Thursday, June 24, 2010
This was a painful read. Not because it wasn't well-written. And not because it wasn't believable. The story of a successful, bright career woman losing everything was all-too realistic. No matter how well-insulated a person thinks she is from disaster, life is a great equalizer when God reduces the proud and exalts the humble.
Jeena Gregory hides the pain of her past abuse in materialism. But when her carefully constructed ivory tower crumbles beneath her, she finds herself in the very places she despises and the ones she feels contempt for become her salvation.
The pain of Jeena's journey is bittersweet. As hard as it is to watch, her journey bears lessons that restore deeper and more meaningful things to her than her repo'd beamer and her defaulted condo. Things like mercy, forgiveness, peace. And even a semblance of the family she lost.
Her end is better than her beginning, because her life is established on a foundation that won't crumble.
This is a timely read, and it will challenge you to examine your own priorities and prejudices.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I simply could not believe this was a debut novel for author Karen Witemeyer. I would have assumed from the smooth-as-dressmaker's-silk prose and the finely crafted characters with their compelling conflict shooting sparks between them, that this was a novel from somewhere in the middle of an illustrious career.
Jericho "JT" Tucker couldn't be more gruff or imposing when Hannah Richards comes to town holding the lease to the shop he wanted. And to make matters worse, she has designs on opening a fine dressmaker's shop--the last thing on earth he believes the town needs. She's sure to fill the simple gals with ideas and create discontent with her highfalutin styles and fancy fabrics.
He hasn't counted on her generosity and sincere kind-heartedness, or her work ethic. Or the way her beauty weaves around his heart and drags him like a roped calf, making him go out of his way with gifts and acts of kindnesses for her.
The first third of this had me laughing out loud--and I can't say many (or any) books have ever done that to me. The middle made me fall in love with Hannah and Jericho, hoping they could get past their stubborn independence to embrace their growing attraction to each other. And the last third had me biting my nails in suspense, when an unexpected element threatens to end their dreams of a happily ever after.
This book has it all--lovable, memorable characters, beautiful writing, a message that affirms the virtue of visual aesthetics, and a romance that I felt from my tingling fingertips to my swelling heart.
Bravo, Ms. Witemeyer. I hope for many more to come from you.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The Other Daughter by Miralee Ferrell opens with a premise that kept me hooked to the satisfying end. A woman discovers her husband has another daughter when the girl shows up on her doorstep with a suitcase--on the woman's birthday. Surprise!
David Carson has already had marital issues with his wife Susanne. She does not share his faith, and it has driven a wedge in their emotional intimacy. David has become a workaholic, and has missed celebrating her birthday the year prior, so he has some 'splaining to do. Added to this lovechild bombshell, he has agreed for Grandfather to visit them. Another surprise for Susanne.
This family's struggles to come to terms with the husband's youthful indiscretion and to reach out to a child who needs them is drafted in authenticity and compassion. I lingered over this book, feeling what Susanne, David and Brianna--the other daughter--felt, and allowed their journeys to soak in like a gentle rain.
This book will make you yearn for justice, and it will restore your faith in marriage and family.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Julia M. Reffner awarded History Repeats Itself with the honor of Versatile Blogger Award on her blog, Dark Glass Ponderings. Julia is a wonderful writer and sister in the faith. Check her out at http://www.darkglassponderings.blogspot.com/
Thanks, Julia! You get the Sunshine Award!