The author never ceases to amaze me with the fascinating little known women of history she finds to write about. Her talent is extraordinary in how she takes the facts and adds fictional details to weave a story that brings the woman to life. All of her women are not only distinctive but also strong and persevering.
This novel is about Abigail Scott Duniway. A suffragist in the late 1800’s who worked tirelessly to win the right for women to vote. She also was advocate of women’s equality in other areas they faced discrimination during that era.
I certainly found her a feisty one, even to the point at times of being aggravating with her bold opinions and out outspokenness. Those traits during her time were considered stepping over the line and inappropriate for women. Yet I have to admit, with the prejudice that prevailed, a strong approach would be the only way to break through and make progress.
While being this revolutionary woman, she was still filled the gender roles of wife, mother, grandmother and sister. Her duties were not as easily dealt with as we do now. House work and childcare were hard and arduous. While she loved her family she chafed against the restrictions their care put upon her and the work itself. Just like all women she struggled with laundry and housework.
My heart ached for the many tragedies and setbacks her family faced. I admired though how she put aside her disappoint and pain, facing the problems head on. I felt her gentle laid back husband was a perfect match for her. His unending patience, love and sense of humor were rare, especially in that day and time.
At the end of the book (as in all Ms. Kirkpatrick’s books) you can read the historical facts from her research that makes the “bones” of the book. You will find she really does her homework! I always like to do my own exploration on the “Kirkpatrick women”, finding pictures of them and even reading their biographies. Another outstanding book by Jane Kirkpatrick!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
I am sure Amanda Cox is going to be put on my favorite authors list! I had trouble finding a point to stop reading when I needed to put the book down. I liked the uniqueness of her storyline. It was riveting with many surprises along the way. I was hooked after the first paragraph!
The story interchanges between the present and the past. It begins with a hurting 30 year old homeless man finding an abandoned baby on the side of the highway. Finding himself damaged from being in the foster care system that left him feeling rejected and unloved, he vows to care for this newborn girl and protect her from his fate. With nothing to offer but his love, he ventures to provide for her needs. God works through unexpected circumstances to place the exact people he needs into his and baby Ivy’s life. All of them crushed by difficult issues in their lives. None of them dreaming they will ever know peace and happiness again. Yet God brings them all together, totally unaware each one holds the other needs.
The present day is 24 year old Ivy coming home for her grandmother’s funeral, and seeking the truth about the secret circumstances of her birth.
With so many things I liked about this book, there are two that stand out for me. One is that no matter what wounds life has put upon your heart, God can heal them. There is always hope, but we have to be willing to see His Hand and work with Him. Second, families are not just flesh and blood relatives. Love, commitment and compassion create “family” ties among the most unlikely people and in incredible ways. This bond is as strong as any we are related to by birth sometimes even greater. An incredible book! At the end she had the first pages of her next book. I am already looking forward to it and will HAVE to read it!
I received this book from Revell Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
What would cause a young woman of privilege and wealth to leave her family, her childhood sweetheart/fiancée, and move to a small town in the rugged Dakota Territory to become a school teacher? That is exactly what Agnes Pratt did. She is loved and accepted by the small community of Penance. Teaching school and loving the children has become her life calling. Her neighbors have no clue of her previous life, although they do wonder why such a young attractive woman has no desire to marry. Her past is safe until 6 years later when the new doctor arrives in town. Shock upon shock it is her fiancée she has been hiding from. It is a challenge for them to keep their previous relationship to themselves. Tensions rise with being near each other again and her reason for leaving still unexplained. Not to mention the other people involved in their lives at different levels that knew nothing of their shared past.
I would have assumed Agnes would be a spoiled little rich girl. I was very impressed by compassion, courage and work ethic, no matter how hard the job. James was so sweet and patient. Their love was strong and true even with all the misunderstanding and years of separation. The couple’s transition from ease and wealth to the hard life in a territory in the 1800’s showed they had true character. I was inspired by their faith and desire to seek God in all things. I loved the way the author gradually built the suspense in revealing Agnes’s hidden story. I tried to guess multiple times but was wrong on every one! An exciting, beautiful story of true sacrificial love!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
As soon as I see Susie Finkbeiner has a new book out, I HAVE to read it! She never disappoints! I was able to totally lose myself in the story and characters! The story takes place in the 1960’s.
Betty Sweet’s beloved husband of 23 years dies suddenly right before her eyes. She is only 40 years old and of course is devastated. They had one of those special sweet marriages and he was the love of her life. I could relate to so much of her emotions and experiences having lost my husband. Grieving the loss of the love of her life consumed her in every area. As if this was not enough to deal with, out of the blue, her sister Clara whom she has had no contact with for years, shows up at her door with her 5 year old son. She needs a place to stay and she needs help. Betty pulls herself together to welcome them to her home and life. Clara’s problems are serious. Their mother suffered from mental illness throughout their childhood, finally dying in a sanitarium. Betty lovingly shoulders the responsibility of her sister’ mental illness and the care of her young nephew, Hugo. It matters not to her he is black, but during this era others where not so accepting.
There was so much to the book! I don’t even know where to begin! Betty’s putting her sister’s and nephew’s needs before her own was an incredible Christian testimony. I couldn’t imagine being her shoes after losing my husband. She had never been able to have children so Hugo captured her heart immediately. He was such a sweet and gentle child. There were times I wished I could reach into the book and hug him! With his mother’s problems his short life had struggles that needed healing too. Betty’s love and sacrifice knew no bounds. I loved her in-laws. They were her true family and support. Her relationship with them was so comforting and loving. The interactions between them gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling.
This is a beautiful, heartening story, showing that with unconditional love and strong faith in God no problem is too big! I am amazed how the author wove an enthralling story with such difficult subjects as the grief of losing a spouse and a parent, parental rejection, family mental illness and racial prejudice. Yet the book is not depressing but inspirational and uplifting. A definite want to read!!!
This is my second book of Shawn Smucker’s to read. I had trouble getting into the book. While the writer was wonderfully descriptive in not only visual terms but also the emotions of the characters I found the story very confusing. I would connect with parts this all of sudden be confused about what was going on.
The characters didn’t seem to have much of a personal history other than an escape from somewhere on the other side of the mountain. I wanted to know more about them. It was difficult to follow a story line. There kept being more questions, but no answers. I left me with a very unfinished feeling about the story. Also with this being from a Christian publisher I thought there would be a Christian theme running through it. There is no mention of scripture or God in the book. I loved the cover, it drew me in to read the book.
I think a big part of the problem is that the dystopian genre is not for me.
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
I was surprised and delighted when I received this coloring book. When they said Jumbo and they meant JUMBO! When I was a child my mother faithfully bought me “jumbo” coloring books and they were thick. Nowadays I find such books that say jumbo but are anything but. Such a disappointment.
This book is perfect for little ones! Not only is it thick, all 384 pages of it but each page is big. Now that’s jumbo!!! The pictures are large also and simple in drawing so a young budding artist will not get discouraged with a lot of detail to color. It also doubles as a fun teaching book and more! Giant letters to trace, learning colors, numbers, counting, shapes, body parts, alphabet activities, Bible characters and even prayer pages. Hours of fun and learning for little ones! So worth the money, you won’t be disappointed!!!
I received this book from B & H Kids in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own.
When I read a really good book then find out there is a sequel, I get excited! That was the case with Coastal Breeze. After I finished reading book 1, I couldn’t wait for this one!
Paul Grayson and his three daughters are starting new chapters in each of their lives at Camp Kicking Moose. Paul, with the help of his oldest daughter Cam has remodeled and decorated the derelict cabins into comfortable, appealing rentals. They are now open for business! I love the descriptions of the camp. It reminds me, before renovation, of old church camps I attended. The new changes are exciting, maybe because I have that old dream of owning a bed and breakfast.
Cam is engaged to Seth and wedding plans are in the future? Or are they? Even on the tiny island she has thrown herself into a major project. Her goal is to bring sustainable electricity to the unreliable one the residents now suffer with. Old habits are hard to change. Cam may be in a different location but her old business drive to succeed is still there, sometimes at the expense of relationships. Exciting and frightening events must take place for her to open her eyes to what is truly important.
Maddy, poor sweet Maddy. She opens an office on the island as counselor and therapist. Nervous but excited she feels she is finally living her dream. She does have clients but finds most of her skills are going to help her sisters. Her anxiety is better, that is until the new pastor parachutes in, yes parachutes! Much to her dismay she realizes it is Ricky, O’Shea the pest and tormentor of her youth, whom she has always had a crush. I feel of the three sisters, she experiences the greatest amount of change and discovery in her life. I liked how the story forces her to not only face her fears but learn to deal with things you cannot run from. Surprising facts come to light forcing Maddy to grow as a person.
Blaine makes a surprise return from culinary school and isn’t at all herself. She holds a painful secret that she only shares with Maddy. Always flitting from one interest to another like a butterfly, her new plans concern her family.
I didn’t want the story to end! Ms. Fisher hits it out of the ballpark again! Each character’s story is a view of God working in their lives. Not only drawing upon what they have learned of Him in the past, but also recognizing His hand in their circumstances in the present. The family dynamics and personal emotions of each character are so real. While there is seriousness, there is also humor that would pop up at unexpected moments. Paul’s unwanted pet duck was one of them! Peg, with her quirkiness and old Maine wisdom is my favorite character! At the end of the book is one of Blaine’s recipes! A nice surprise! After reading the too short excerpt of book three at the back, I anxiously await it!!!
I received this book from Revell Publishing I exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
I know this book is recommended for 8 – 12 year old but I thoroughly enjoyed it as an adult! I played it in my car to listen to during trips and couldn’t wait to go somewhere so I could listen to more!
This is a charming story about a mother dog and her puppies brought into an animal shelter. One particular one is the runt and very tiny. Being the only girl, her brother’s rough housing hard to handle. Maggie Rose is also the only girl and the “runt” of her family with 2 older brothers. She can relate to Lily’s situation. She was at the shelter frequently because her mom was director. She falls in love with this little puppy and names her Lily.
The story is told through Lily’s eyes and Maggie Rose. I am reviewing the audio book and the voice of Lily was so spot on! It is the sweet, innocent voice of what you would think a precious little puppy would have. The author does an amazing job of describing the experience, thoughts and feelings a tiny pup might have. If dogs could talk I think this would be accurate! He also captured the emotions of a child that has fallen in love with a puppy. Maggie Rose and Lily’s adventures are humorous, fun, and sometimes sad. The descriptiveness and narration were so good, pictures of the tale play across my mind like a movie.
A second story is told here, the plight of animal shelters with so many pets that need to be adopted and find a forever home. I feel it spoke about those generous volunteers across the country, who face heartbreak, give their time, compassion, and hard work to help the helpless.
A wonderful book for any age!
This book’s title finds me guilty as charged! It is an area of my life I am working on. I have a master’s degree in overthinking. The author clearly and convincingly verified what I knew in my heart to be true but didn’t know how to change. For one, I realized in doing so am complicating any decision I need to make. Overthinking adds many unimportant ideas that appear as facts to me at the moment. There are usually nothing more than a lot of “what ifs”. I can see now that the Devil runs with this and my imagination goes wild. I believe it is a useful tool of his because my thinking becomes so cloudy I lose sight of God and what guidance He had in the matter. I also find myself caught up in anxiety which drains me mentally and physically. The more I over analyze the deeper I go and find I am stuck in this vicious cycle. Not only is there no answer to be found this way, but the useless thoughts just keep coming. Whew! No wonder I ended up in such a mess and still no direction!
The author goes even further than just learning to overcome this destructive thought process. She reminded me that by focusing on the principles that guide my life, (which for me come from God and His Word) I will be able make clearer decisions, because those are what most important to me. Another part that jumped out at me is this destructive way of thinking is linked with perfectionism which also goes hand in hand with fear of failure! A great book to help you overcome what is possible one of the biggest hindrances in making sound, choices.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
Whatever mountains loom ahead of us in our spiritual walk, whether a dream or a problem, they usually seem enormous and impossible to overcome. I always try to remind myself that God loves impossible situations to show Himself strong.
Ms. Welch tells about the mountains she has climbed in her life. I liked that she was open about her experiences, sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. Transparency like that helps me get more out of the book. I can relate to being imperfect and do not feel I am somehow don’t measure up. Like many of us, her life had a mountain range to overcome and by that I mean they were in different areas of her life. As the founder of an organization providing homes for pregnant teens her challenges seemed hopeless. She did not falter but obediently looked to God no matter what fears or obstacles. This rang true for each mountain that arose in her path.
I liked that she used her own experiences to illustrate the different kinds of mountains we might encounter. Included are scripture references to direct and encourage the reader. I like the scriptures, and questions at the end of each chapter to help me apply the information to my personal situations. I also appreciated the page to journal my thoughts. It made the book even more personal to me.
I received this book from Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I stated are my own.