Silver Moon, Dear Beautiful Dawn {book reviews}


These titles are all Christian fiction.   Some I liked better than others.   Here’s what I said about them:
 

I'll Watch the MoonI’ll Watch the Moon by Ann Tatlock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I borrowed this from the public library, which is where I discovered this author, Ann.

Fabulous book! Just when you think the history part is done, she introduces yet another aspect of history during this time period. I learned a lot, all the while following the characters and the story line. If you think you know about the polio epidemic and World War II, think again. This book puts you right in the midst of it, through the eyes of its characters.

I love the point of view. It is cleverly done. At times I thought, this can’t work, but then I realized how it did. If you like a strong faith element, this book provides it, from several viewpoints. Also cleverly done.

I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I did. Did I mention that you might need a box of tissues at times? This book has different levels, and emotions, and varying viewpoints of the same event, which are quite moving when taken all together.

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Congo DawnCongo Dawn by Jeanette Windle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am looking forward to reading this book. I have read a number of Jeanette’s books. She is one of my favorite authors. Borrowed from the library.

It took more than half the book for me to become involved with the story. If I had not known the author I likely would have given up. After finishing the book I am still unsure of the reason. I don’t want to give the book a poor review. There were some things about it that didn’t feel comfortable to me. At some points I wondered if the spiritual thread was just hitting uncomfortably close to home.

Whether this book is different from the author’s previous books, or whether I just now began noticing things about her writing, I don’t know. Or whether the suspense level was higher in this one, which is hard fro me to read, I don’t know. It is not my favorite genre, but I read her books because they are so Biblically grounded.

I found it difficult to identify with any of the characters in the book. I also found some parts of it a bit of a stretch to be realistic, out of character with the characters. Much of the book was conversation, either external or internal (within the character), with surprisingly little action. Perhaps the reason for this is that the majority of the story was taken up with military style ops, not daily living. And the point of view jumped around more than I like. There were many sentence fragments, but perhaps this is the writer’s style.

Oh, I did not wish to be so critical of this work. To be fair, I could enumerate equally on the strengths of the book, as other reviewers have done. I highly recommend Jeanette’s books, and will continue to do so. I’d love to hear some discussion on this. This book was not a quick read, though it is not difficult reading, it does have a fair-sized vocabulary.

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Things We Once Held DearThings We Once Held Dear by Ann Tatlock

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Library copy.

This book was disappointing to me. It took forever for me to get hooked on the story. When I did, I could hardly put it down. The murder mystery was very well done. I did not figure it out. I think the basic reason I didn’t care for the book is that it is a dark story, and the hopelessness outweighs the hope. The ending was okay (without giving it away), but in general, for the length of the book, it was pretty hopeless.

The specific thing with which I take issue is the poor presentation of the Gospel. I kept waiting for one of the characters to spell it out, that believing that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for our sins in our place, that placing our faith in Him guarantees us a place in heaven and eternal life — but it never came. I like a story that speaks plainly of faith and relationship to God. This story majored on the questions, with no clear answer.

The story line was well done. But if you’re looking for strong faith, this is not the book for you.

{I’m going to read other reviews now that I’ve written this. See if I’m alone in my thinking…}

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Pieces of Silver (Pieces of Silver #1)Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy. Story is compelling, moves right along, hard to put down.

The thing I like the best is the foundation of faith which is distinctly woven into the story. Excellent. I love this in Maureen’s writing. She consistently writes this way.

It is written from the know-it-all-narrator point of view, not my favorite. I prefer one or two. It gets a bit overwhelming when I know what’s going on in the protagonist’s head. That being said, Maureen did a good job of it. Just not my style.

If you are looking for a story with more on the history end of things, this may not be the book for you. The strong thread is historical, but for me it came across as relational, thus romantic, although the family element was very strong. I tend to like a little less on the romance side, and more on the historical. But that’s me.

I highly recommend this book. Maureen is such a good author, presenting a clear line between right and wrong and the basis for true faith in God. Clean, clear writing, with a bit of a twist at the end.

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A Broken Kind of BeautifulA Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy. Christian Fiction Book Devourers Group selection.

This is a wonderfully clean read. A little more on the relationship side than I prefer, but so well done that I couldn’t put it down. The characters and story line are both strong. And the faith element is handled up front and effectively. But the thing that makes this book stand out is Katie’s style of writing. The words themselves are what jump off the page. Her use of the five senses in writing is rarely rivaled. There were times when I questioned her use of a word, but even those were so effective in getting the point across and putting the reader right into the story, they are easily forgivable. This book has no flaws that I can see. I highly recommend it.

I might add, not having mentioned the theme of the book, that the title and theme are beautiful, no pun intended. To use another’s term, seamless. Effective, and one that touches every girl and woman ever born. This book has something for all.

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If I Make You Sorry and Heart Hiding {Week 14}


This is the second of two  Heart Hiding posts this week.  By the calendar it is Week 29.  I am running just a tad behind, but that’s okay.  I am enjoying Paul’s letter to Corinth.

How about you?  How is your memorization going?

This is week 14 of  Heart Hidingwhere we are memorizing 2 Corinthians 1-5.  Week 14 is about Paul’s determination to not make the Corinthians Christians sorry.  He says If I Make You Sorry who then will make me glad but you whom I have made sorry?

What an encouragement this is to me, to take care not to spread my negative attitude to others.  He’s not saying we can’t feel ‘heaviness’, but that he wants to be careful not to spread it around to those who would normally encourage him.  Good words to live by.

As I have mentioned before, I have my verses in Scripture Typer, which reminds me to review previously learned portions on a regular basis.  I find that I often need more frequent review for better retention.

How about you?  What do you do when your heart is heavy?  How do you keep from making others sorry?

(This beautiful flower below was on the table of the bed and breakfast where my ‘ocean friend’ in Massachusetts took me out to breakfast just about a year ago, on my 2013 Road Trip.)

trusting God and Heart Hiding, scripture memorization

The heart hiding {Scripture Memorization} page was updated recently.  You may want to check it out.  It is located  under the BIBLE tab, which is under the WORSHIP tab, which is just below the header (WordWorks).  The heart hiding page now has every heart hiding post linked to it, so that you no longer have to scroll through them all (and wait for them to load).

If you have a moment to share with others how God is using His Word in your life,

we would all be blessed and encouraged.  

This is Week 14 of Heart Hiding, Scripture memorization, which will be posted on Sundays throughout 2014.   In case you missed  the previous posts, you can find them here:

 

Thoughts on Prayer and Heart Hiding {Week 13}


In order to ‘catch up’ to our schedule (maybe not completely, but a little bit) there are multiple Heart Hiding posts this week.  By the calendar it is Week 28, just a few weeks behind (smile).  I have to say that after posting the verses, I had an easier time with those particular verses.  There is much benefit in repetition.

How about you?  How is your memorization going?

This is week 13 of  Heart Hidingwhere we are memorizing 2 Corinthians 1-5.  Week 13 is a review week, reviewing chapter one of 2 Corinthians, 2 Cor. 1:1-24.  Since it’s an entire chapter I won’t print it here.

I have my verses in Scripture Typer, which reminds me to review previously learned portions on a regular basis.  I find that I often need more frequent review for better retention.

Thoughts on Prayer

A review week is a good time to share thoughts on another aspect of worship.  Prayer is an important part of my worship of God.  I make a point of thanking God for Who He Is when I pray, rather than simply focusing on what He does for me or what He gives me.  It helps take the focus from me, and puts it on God, if only for those few minutes.

How about you?  What do you do in your prayer life that emphasizes worship?

(This beautiful flower below was on the table of the bed and breakfast where my ‘ocean friend’ in Massachusetts took me out to breakfast just about a year ago, on my 2013 Road Trip.)

trusting God and Heart Hiding, scripture memorization

The heart hiding {Scripture Memorization} page was updated recently.  You may want to check it out.  It is located  under the BIBLE tab, which is under the WORSHIP tab, which is just below the header (WordWorks).  The heart hiding page now has every heart hiding post linked to it, so that you no longer have to scroll through them all (and wait for them to load).

If you have a moment to share with others how God is using His Word in your life,

we would all be blessed and encouraged.  

This is Week 13 of Heart Hiding, Scripture memorization, which will be posted on Sundays throughout 2014.   In case you missed  the previous posts, you can find them here: