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The Crooked Path by Irma Joubert

Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson

 

“Years ago my mom told me life sometimes leads you along a strange crooked path, but in the end it will always take you where you’re supposed to be, she replied.”

                                                -Lettie Romanelli

Irma Joubert’s latest tale once again draws the reader to the complex life of South Africa during WWII. Readers of her previous novel, Child of the River, will find many of the same characters in this book along with many new ones. The story begins in Italy in 1939 and revolves around Marco Romanelli and the Rozenfeld family and their plight to escape the Nazis.

After four years of hiding the Rozenfelds in isolation in a mountainous cave and nearly starving, Marco and the Rozenfelds are captured by the Nazis and shipped to a camp. The depth of their tragedies during these difficult times is heart breaking. After the war finally ends and Marco returns home to his village, a sick and broken young man, his family sends him to South Africa to stay with his brother and recover from the war.

Marco meets Dr. Lettie Louw, who begins to nurse him back to health. Lettie and Marco marry and begin their family, only to have another of life’s difficulties change their course. Read this detailed account of Marco and Lettie’s life as they encounter complexities one can only imagine.

Once again Joubert gives the reader a good look at religious and ethnic prejudices during this very difficult time in history.  The author delivers a deep, detailed book for readers of historical fiction, particularly those with an interest in WWII and South Africa.

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 

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Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

 Publication Date: August 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC copy from Author and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“A busted wagon, a vanished son, a brush shelter in the wilderness, a stranger to midwife—none of that would have figured into those plans.”

 Complex and rich with historic detail, this story engages the reader from the first page. The year is 1774 and Clare Inglesby, a young and very pregnant mother of one finds herself once again on the move. Her husband, Philip, has single handedly decided that it would be to their benefit to depart rural Virginia for the wilds of the settlement of Kentucky.

As the journey progresses, Clare battles through one conflict after another. Jeremiah Ring, a frontiersman and adopted Shawnee, arrives in Clare’s life at a time when she most needs help. Through the disappearance of her husband and son, Jacob, to surviving life in an Indian village, Clare looks to find someone in whom she can place her trust. As Clare continually struggles to force her will, she will eventually remember how to trust and who to trust. 

The book touched this reader deeply. The emotions are raw.  I wanted to cry and to pray for this woman Clare many time during the book. The characters have a depth of spirit and strength that embodies the true spirit of early Americans and many Native Americans. Read the novel to discover how Clare finds the patience to realize that our time is not always God’s time and how she resolves the issue of her missing son.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.

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Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

 

“It’s good to have dreams. But sometimes dreams change, or take different forms, or you go down a path and realize that while it’s not the beach, you really like the forest.”

-Jane

 A delightful read for the summer! This unique variation of Sense and Sensibility set in modern day Austin, Texas is a fun, light read. The lives of three sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margo, takes another intriguing turn when necessity forces a change of residence from their native San Francisco to Austin. The city of Austin, lights years different in terms of culture and lifestyle, offers the girls an opportunity for a new start.

Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they set out for Austin and try to move their tea business, plants and all, along with them. The older two, Celia and Jane, each have their own love issues with which to contend, in addition to raising their teenage sister. The girls have character, charisma, and charm.

The book is a poignant story full of family, romance, and the meaning of sisters. If you’ve read Sense and Sensibility, you’ll see the similarities. As a bonus, some wonderful recipes for the amazing baked goods discussed in the story are sprinkled throughout the book. Don’t miss this fun summer read!

This copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson

Series: Heart of the Frontier

Publication Date: July 4, 2017

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

ARC Copy from NetGalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

 

Closely following the first book in the Heart of the Frontier series, book two once again follows sisters, Hope, Grace, and Mercy, after they have settled in Oregon in the year 1850. Two and half years after the trauma of the Whitman Massacre, Hope continues to work at reclaiming her life. Her younger sister, Mercy, made her peace and lives a happy, lively life with her sister Grace and her husband, Alex.

This is an engrossing story of Hope’s struggle to get on with her life as the trial for the native Americans involved in the massacre unfolds. In her quest to give herself peace and to come to terms with the trauma she endured, she encounters Lieutenant Lance Kenner. Their lives become entangled in ways that neither could imagine.

The characters are once again engaging and very human in their behavior and emotions. I really enjoyed the continuing saga of the three sisters. The story continues in such a manner that you almost feel like you are continuing a book you laid down for a while and picked back up. I really enjoyed the story, emotional and tumultuous as it may be at times. Anxiously awaiting book three!

This ARC copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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So Pure a Heart by Amber Lynn Perry

Series: Daughters of His Kingdom Series, Book 4

Publication Date:  July 2016

Publisher: Liberty Publishing

ARC copy from author

 

And you will surely be protected, my dear. For God cannot but shelter one with so pure a heart.

  -Willis Plains, Patriot

In this fourth novel in the series, Amber Lynn Perry continues her captivating tales set during the Revolutionary War. The war is under way in Plymouth, Massachusetts and weapons are in short supply for both sides thus making Ensign Young’s foundry a desirable place for the Patriots and Loyalists. Hannah Young, Ensign’s niece, is a lovely young woman who lives with her Uncle and late aunt as a result of a difficult home life.

The book follows the story of Hannah and Joseph Wythe, a young blacksmith, as they meet again for the first time in many years. Thrown together in a complex situation, Hannah and Joseph engage in a serious and deadly game of spying for the Patriots. Intrigue, politics, war, family relationships, and the cost of honesty are explored in this tale.

Many of my favorite characters have appeared again in this fourth novel, Nathaniel and Kitty from book two, as well as Anna and Henry from the last book. Their wonderful Patriot spirits shine through once again.

The historical detail in Ms. Perry’s novels always draws me deep into the time period. The accounts of Patriot spying are true to life and based on historical facts, even though the actual story is fiction. Faith, love, and a dedication to freedom are the pillars of the story set once again during a complex time in history.

A wonderful read for lovers of historical fiction, inspirational fiction, and romance! And if you are like me and are looking forward to the next one, So Bright a Hope, Book Five, appears to be in the works already.

I received this book free from Liberty Publishing and the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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Life After by Katie Ganshert

Publication Date: April 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. And we believe in God’s goodness. We believe He is good. We say He is good. Until the bad things turn personal. That’s when we start to question.”

-Grandma Ally, the Sunday after 9/11, on our way home from church         

Autumn Manning lives in a world of her own since the accident. She struggles perpetually with the question of why. Why did she get on that particular train? Why did she survive? Why did her life get intertwined with that of Vivian Elliott? Even a year later the whys are endless in Autumn’s mind.

This deeply emotional and poignant tale shares the story of Autumn’s recovery and her involvement with the Elliott family. As Reese Elliott, the twelve-year-old daughter of Vivian and Paul Elliott, struggles to find a way to grieve the death of her mother. Her path to recovery from the traumatic loss of her mom leads her to inadvertently draw Autumn into the family’s personal turmoil.

A haunting and emotional story! The characters have depth and personality, each unique and slightly broken in their own way. The book draws the reader in from the beginning and it’s hard to put down. This is a serious read that deals with deep subjects such as why bad things happen to some people and not others and how God comforts us in different ways and in his own time. I very much enjoyed the book. The ending leaves the reader with a feeling of possibility and hopefulness. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of Christian fiction and contemporary fiction.

I received this book free from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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A Stranger at Fellsworth by Sarah E. Ladd

 

Series: Treasures of Surrey, Book 3

Publication Date: May 2017

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

ARC copy from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers

 

“Every person is on a journey. You.  Me.  Mr. Thorley. Miss Stillworth. Every single one of us.” …. “Some of us will learn and grow, and some will struggle and fail. I know I certainly could not judge another. All we can do is be there for the ones who have been put into our lives.”

-Crosley

Suspense, romance and a bit of faith deliver a great story in this latest novel by Sarah E. Ladd. Readers of Regency novels will definitely engage with this story. Intriguing characters, dark plots, and subtle romance tie the story together quite well!

Annabelle Thorley,  a young gentile woman, finds her life changing drastically as her family goods are carted from their pleasant home and sold by her brother who has inherited the family estate. Bills to settle, debts to be paid, and unsavory friends add to Annabelle’s brother Thomas’s problems. Thomas decides to use Annabelle as a means of getting himself out of debt and out of trouble.

Desperation drives Annabelle to seek shelter at Fellsworth School run by her Uncle Edmund, whom she has not seen in ten years. Owen Locke, a groundskeeper from the neighboring estate, steps in and provides safe transportation to Fellsworth for Annabelle and her ladies maid, Crosley.

Uncle Edmund is quite willing to provide the two women with jobs and a safe place to live. Thus begins a changed life for Annabelle and Crosley both. One will use the change to her advantage and one will use it unwisely.

Once again Sarah Ladd examines in depth the significance of family, morals, and the true meaning of home. Annabelle and Owen have both suffered loss and difficulties. Annabelle’s upbringing left her ill suited to the life with which she winds up, but she makes an effort to adapt and do the best she can with the skills she has. Owen learns that he is capable of a great deal of patience and that his patience and hard work do pay off in the end. Annabelle and Owen learn that home is where you make it and family is sometimes what we choose, not what we are born to.

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.  

 

 

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