The Lion and the Lamb by Charles Causey; West Bow Press ISBN 978-1-5127-6109-2

The Lion and the Lamb, written by Charles Causey, tells the very different stories of two people who survived the Nazi horrors of the Holocaust. That is where their similarities end. Albert Speer was Hitler’s Minister of Armaments and War Production as well as his friend, at least at first. He yielded a great deal of power and many died because of that. Corrie ten Boom was a Christian whose father was a watchmaker in Holland. He was a good man and taught his children to respect and love . By 1940 the family saw what was happening to the Jewish population and at great personal risk, they began to help the Jews. Corrie became a leader of a resistance group.

Their stories are told in their own voices and the reader gets to know them quite well. Speer and Corrie change as a result of their experiences, each in their own way. Their choices determine their future.

This is a powerful, deeply emotional and well written book. It provides an in-depth look into two very different real people and what they chose to do with their circumstances. Highly recommended.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan; Crown ISBN 978-1-101-90676-7

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, a novel written by Jennifer Ryan, opens in the English village of Chilbury in March of 1940. The village’s choir wasn’t always comprised of just ladies, but most of the men were now fighting in the war. As a result, the Vicar posts a notice stating that after an upcoming funeral the choir will be disbanded. With all the other hardships the women had endured, this seemed to be the last straw. Under the direction and guidance of a very special woman, the unthinkable happens: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is formed even though some members were reluctant. Why can’t they sing without men? While  their singing is of huge importance, theirs is a story about that and much more.

The format of the book is comprised of a combination of journal entries and personal letters, each penned by the main characters. Seamlessly, each chapter is in the voice of one of the protagonists and covers a period of seven tumultuous months. There is a great deal that happens to this once quiet village and with each loss, challenge and change we watch the characters adapt and try to cope.  Amid the pain, intrigue and sorrows the characters often surprise themselves with their strengths and growth

In my opinion, the book is historical fiction at its best. Beautifully written and filled with memorable and well developed characters. When I finished reading the book I was left wanting more. I am hoping for a sequel.I highly recommend reading this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

 

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A Love So True by Melissa Jagears Bethany House ISBN 9780764217524

A Love So True, a novel by Melissa Jagears, open in 1908 in Teaville, Kansas. David Kingsman has been sent there by his over bearing father for the sole purpose of selling his factory. David’s intended brief stay turns into much more than a business trip once he meets Evelyn Wisely. She and her parents live and work at the town orphanage. In addition, she does what she can to help the woman and children from the wrong side of town. Her dream is to open a shelter, but she lacks the necessary financial backing. But, there is more. She allows no man to get close to her, that is until David becomes part of her life when he tries to help her with her mission. The reason for her chosen way of life is that she has a secret. Can sharing it with David help create a future together?

The author skillfully weaves her characters stories together. We watch them struggle and grow. They grapple with very important matters of the heart and community. While taking great emotional risks, they tackle what is truly worth doing.

I found this to be a well written, emotion packed and meaningful story. Highly recommended.

 

I received a free copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

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The Hours Between Us by Carol Graf Mill City Press, Inc. ISBN-13: 978-1-63505-176-6

The Hours Between Us, a novel by Carol Graf, is about an intense relationship. There are two protagonists. Kai, a psychiatrist, who has her own troubled past. Stephanie, a young woman with a serious illness, becomes Kai’s patient. They embark on a life changing professional and personal journey. As a result, both women emerge with more than they could have imagined.

The author clearly understands her characters and the story’s setting. The characters are well developed and the imagery is beautiful.

I found this to be a powerful and moving novel. It is well worth reading!

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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Trusting Grace by Maggie Brendan Revell ISBN 9780800722661

Trusting Grace, by Maggie Brendan,  is set in Gallatin Valley in Montana Territory. It is Spring of 1866 and Grace Bidwell, a widow, advertises for help with her farm which she inherited from her husband. Her widowed father lives with her, but is not physically able to help her. Robert Frasier has lost his wife and his farm and if this isn’t enough upheaval, he has three children and no means of support. Robert applies for the job and over time their lives begin to intertwine. Robert has good reasons to have trust issues and Grace longs for children. Can this unlikely pair somehow build a future together?

This is a heartwarming love story placed in a beautiful setting. The well developed characters have a wonderful mix of personalities. Realistic secondary characters and their stories play an important role in the novel. Relationships are developed and the author skillfully shows that second chances and love can sometimes be found when we least expect it.

I found this to be an engrossing and well written story. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom Broadway Books ISBN 978-0-7679-0592-3

Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom, is the true story about a relationship and dialogue he had with his college professor, Morrie Schwartz. He had not seen Morrie for sixteen years even though he had meant to keep in touch with him. He offers an explanation for this. While channel surfing he comes upon a show about Morrie and his terminal illness. Morrie’s illness was ALS and he knew what was ahead for him and he made a decision. “He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying.” Mitch reconnects with Morrie and this book is the beautifully told story of the context of their meetings.

The book opens with a chapter titled “The Curriculum” . He explains that they met on Tuesdays in Morrie’s home. “The subject was The Meaning of Life. It was taught from experience.” Morrie’s illness was ALS and he knew what was ahead for him and he made a decision. “He would not wither. He would not be ashamed of dying.”   Each week Mitch and Morrie talked about a different subject and Morrie  generously shared an incredible amount of wisdom.  He was a man who wanted to be remembered and I believe that he will be.

The copy of the book that I read is the 20th Anniversary Edition and having completed reading it, I can honestly say I wish I had read it twenty years ago.  It would have made a big difference. The book is inspirational, moving, powerful and a touching tribute to two people who shared the most special of relationships.  Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book  from Blogging For Books and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson Bethany House ISBN 9780764213274

Treasured Grace, a novel by Tracie Peterson, opens in 1847 on the Oregon Trail. While on the wagon trail, Grace Martindale’s husband died. She had entered into a loveless marriage so that she and her two younger sisters could travel west to start a new life. Now a widow, it is now up to her to care for her sisters. She hopes that her uncle will be waiting for them in Oregon City. They reach the Whitman Mission and are offered shelter for the time being. It is there that she meets Alex Armistead. He is a man with tragedy in his past and even though he is attracted to Grace, he refuses to let his guard down. Grace is no stranger to loss and hardships. What she encounters and what her family endures while at the Whitman Mission goes beyond anything they have dealt with before. Even though Grace has helped many with her natural remedies, she finds herself facing her biggest challenges. Does she have the capability and strength she needs?

This is a powerful novel. It tells of the struggles, conflicts and misunderstandings between the natives and the settlers. The author effectively allows the reader to see through the eyes of the characters. As a result, we can truly see and understand their lives. Even though the story deals with tragedy and unimaginable heartache, it is an inspirational and moving story. It is well worth reading.

 

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

 

 

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