wings and fly!  She set out to pursue her dream of becoming a sketch artist for the Georgian Newspaper in Atlanta.  While on the train she just “happens” to sit by a woman who ran the Faith Orphanage in North Carolina.  As they chatted the woman offered Lillian a job as her assistant.  Working in an orphanage, ridiculous! She was going to have a career with the newspaper!  She politely listened and promised the woman she would remember her should things change.

After submitting her sketches to the art editor, who assured her there was a very good chance landing her dream job she left to return the next day. Through a series of events that were most unusual she was not hired.  Seeing God’s hand in this disappointment, she headed for Faith Orphanage.  There she served tirelessly not knowing God was teaching her many lessons and preparing her for His plan.

After 5 years she felt the Lord’s calling to the mission field, in Africa.  Having no money and no church to support her was not a deterrent to this faith-filled woman.  She trusted God and He furnished all her needs in incredible ways.   It wasn’t long after she arrived at the mission house in Egypt; a dying baby was given to her. She was given the choice by the leaders of the mission house to return the baby (whose mother had died) or leave.  This is when she learned there were no orphanages in Egypt and the baby would be thrown into the Nile.  

With no money and no support once again, she left with the infant.  You have to realize this country was a dangerous place for a woman alone.  She didn’t even know the language! Once again she trusted God and as always He provided.  This was just the beginning of His amazing care and provision for Lillian and the orphanage she established.   She had many setbacks and serious problems throughout the years:  no food, catastrophes, illness, no clothing for the children.  Every time God was faithful to furnish whatever was needed.  At the time of her death, she had lovingly cared for 10,000 children and widows.  None of which could have been done without her obedience, faith and trust in God.  This is an incredible story!  Lillian reminded me of a cross between George Muller and Gladys Aylward! 

I love Christian biographies.  Learning about men and women who have given their lives to serve God is inspiring to me. Although this book is for readers 8 to 12 years of age, I encourage adults to read it too! 

Thank you to YWAM Publishing for a providing this book for me to review.  The opinions stated are my own.

A Lady in Attendance By Rachel Fordham

Rachel was born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth; wealthy, entitled, and reckless.  None of this helped her when she found herself being accused of a crime she did not commit.  Shipped off to a reformatory to serve her time, she found out what life was really about.  Upon her release she had nowhere to go and no money.  Rachel’s goal was to clear her and her family’s name of this injustice.

Instead of having a pity party she applies for a job at Dr. Gilbert’s dentistry office to be his lady in attendance.  What we call dental technicians now.  I had no clue there was such a position back then.  The thought of going to the dentist in the late 1890’s gives me the heebie jeebies!   No deadening, crude tools, you get the picture.

Gilbert was a solid, kindhearted, shy man who did not want to have any attachments to the opposite sex.  Yet, vivacious Hazel changes all that.  Her true character blossoms in her new job, diligent, caring and unassuming.  Gilbert finds himself becoming happier and more outspoken (in a good way).  Friendship turns to romance.  As he becomes involved with Hazel her story is brought to light and he purposes to help her restore her reputation.

As the story progressed, I couldn’t put the book down!  Each step revealed a deeper part of the mystery that surrounded Hazel’s predicament.  I had to turn the next page because I couldn’t stand the suspense! 

I loved Hazel’s spirit of forgiveness and courage to take responsibility for her choices.  She felt it would be impossible to repair the damage her foolishness had done to her life and her family but God was working to show her that nothing is impossible with Him.  The Lord sends just who she needs to move toward a solution.

There are lots of surprises and excitement along the way.  Trust me; you want to read this book!

I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviewers in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions stated are my own.