Through The Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin Zondervan ISBN 9780310348146

Through the Autumn Air, a novel by Kelly Irvin, opens with a wedding. Mary Katherine Ropp, a sixty year old Amish widow, is attending her tenth child’s wedding. She will now be alone in the house she and the man she loved had raised their family. Her family wants her to live with one of them, but she isn’t ready. As much as she misses her husband, she has dreams of her own. Widower Ezekiel Miller has never gotten over the death of his wife. Having known Mary Katherine since childhood he now finds himself attracted to her. Can these two people allow themselves to take a chance on love knowing all too well that life is short?

 

There is so much that is appealing about this narrative. The characters are interesting and believable. They know their vulnerabilities, but this doesn’t stop them from doing what is right.   The author brings to readers a story filled with understanding, friendship and love. The story is a reminder of the power of second chances.   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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Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock Thomas Nelson ISBN 978-0-310-35173-3

Catching Christmas, a novel by Terri Blackstock, opens with cab driver Finn arguing with his passenger about Uber. It is his next fare, an elderly woman, who changes his life. Eighty year old Callie is on a mission and that is to find a man for her granddaughter, Sydney. Unwillingly, Finn becomes involved in Callie’s life which includes meeting  Sydney. Even he wonders why he is so concerned about Callie and why he can’t just walk away.

This is a beautifully told story about good people who are just trying to do the right thing. The author brings to readers loveable protagonists who we want the best for. Emotion packed and full of heart, Catching Christmas is wonderful story for every season.

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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An Amish Family: Four Stories by Kathleen Fuller; Zondervan ISBN 9780785217343

An Amish Family consists of four stories written by Kathleen Fuller.

Building Trust is a story about what true forgiveness is. When Grace Miller’s father forbids her to marry Joel, the man she loves, both she and Joel are shocked. Things get more complicated when her father doesn’t give his reason right away. Once he decides to reveal his reason, Joel realizes he has to do something to fix things. Can he do it?

A Heart Full of Love tells the story of a complex relationship. Ellie and Chris Miller are excited that they are expecting twins. But Ellie’s mother is worried and over protective of her daughter because Ellie is blind. Their relationship is tense and worsens once the twins are born. Ellie knows her mother is keeping a secret from her and tries to find out what it is. What is the explanation for her mother’s behavior?

Surprised by Love is about what might be least expected. Emily Schwartz’s mother wants her married. Reuban Coblentz suggests they enter into a rather unusual arrangement in which they pretend to be dating. However, guilt about the pretense begins to weigh heavily. Added to the mix is that an attraction develops, leaving the relationship in question. Could something good come from all this?

A Gift for Anne Marie is a story about true friendship. Friends since childhood, Anne Marie and Nathaniel are about to be separated by a move. Both experience emotions they find confusing. After all, they are friends, but what they are feeling goes beyond friendship. Can they figure this out before they are separated?

Four very different and beautifully told stories come together to make a wonderful collection. In all the stories, the characters are endearing and their stories are engrossing and heart-felt. The collection is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Book Look Bloggers. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

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Arms of Mercy by Ruth Reid; Thomas Nelson ISBN 9780718082468

Arms of Mercy, a novel by Ruth Reid, opens in the Amish community in Posen, Michigan. Catherine Glick hopes her boyfriend is finally going to propose. Suddenly her old boyfriend, Elijah, reappears and this, and a mistake she makes, causes her to decide to travel to Florida where she will work for relatives. For reasons of his own, Elijah joins Catherine on the bus trip. What follows is a tragic accident after which Catherine disappears. Even though Elijah has serious injuries, he persists in searching for Catherine. Refusing to believe she is dead and meeting with obstacle after obstacle, he clings to hope he will find her. And, if he does, he hopes to win her back. Can he succeed?

 

The author brings to readers a beautifully told story. It is both gripping and heartwarming. Catherine and Elijah, as well as the secondary characters, are well developed.   Readers become immersed in their fictional world.   Even though tragedy casts a shadow, this is a story that embraces faith, love and hope. 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 Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker; Revell ISBN 9780800728502

The Edge of Over There is the sequel to author Shawn Smucker’s novel, The Day the Angels Fell. I found that this dystopian fantasy can be read as a stand alone novel. Sixteen year old Abra Miller has already killed one Tree of Life and is now tasked with killing another one. In order to do so she must travel to New Orleans to gain access to Over There to find the tree. What she finds is a world full of mystery, danger, magic illusions.

Just as intriguing as the unpredictable plot, are the characters. They are unique and fascinating. Presented with impeccable detail, the narrative flows quickly and is engrossing. Secrets are revealed and there are surprises. This is an exciting tale that is well worth reading. Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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Minding the Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher; Revell; ISBN 9780800721633

Minding the Light, a novel by Suzanne Woods Fisher, is a work of historical fiction. The story is set on Nantucket Island and has two sets of characters. One lived in the 17th century and descendants who lived in the 19th century. The story opens in 1821. Captain Reynolds Macy, having gone to sea six years prior, returned to learn he now had twin six year old children. His wife’s letters advising of this had not reached him. Tragedy struck unexpectedly and the life he thought he was returning to changed. As a result, Daphne Coffin, his sister-in-law, became an important part of his life. She encouraged him to return to his Quaker heritage with the hope he would benefit from this. He questioned this. Daphne’s life was far from uncomplicated and the journal of her ancestor, Mary Coffin Starbuck, played an important part in her life. The journal, an integral part of the narrative, opened in 1662 and passed to Daphne from her sister. As each passage is revealed, the true wisdom accredited to her ancestor became evident. Will Mary’s words help Daphne?

 

The plot and the secondary stories are fascinating. Readers are immediately immersed into the history of the Quakers on the island as well as the history of nineteenth century whaling. Slavery is an issue in both centuries. Hypocrisy, betrayals and senseless cruelty are also part of the story and tragedy casts a shadow. There are surprises, often shocking. Even so, this is a story that encompasses love, faith and hope.

 

The author has crafted a well told story that marries history and suspense perfectly. It is an emotionally stirring novel that is well worth reading. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

 

 

 

 

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The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham; Revell ISBN 9780800734732

Near the small Iowa town of Azure Springs in 1881, nineteen year old Em is found bleeding from a gun shot wound. In addition, there has been a murder. This came after a long series of hardships she had already endured. Sheriff Caleb Reynolds wants this case solved. His first meeting with Em didn’t go well. Em understood that Caleb found her plain and fragile, but she wanted to help provide details about what happened anyways. While working on the case much happened, but perhaps most important were the changes both Em and Caleb experienced. Unconventional as their relationship was, a friendship developed and neither expected it to go further than that.

 

The author brings to readers a richly layered and unique story. Em and Caleb are well-developed and interesting characters. Even though they were very different people, what they brought to the relationship was invaluable. While their goals and motivations were different, they found there was something they could share. The secondary characters add much to the depth to the story often by offering wisdom and advice. Within the story are several themes that include loss, trust, kindness, resilience and love. I found this to be a well written and engrossing story. Highly recommended.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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