Wednesday, January 21, 2015

silence

" A Pledge of Silence" by Flora J. Solomon is one heck of a book.  The novel follows Margie from the time of her acceptance into nursing school in the 1930's to 2000.  Margie goes to school following high school and gets a nursing diploma.  Though she has her life all planned out with her fiancĂ©; life itself has other plans.  With a shortage of jobs, she joins the army reserve.  Then WWII breaks out. Margie is stationed in the Philippines.  Plans keep changing, until Margie has no plans at all.  After being taken captive by Japanese, her main plans are to try to eat....someday.  Solomon does a really good job of bringing the horrors to life throughout the book.  This is one of those books that you can't stop reading.  Unspeakable acts are done to Margie and she comes home a broken woman.  She seeks help eventually and the struggle continues for the rest of her life.  This is a book not only about war, but also about PTSD.  The length is rather long, but the books sticks with you and you won't mind it.  I give it 5 stars.  Excellent book.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from www.librarything.com

Thursday, January 15, 2015

the tutor review

"The Tutor: A Novel" by Andrea Chapin is the fictional telling of the 'lost years' of William Shakespeare.  Shortly after marrying and fathering three children, Will, leaves his wife and becomes an actor and poet.  He takes a temporary job as a tutor at a manor where he meets Katherine.  The orphaned thirty something niece of the Lord of the house.  The two strike up a relationship of both attraction and assistance.  She helps him write his poem and worships him.  Which he loves.  He has a brilliant way with words (obviously), and a performance level that is astounding both on paper and off.
In this telling, Will is a cad.  He likes them all.  Age, sex, station, looks, they mean nothing to him as long as he is adored.  The writer does an excellent job of bringing the main character, Katherine, and her thoughts and feelings into the reader's mind.  When I was growing tired of Will and his smuttiness; Katherine was growing tired of him too.  When I started to want more for her, she did as well.  I know little about Shakespeare so I cannot really tell you how historically accurate this story is, but it is very entertaining.  I give it 4 stars.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from First to Read.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I'll be home for........

"Home for Christmas: Stories for Young and Old" is a collection of short stories about Christmas.  Some of the authors are Pearl Buck, Ruth Sawyer, and Henry Van Dyke.  The stories have all ranges, mostly from a historical viewpoint.  They cover many eras and cultures.  Some are better written than others.  My favorite would be "Christmas Day in the Morning" by Pearl Buck.  It's about a man whose children have families of their own so he is left with his wife on Christmas.  He begins to think of Christmases past, when he had gotten up early to surprise his father with doing the milking for him.  Which got me to thinking of when my son at the age of 5 told me "supper's ready" and I went into the kitchen to find the table set and each plate with half a ham sandwich on it.  I must have bawled for half an hour after reading that story!  The stories will touch you; there is a story for everyone in here.  I received this collection of stories for free in exchange for an honest review from  Handlebar Publishing. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's all Greek to me

"The Patmos Deception" by Davis Bunn is a superb novel enriched in Greek history.  Nick and Carey are two Americans hired to track down missing Greece artifacts that are being stolen from the country.  Dimitri is a gorgeous man from Greece that rents his boat for tourism.  With the crisis that Greece is going through, it has been turned from a country you would want to visit, but wouldn't want to live there into not even that.  The economy is tanked and the government corrupt.  Dimitri is hired to move "items" with his boat; items he assumes correctly are stolen.  However, things are even worse than Dimitri imagines. 
Davis bring Greece to life.  The reader feels drawn not only to Greece's history, but it's present as well.  The characters are well developed.  The ending left things wide open for a series, so hopefully he will feel moved to write that because I am not through with this story!  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House Publishers. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

21 prayers of generosity review

"21 Prayers of Generosity: Living a Generous Life Through the Power of Prayer and God's Word" by CJ Hitz is a collection of 21 days worth of scripture and prayer concerning generosity.  Each day gives a focus of an area to be generous about and includes one to two scriptures.  I really liked this book.  It was probably my favorite of the 21 series.  I would recommend this book to anyone.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Body and Soul Publishing. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

shaker christmas

"Christmas at Harmony Hill" by Ann H. Gabhart is the story of a young bride, Heather, who is following her husband Gideon's unit during the Civil War as a laundry maid.  When it comes close to her time to give birth, she returns to her home to find her mother has died along with two of her brothers.  These deaths have hardened her father to turn her away.  She goes to Harmony Hill, a Shaker village, where her aunt Sophrene is living.  Sophrene is also experiencing a cross roads of sorts, feeling the need to change her life and experience love in a worldly way. 
I have read little about Shaker's and therefore don't know much to compare this novel to in a way of accuracy.  The Shakers are like anyone else, I guess.  Some are mean, some want to be powerful, some are kind, etc. The author doesn't show them in a kind light usually.   Heather finds shelter among them, though not always support.  She learns forgiveness of her father and never has a Shaker heart.  Sophrene is more the struggle character.  She has lived both ways, finding only peace as a Shaker.  However, she is no longer feeling that peace.  This is a fair book.  Those that like Amish books will probably like this one.  I give it three stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from www.netgalley.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014

family christmases

"Where Treetops Glisten" is three stories of Christmases from 1941 to 1945 involving the Turner family written by Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer.  These three ladies are experts at historical fiction and this novel is an interwoven showcase of the authors at their best.  The three authors do a brilliant job at maintaining a similar writing style and keeping the family dynamic flowing throughout the stories. 
The Turners have three living children and "Treetops" focuses on each child for three Christmases.  The stories are of love, of course, but also of the war both at the front lines and at home.  The Pete character will make any woman swoon and Merry is such a great character, the reader won't want the book to end.  I give it 5 stars.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Waterbrook Press.