by Sara Wallace, nonfiction This book was a gift and is full of encouragement for anxious moms and any mom who cares for her children. Wallace freely shares her own anxieties in their stark reality against the backdrop of her faith and continually points her readers back to the source of every mom’s strength and purpose.
by S. A. Bodeen, fiction Though the premise was promising and Bodeen’s book won several awards, this tale was disturbing on many levels. I was disappointed in the attitudes, language and overall behaviors of the characters. The writing is at times disjointed leaving the reader backtracking to see if something was missed, and the ending felt rushed.
by Elizabeth Byler Younts, fiction This difficult but meaningful read shines light in dark places and will haunt for some time. Punctuated by deep, defining questions the gorgeous writing requires an attentive read, though part of me wanted to rush ahead, urging the story forward in search of hope and safety for Brighton and those she loved.
by Jacqueline Winspear, fiction Winspear’s thorough attention to historical detail showcases interesting and wonderful characters who are real and believable. This beautiful and heartbreaking tale pulls back the curtain on the realities and repercussions of war while leaving room for the reader to discover parts of the story without each and every detail being spelled out.
by Elizabeth George Speare, fiction What was it like to live in the time of Jesus, yearning to throw off Rome’s yoke and longing for a leader to guide you into war? This is a poignant tale of one young man’s quest for vengeance that is ultimately challenged by Christ himself. Can vengeance be repaid with love?
by Lisa T. Bergren, fiction Bergren’s enlightening story of resilience and faith offers vivid description of the island of Nevis in the 1700s, the people, and what they considered an acceptable way of life on-island. This is a story of resilience, faith, and strength of women taking matters into their own hands when it was considered taboo.
by Jill Paterson, fiction Part of a series, I enjoyed this quick and easy-to-read mystery set in Australia, and the word nerd in me had fun finding unfamiliar words and phrases, or typical American words used in slightly different ways. There were a few POV issues, but the unflappable detective in charge was believable and relatable.
by Christopher Paolini, fiction A lengthy read, this epic fantasy includes rather dark and disturbing moments, especially for its intended audience. Though not brilliantly written, fans of fantasy, adventure and bloody battles should find this engaging. Packed with lots of detail, this could have been a briefer story with less over-explaining, and therefore perhaps more satisfying.
by Patricia Harman, fiction Harman offers a story full of depth during The New Deal, when neighbors depended on one another and the land that sustained them. Characters are faced with grief and tragedy, how they change people, and what love really involves. This often tragic story is sometimes medically graphic and includes some rough language.
by Jason Johnson, nonfiction This is for all of us who have a heart for children but may feel uncertain about how to act on our passion, don’t see the multiple ways we can be involved. Full of short, easy-to-read chapters and thought provoking questions, this is a wonderful resource for individuals, couples, or small groups.