Thursday, August 27, 2009

"A Man of His Word" by Kathleen Fuller

Set in Middlefield, OH, "A Man of His Word" transports the reader to Amish life. There is also a smattering of Amish words throughout the book (with definitions) to really get a taste of the life. Life here is simple and the people are hard-working. There is some interaction with the outside world, but the beliefs of the people in this community are strong. Here is a world where your word is your bond, where leaving the church and your family means banishment (but forgiveness is also available), and where love blossoms in the purest of forms. Families are strong and the examples set for love and marriage palpable.

I was totally drawn into the story from the beginning. Throughout the book there was tension and love between characters creating some funny and poignant moments. Come meet Levi, Gabriel, Tobias, Christian, Aaron, Rachel, and Moriah. These teenagers grew up together, yet, do they really know each other? Their parents watch and pray that their children make the right matches and that their faith remains strong. Aaron slips, but returns to find forgiveness from his family and his commmunity. But, will he forgive himself? I appreciated that all of the characters did turn to God in prayer and in His Word even when things seemed darkest. While there were tough moments, they found Him to be a steady rock. I recommend this book highly to all readers. It will make you laugh and cry, but most importantly, will show that God is ready, willing, and able to help us.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Under This Unbroken Sky" by Shandi Mitchell

While this book is well written, I had a very tough time with it. (This review is difficult to put together.) As a reader, I was taken from disaster to disaster with little relief for the characters. The story is dark and gritty, and while I felt for the characters, I was also looking for more than just strands of hope. I honestly wanted to like this book, but... It still haunts my thoughts, and I had a difficult time picking up another book when I finished this one. Shandi Mitchell is a talented author - this just wasn't the book for me. I will, however, look for more of her work.
If you like books that read like a documentary, this book is for you. If you like dark stories, this book is for you.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Natural Born Charmer" by Susan E. Phillips

Looking for a wonderful weekend or beach read? "Natural Born Charmer" may be right for you. There is a lot of laughter and poignancy to this story. Imagine a football player driving down the road spotting a "headless" beaver walking down the side. Once Dean stops and gives Blue a lift, his life changes forever. Come meet these lovable characters and join them as mysteries and family members are revealed. This book was a great departure from some of the heavy stuff I was reading, and provided many needed laughs. Come on, join the fun!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Rick & Bubba's Guide to the Almost Nearly Perfect Marriage

Is there a perfect marriage out there? No, but lots of "almost nearly perfect ones." Take two people who love each other, sprinkle in some laughter and a love for God, and you are on your way! Rick and Bill take a comical, sometimes stereotypical, look at the problems and situations married couples encounter. Does the wife have to do all the housework? Is the husband the only one who loves the outdoors? These are just two things you can read about in this book. The accompanying CD is priceless.

I enjoyed reading this book and laughed through a lot of the scenarios. While some of the humor works best in person (hence the enclosed CD), you get the gist here. I did think a lot of the comments were stereotypical, but also think it was probably done to hone in on the fact that too many people fall into those traps. No one fits all of this, no one wants to. This book takes some of the seriousness out of marriage, replacing it with humor and common sense. So, come on, take a fresh look at the situations that plague you, find the humor, and move on with your spouse!