by Katherine Reay, fiction This story of friendship, forgiveness and finding one’s passion unfolds beautifully as three women face challenges from choices they’ve made. Sometimes the pacing/timeline was slightly confusing with multiple points of view, but overall this is well told and made me miss independent bookstores, want a shop like the one these characters inhabit.
by Linda Sue Park, fiction Park is adept at historical detail in this tale about a young Korean boy that comes to life on the page and ultimately brought me to tears. It is a beautiful and touching story of hard work, respect, taking one obstacle at a time, and ultimately, a story of purpose and belonging.
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.