Thursday, May 28, 2015

Beyond the romance

This is an amazing book!  "The Outer Banks House" by Diann Ducharme is a historical novel that is a romance, but also a period piece about the aftermath of slavery.  Taking place in 1868 in North Carolina island, Nags Head, Abigail is a southern planter's daughter that has a thirst for reading and education.  After arriving at the island in the Outer Banks home, she comes to teach a local "Banker" Ben to read and write.  The unlikely pair form a friendship, then a romance while they are exploring the class and race differences on the island. 
This book is engaging.  It is extremely well written.  The characters are realistic.  I was to write this review earlier today, but just had to finish it beforehand.  No regrets.  There is a part two, "Return to Outer Banks".  I will be finding and reading that book!  Five stars. Just a word of warning, there is a horrifying death scene in this book.  It isn't long, but it makes an impression.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from HF Virtual Book Tours. 


Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldier's family devotional

"While My Soldier Serves" authored by Edie Melson is collection of prayers for the family members of soldiers currently serving in the US Military.  It is written with many different people in mind.  For family members of all kinds for all kinds of soldiers.  The book has two parts: one with prayers for the service member and one with prayers for the family left behind.  Each entry has a quote, a prayer, and a scripture.  I read an entry from each section each day.  You could read it really any way you want. 
I liked the book and thought it was useful, however, it is about half written in the pronoun "she" which is very distracting.  My soldier serving is a "he".  I had a hard time getting involved with all of the "she" s.  I think maybe two books should be available, a "she" and a "he".  I am publishing this review for Memorial Day.  I have never lost a relative while serving in the military, though many have served.  Currently I have a step-son serving in the infantry in Africa, a nephew in the Marines serving as a corrections officer in Japan and my daughter's long term "significant other" is leaving for the army to South Carolina. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Love Letters Review

"The Love Letters" by Beverly Lewis is one of her best books.  Marlena is an Old Order Amish raised young woman whose parents have left the church to join the Beachy Amish ( a modern group of Amish).  Her Mennonite grandfather has recently died and she has gone to stay with her widowed grandmother.  While there her sister (who has left all of the above groups) is in a car wreck leaving her infant daughter in Marlena's care.  While in her new location she befriends her Old Order neighbors and their son with disabilities, Small Jay.  Small Jay, or Jake, as he would rather be called, has recently befriended a homeless man who has trouble remembering even his name.  There are many storylines interweaving and many faiths crossing in this novel.  Marlena starts to question which road she would like to take in her religion.  Where does she belong?  Small Jay, whose father appears to have no use for him, starts to question his care and where he belongs as well.  The homeless many has a mysterious bag of love letters who he may or may not be the recipient of.  Is someone our there looking for him?  To add to the reoccurring theme of where does one belong, Angela Rose, the tiny orphan, is looking for a place to belong as well, even if she doesn't know it.
I really liked this book.  Lewis usually can't go wrong.  She spent a little too much time in her past novels with the "tales of the missing kid"; but she has moved on with that and has developed a much more complex method of writing.  I like the new path she is taking with her novels.  Will continue to read more!  I give it 4.5 stars.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Bethany Publishers. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tut meets Moses

"Pharaoh's Daughter" by Mesu Andrews is A Treasures of the Nile Novel.  In this novel Andrews takes two true stories: King Tut  and Moses, and spins a what-if.  What if King Tut had been the unnamed pharaoh in the Moses story?  Tut's sister Anippe, lives in the Delta and is the daughter of pharaoh (Tut's father) that pulls Moses from the river.  There is nothing in history that says this is true, but then again, there is nothing that says it is not.  Andrews weaves a narrative of fiction that combines the maybes and blends an intriguing story. 
Because this story combines two true life stories, there are a lot of names and events to keep track of.  Luckily, the author included a map of the characters in the beginning of the book.  The reader will need to refer to it regularly.  Anippe and her sister Ankhe are forced to watch a birth when they are young.  The mother and baby both die, leaving Anippe too scared of childbirth to risk attempting.  She then adopts a Hebrew child as her own.  Her sister meanwhile just loves to stir the pot.  Ankhe is the most interesting character of the book.  Everyone seems to hate her and fear her.  And with good cause.  She is a nasty one!  This is a book that will take a lot of time to read.  No short cuts.  It is a good what-if though.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from