Category Archives: BOOK REVIEW

A Place At Our Table ( An Amish Homestead Novel) by Amy Clipston Zondervan ISBN 9780310349013

A Place At Our Table, a novel by Amy Clipston, is set in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.   Protagonists Kayla’s and Jamie’s first meeting is as the result of a fire. Jamie, a volunteer fireman, was part of the crew answering a call to Kayla’s family’s property. Jamie learns that Nathan, Kayla’s younger brother, wants to train to be a firefighter. At first, Jamie doesn’t understand why Kayla is so opposed to this and why she is distant with him. Then he learns Kayla’s older brother was a volunteer firefighter who died during a fire. An attraction develops between them, but things become complicated early on as a tragedy occurs.

 

This is a character driven novel that places readers into the hearts of families dealing with the aftermath of loss. While Jamie and Kayla want to be a couple, there is much to overcome and they struggle to learn about themselves as they try to enter into a relationship.

 

I found this beautifully written novel to be powerful and emotionally complex. It is a story about love, the pain of loss, and the promise of the future. 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 Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie Klassen; Bethany House ISBN 9780764218156

The Ladies of Ivy Cottage, a novel by Julie Klassen, is the second book in the Ivy Hill series and it can be read as a stand alone book. The story opens in 1820 in the village of Ivy Hill in Wilshire, England and focuses on the lives of three women who have experienced their own personal challenges. Rachel Ashford was once a child of privilege, but now finds herself needing an income. Having left her childhood home she now lives in Ivy Cottage with her friend Mercy. Mercy had hoped for a different fate, but is content with running her girls school. Their friend Jane, now a young widow, is an inn keeper .Even though all three are accomplished women, there is something lacking in their lives. Can they find what they need?

 

This well written novel has everything a reader could want.   The story is engrossing and the main characters are endearing. The secondary characters and their stories add much texture and depth. There is romance,mystery and secrets are revealed. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Highly recommended.

 

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

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Gathering the Threads (The Amish of Summer Grove, Book Three) by Cindy Woodsmall; WaterBrook; ISBN 978-1-60142-703-8

Gathering the Threads is the third book in Cindy Woodsmall’s The Amish of Summer Grove series. It can be read as a stand alone book because the book includes an excellent synopsis that brings the reader up to date. In Gathering Threads we learn that twenty years ago two baby girls born on the same day were switched at birth. One was raised in the Amish world and the other in the Englisch world. The truth was discovered and their lives and that of their respective families changed drastically.  The repercussions are critical and have the potential to affect upcoming generations.  Secrets are revealed, old issues surface and beliefs challenged.  Few people can shake off family influences and these two young women are no exception.   They struggle to reconcile life choices while trying to shape their futures.

The author has masterfully crafted a story that deals with many serious matters and it raises important questions. Can we be part of two different diverse communities? Are sacrifice and compromise necessary to achieve independence? Does every voice in every family matter? The large cast of well developed characters face very real challenges no matter what society they are part of. The reader is immersed in their lives and we watch as they evolve and grow in their new circumstances.

In my opinion, this book is a huge achievement.  It is intensely vibrant, thought provoking and meaningful.  Highly recommended.

I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are mine.

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Perennials by Julie Cantrell; Thomas Nelson ISBN 9780718037642

Perennials, a novel by Julie Cantrell, is the touching story about Eva (also known as Lovey) Sutherland. Raised in Oxford, Mississippi she had deep Southern roots, but due to a problematic relationship with her older sister she left her family once she turned eighteen. Now, in her forties and having accomplished much in her life, she is planning to return to her family home for her parents anniversary party. But, she is summoned home early for reasons that are vague. Reunited with her family she remembers all that was once so good and that which is still wrong. She hopes to right old wrongs and struggles to reconcile choices in her life.   Can she finally make peace with the past and move forward?

This wonderfully readable novel is infused with lush imagery of the gardens that are a vital part of the story line. The author skillfully manages her characters multiple points of view to tell the story and gracefully fuses the past with the present. In addition to being a story about family bonds, this is a story of hope, second chances and enduring legacies. 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 Sound of Rain by Sarah Loudin Thomas; Bethany House ISBN 978-0-7642-1961-0

It is not likely Judd Markley and Larkin Heyward would have met had it not been for the mine collapse that almost killed Judd. Looking for a new life, he left West Virginia and traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and this is where he met Larkin. The Sound of Rain, a novel by Sarah Loudin Thomas, is their story. The author brings to readers two people with completely different backgrounds and, perhaps, not much in common. Even though Larkin is a child of privilege, her dream is to help needy people. Judd is just trying to find peace after experiencing a tragic loss. Despite their differences, they both begin thinking about each other. Is there a future that includes both of them?

This is a character driven story that takes an in depth look at family complexities and highlights different expectancies. Values and loyalties come into play. Larkin and Judd have to look inward before making important decisions which will affect their lives.

This is a beautifully told story that combines special characters with a heartwarming plot. Highly recommended.

 

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

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Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris; Revell ISBN 9780800728489

Vanishing Point, a novel by Lisa Harris, is both a mystery and a love story. Garrett Addison and Jordan Lambert, the two protagonists, are no strangers to each other. They were once in love, but had drifted apart. Both are law enforcement professionals and as the result of a heinous crime they are brought together to try to solve the case. Will they be able to do it and not let what once was get in the way?

The author has crafted an exciting and carefully constructed plot. The well developed characters are complex and deep. The novel brings fine writing, suspense, faith and love to the reader. Vanishing Point is a true page turner and engrossing right up to the very last page. Highly recommended.

 

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

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Home All Along by Beth Wiseman Thomas Nelson ISBN 9781401685973

Life could not get much more complicated for Charlotte, the protagonist in Beth Wiseman’s novel Home All Along. Even though she is not Amish, she lives in and is accepted by an Amish community. She is in love with Daniel, an Amish man, who wants a commitment from her. For reasons of her own, she is not ready to commit to him and a new way of life. Unexpectedly, Charlotte’s life is drastically changed by relatives. In addition, Charlotte’s close friend experiences serious medical issues and she assigns to Charlotte an important responsibility. Daniel’s family, too, is grappling with life changing conditions. Does this close knit community have the strength to make the right decisions and to somehow find peace in these difficult times?

The author deftly presents serious matters. The well drawn characters are placed into realistic life situations that readers can identify with. The lives of the characters are woven together as they deal with loss, the unbreakable bonds of family, love and faith.

I found this to be a beautifully told and absorbing novel. 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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