Crossing Oceans {book reviews}


This is the second post of August book reviews.  The first is God Took Me by the Hand.  Seems I have spent a good bit of my summer reading good books. I enjoyed reading new to me author Gina Holmes.  How about you?  What good reads and authors do you have to share?

 

Crossing OceansCrossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy. My first read of this author.

While this is not my preferred genre (historical fiction), it being contemporary Christian romance fiction, I have to say I enjoyed it very much. Not from the get-go, it took a few pages for me to ‘get into’ it, but once I did there was no stopping. Very nicely done. Needs no elaboration. Just read the book for yourself! A great book for all generations, young and old, male and female. A great clean family faith read. Love the title with its very clear meaning.

Looking forward to reading Wings of Glass very soon.

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Woman Without a PastWoman Without a Past by Phyllis A. Whitney

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Library copy.
Read bunches of Whitney’s books decades ago. This one didn’t ring a bell. I sure was clueless until the end. Mixed feelings all the way through, mostly because so much of it was unbelievable, unrealistic. There are a ton of characters, which the book is too short to do justice. There came a point in the book, in the last 80 pages, where it seemed the author was trying to wind this up quickly for some reason. It could easily have gone another 100 pages, with all the history involved.

But this is not an historical novel, just a simple mystery involving a complex number of people whose relations are incredible! It’s a good read, nonetheless. Clean, of course, but sinister. Oddly, with such a variety of characters, I didn’t identify with any of them. None showed their flaws, but most were suspects. I think she did a better job of characterizing the kitty and the rocking horse than the characters!

This story has so much potential. I can see imagine several offshoots from this book, following numerous characters, perhaps even generations. I enjoyed the setting, as I have been to the South Battery of Charleston, as well as reading historical fiction set there much earlier.

Read it, and tell us what you think!

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Wings of GlassWings of Glass by Gina Holmes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Library copy. Really so thankful for my public library system having so much Christian fiction available!

I really don’t know how to write this review. I’ve never had a book affect me the way this has. Usually if a subject is close to home I am crying all the way through it. This book did not make me cry, though I think it should. Let me explain.

The book is very well written. I do not care at all for the first person. I find myself saying that to myself over and over as I read a story written in the first person. This book needed to be written that way. It couldn’t have worked any other way. I know that. It is very well done. Read it and see for yourself.

The characters and story are excellent. My favorite character is Fatima. She is as real to me as any real person. I think we should all have a friend like Fatima! Everything about the book is believable and realistic. It moves along even though the story is a difficult one.

The strength of the book is in the author’s ability to get inside Penny’s head…no spoilers…in such a way that I feel like I am back in my abusive marriage, which ended a long time ago. I would caution those who have been there that this does NOT read like fiction. It is not entertaining or relaxing reading. I highly recommend this book, particularly to those who have not experienced abuse to better understand those who have.

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Lighthouse (St. Simons Trilogy, #1)Lighthouse by Eugenia Price

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read Eugenia Price’s books years ago. I liked them then. I find much more depth to them now, being decades older.

This is the first of the St. Simons’ trilogy. When I first read this book I was likely still living in New England, had not been anywhere else yet. Now I have lived away for over a decade (this time) and long for home. Because of that I think I can identify strongly with James Gould’s character, which was in fact a real person.

Almost a decade ago I made a brief side trip to Savannah. I tried and failed to find St. Simons. I did see the light at Tybee Island, and a good bit of historic Savannah, and Charleston, which made reading this book all the more enjoyable, in spite of the changes even since the book was written.

As to the writing, if one can dare to review Miss Price’s superb writing. I’m thankful it is not in the first person. It is from James Gould’s point of view, but in such a clever way that others are drawn in as well. In some ways I wish the book were more romantic and less realistic. That is how I remember her books. There were some difficult passages of life, but they were real, and dealt with as such.

There are so many levels in this book. There are cultural differences, character development, relational issues, family, political, personal aspiration, friendship, and the difficulty of maintaining one’s livelihood amidst the perils and turmoils of the day. All of these issues are seen within the framework of the individual’s faith in God, which is peripheral throughout the book. Only at one point does it come to a head, and that very tactfully.

Such a good read. When it has finished soaking in, I will read the next book in the series, New Moon Rising.

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