Tuesday, October 3, 2017

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

More Things in Heaven and Earth by Jeff High

Tucked away in the rolling Tennessee countryside is the charming community of Watervalley, whose inhabitants are quirky and captivating and more surprising than you might expect . . .

As an ambitious young doctor with a penchant for research, Luke Bradford never wanted to set up practice in a remote rural town. But to pay back his student loans and to fulfill a promise from his past, he heads for Watervalley, Tennessee - and immediately stumbles into one disaster after another. Will he be labeled the town idiot before he’s even introduced as the new doctor? 

Very quickly he faces some big challenges - from resuscitating a three-hundred-pound farmer who goes into cardiac arrest to not getting shot by a local misanthrope for trespassing. He expects the people of Watervalley to be simple, but finds his relationships with them are complicated, whether he’s interacting with his bossy but devout housekeeper, the attractive schoolteacher he consistently alienates, or the mysterious kid next door who climbs trees while wearing a bike helmet. 

When a baffling flu epidemic hits Watervalley, Luke faces his ultimate test. Whether the community embraces him or not, it’s his responsibility to save them. And he’ll soon discover that while living in a small town may not be what he wants, it may be just what he needs . . .


This book has a bit of everything in it and it will keep you entertained as well.  You are drawn into the story right away and before long you are laughing at the poor doctor and the silly things that happen to him.  The way the book was written you are also quickly drawn into the lives of the residents of Watervalley.

The book moves along at a fast pace but there is plenty happening so you won't get bored.  The mystery of the flu epidemic was a good read and again interesting.  This book is the first in the series and you can find out more information about the others here.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I have nothing negative to say about this book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more in the series.

I purchased the book and all of the opinions are my own.

Vintage by Susan Gloss

Vintage by Susan Gloss


At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women whose lives the store touches.
Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s
A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.
Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952
Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet's shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won't let her give up on her dreams.
Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968
Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remnants of a life she's determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.
An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.
The reason I bought this book was partly for the story and because I only paid a couple of dollars for it.  It is however a hidden gem of a book, with a lovely story too boot.
This story captures your heart right away and you will soon get involved with each of the characters and their stories.  One thing I do love at the start of each chapter there is a brief description of an item in the boutique telling you want the item is, what it is made of and the year and the source.  That I thought was a lovely way of introducing each chapter.
The way the author writes you feel like you are in the room with the characters and you can't help but get wrapped up in their lives.
Stars out of 5 : 5 Nothing negative to say. Loved this book, the story was easy to follow and it will capture your heart.
I purchased this book and all the opinions are my own.


Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom

Glory Over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom


A novel of family and long-buried secrets along the treacherous Underground Railroad.

The author of the New York Times bestseller and beloved book club favorite The Kitchen House continues the story of Jamie Pyke, son of both a slave and master of Tall Oakes, whose deadly secret compels him to take a treacherous journey through the Underground Railroad.

Published in 2010, The Kitchen House became a grassroots bestseller. Fans connected so deeply to the book’s characters that the author, Kathleen Grissom, found herself being asked over and over “what happens next?” The wait is finally over.

This new, stand-alone novel opens in 1830, and Jamie, who fled from the Virginian plantation he once called home, is passing in Philadelphia society as a wealthy white silversmith. After many years of striving, Jamie has achieved acclaim and security, only to discover that his aristocratic lover Caroline is pregnant. Before he can reveal his real identity to her, he learns that his beloved servant Pan has been captured and sold into slavery in the South. Pan’s father, to whom Jamie owes a great debt, pleads for Jamie’s help, and Jamie agrees, knowing the journey will take him perilously close to Tall Oakes and the ruthless slave hunter who is still searching for him. Meanwhile, Caroline’s father learns and exposes Jamie’s secret, and Jamie loses his home, his business, and finally Caroline.

Heartbroken and with nothing to lose, Jamie embarks on a trip to a North Carolina plantation where Pan is being held with a former Tall Oakes slave named Sukey, who is intent on getting Pan to the Underground Railroad. Soon the three of them are running through the Great Dismal Swamp, the notoriously deadly hiding place for escaped slaves. Though they have help from those in the Underground Railroad, not all of them will make it out alive.


I have to say I was a little disappointed that this book, didn't just carry on from The Kitchen House, but the more you read the book, the more you are hooked with this story.  It is as good as The Kitchen House, and although it says it's a stand-alone book, I do think it is helpful to read The Kitchen House first as some characters from that book pop up in this book.

It was a page turner and you had to know what was going to happen next.  The details that Kathleen wrote into this book made you stop and think and ask "why would they do that?"  There were some cruel people who ran those plantations.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Such a good read well worth buying or borrowing from your local library.  I wish I had read both books before we went away to Williamsburg on vacation.

I purchased this book and the opinions are my own.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson
Lavinia, a seven-year-old Irish orphan with no memory of her past, arrives on a tobacco plantation where she is put to work as an indentured servant. Placed with the slaves in the kitchen house under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her new adopted family, even though she is forever set apart from them by her white skin. As Lavinia is slowly accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles an opium addiction, she finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When Lavinia marries the master’s troubled son and takes on the role of mistress, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare and lives are put at risk. The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

This book is a page turner, you have to know what happens next.  Most books of this gendre tend to be told from the "Big House" side or from the "Slaves/Servants" side.  This book is different as it dips into both places and we see it all through the life of Lavinia.

You so want Lavinia to wake up from being so innocent but you know that will never happen and the more she lives in the white skin world the more she leaves her childhood behind. When she does realize exactly what has been hidden from her it's too late and to see how she copes is so sad.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book and ordered the sequel to this story right away.  It is so well worth reading in my humble opinion.  I do wish I had read this book before we went away to Williamsburg in Virigina as there were places mentioned in the book that I would have visited.  We did go to the Hospital that was mentioned in the book.

I purchased this book myself and all my opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"All Saints," by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle

"All Saints," by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle
The True Story Behind the Powerful Film ALL SAINTS
Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock's first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be to close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma--former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America--Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property--or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine.


When a book is turned into a movie, more times than not you lose a lot of the original feeling from the book.  So I like to read a book before seeing a movie.  I have not seen the movie "All Saints," but have now read the book.

The one thing I took from this book, things don't stay the same forever and you have to move and change with the times.  Also it takes all sorts of people and things to make a community.  This was the case with the All Saints church in Smyrna, Tennessee.  The book lays out the before, during and after of when the Karen refugees from Burma arrived in the community of Smyrna and how it changed not only their lives but the lives of the people in the area.  It was interesting to read the back story of some of the Karen people to see where they had come from and how they had come to America.

The "God works in mysterious ways," phrase comes to mind when I think back about this book, as he did indeed work many miracles in many ways over the years at All Saints Church.  This book also educates us on the Karen people of Burma.  I knew little to nothing about them prior to reading this book.  There are many articles about them, here is a link that you may find interesting.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 It was a solid book that was interesting and a true story.  I will watch the movie when it comes out on dvd.  It is well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group
".

Monday, September 18, 2017

"Gracelaced," by Ruth Chou Simons

"Gracelaced," by Ruth Chou Simons


This Journey Is As Perennial As The Seasons

GraceLaced is about more than pretty florals and fanciful brushwork—it’s about flourishing. With carefully crafted intention, this beautiful volume of 32 seasonal devotions from artist and author Ruth Chou Simons encourages readers in any circumstance to become deeply rooted in God’s faithful promises. GraceLaced extends a soul-stirring invitation to draw close to God while...
  • resting in who He is
  • rehearsing the truth He says about you
  • responding in faith to those truths
  • remembering His provision to sustain you, time and time again
I must say when I first saw this book I fell in love with it.  The artwork and photography is just gorgeous.  You could spend ages just looking at those.  However once you start to read the book, you know it's much more than a pretty coffee table.  This is not a book to read in one sitting, it's a book you pick up and read in stages, when you need to be uplifted and when you need to hear the right words........

Stars out of 5 : 5 This is a lovely book and one that you will read over and over again.  It truly is a beautiful book.

Book has been provided courtesy of Harvest House and Graf-Martin Communications 

"The Promise of Dawn," by Lauraine Snelling.

"The Promise of Dawn," by Lauraine Snelling.
Opportunities are scarce in Norway, so when Rune and Signe Carlson receive a letter from Rune's uncle, Einar Strand, offering to loan them money for passage to America, Rune accepts. Signe is reluctant to leave her home, especially as she is pregnant with her fourth child, but Einar promises to give them land of their own, something they could never afford in Norway.

But life in Minnesota is more difficult than Signe imagined. Uncle Einar and Aunt Gerd are hard, demanding people, and Signe and her family soon find themselves worked nearly to the bone to pay off their debt. Afraid they will never have the life they dreamed of, she begins to lose her trust in God. When the dangers of the North Woods strike close to home, will she find the strength she needs to lead her family into the promise of a new dawn?


This is the first book in the "Under Northern Skies," series.  I have to say I love Lauraine's books in general and this one was the same; but the first couple of chapters of this book were so confusing that I was very close to giving it up.  Once the story started in America then it got a whole lot better and easier to understand.

I loved the way it dealt with day by day life and how life was lived; and what a hard life they had.  The relationship with Rune and Signe and their aunt and uncle also was well written.  Lauraine truly made their world seem so real.  I think it's the little details that make a book and there were plenty of details in this book.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5, it lost half a star because of the beginning.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series which will be released in April of 2018.  Well worth reading in my opinion.



"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing G
roup
".