| Oh, Wow. Now I have started another saga and I have to wait to see what happens! A great story in the tradition of Michael Phillips, a master storyteller. You cannot read a novel of the ages like a thriller novel. The story unfolds slowly, and as it does, you will see the author’s romantic and beautiful language. A young woman working in Washington, DC, who is quite successful, is still feeling lost inside. Her lineage is uncertain, she was raised by her grandparents, but she never quite fit in there in their community. She doesn’t understand why. What is missing that would help her feel whole and that she belonged? If you like history of the Scottish, Celtic, or Norse, this might be just the book for you! This is a very new book, so I will not spill the beans! Read this story; it takes a while to get into it, but it is worth the read. I just hope it will not be too long before the next part of the story is written! Enjoy. Another great book by Michael Phillips and Bethany/Baker Books.
This review is written as my own opinion. This novel was provided to me by Bethany/Baker Books.
I do not read very many Amish books. This was a free read from Bethany Books for review, but I did enjoy the story. It was a Book Two, but stood alone well. I do wish I had read the beginning of the friendship between Zane, a Mennonite neighbor, of Lila Lehman, from an Amish family. Seems they played together and met frequently at a special fort during their late child years and teen years. When they got towards adulthood, they didn’t know for sure how to process their relationship, being from two different church backgrounds. One thing Lila knew for sure though was that she enjoyed being around Zane, his zeal for adventure, learning, and the ability to listen. She didn’t finish high school, but Zane included her in this studies and they shared many subjects. Finally her father agrees for his daughter to be courted by a young Amish boy, Reuben, whom Lila also knew from church. She believed in commitment and thought that maybe she could learn to love him and that her time with Zane was over, and just a childhood crush. But she never felt entirely comfortable with him, very joyful or fulfilled. Her thoughts would always go back to Zane. Zane was so confusedf over his feelings and her courting, that although he had been a conscientious objector, he joined the Army to get away and think. It was a good thing and a bad thing, but eventually gave Lila time to see her mistake in not being honest to Reuben or Zane. The rest of the story is sweet…read it and see!
This book was provided free by Bethany/Baker Books. All opinions are my own.
I read this book as a stand alone with no problem. By reading the back of the book there was enough info to set the scene. First of all, the one thing I really like about Susan’s writing and the story was the flow of characters and different relationships. It takes a good writer to juggle those so that the reader can keep up and have a good sense of time and action. I enjoyed what her character, Adam, showed as a Christian who truly repented and changed his ways and the fact that Maggie respected that and would give him a chance for friendship even before their hearts met. I liked Aurora for having her own mind about things and bucking her father’s pride even though she was raised wealthy and could have married rich. Neil was easy to hate as I had read in another review. I loved the change in James even though he was older he still allowed God to help him see what a strong character Adam had and was able to forgive him and then go out of his way to help him in his new business. Rylan kept his word. I liked all of the characters and their voices. With English/Scotch/Irish in my blood, I do enjoy these stories!
This book was provided to me by Bethany/Baker Books. All opinions are my own from the reading of the novel.
What should be the loveliest time of the year, content and fun, sometimes is not. When your road is not passable and family does not wish to brave the trails, it can be quite lonely. 10 degrees with chronic pain is not happy. That’s when the word “JOY” has to be looked at and invited into your heart. For what really counts is what the Lord puts into you and what you accept from Him.
I have found from experiencing just happy, it can be a fleeting moment. It will not stick with you or comfort you on a depressing day. The sun will even disappoint you and go behind the clouds leaving you with a dysfunction of sorts. Animals will love you with their gentleness, but because they have no soul, they cannot give you what you really desire for very long either. I know because we have 8 pack goats, a dog, a cat, and chickens!
So, when that day comes, when you feel so alone, isolated, hurting, and detached, remember that word…JOY. Jesus is the only one who can give real joy. When you belong to Him, He longs to give it to you.
“I find God to be both old and new.” Mary Ann Young Robinson
This is what Charles Spurgeon had to say one Sunday morning in 1891.
1891, Charles Spurgeon
The new life that God gives us is exceedingly active. I have never read that we are to lie down and sleep in the newness of life. It is true I have met with persons who professed to have been saved, and therefore they took matters easily, and made themselves religiously comfortable in idleness. I greatly question whether you have new life if you do not walk. God’s children are not of a sluggish race. There is vigor and fervency about them. They cannot sleep, as do others. The new life is akin to the life of angels, and angels do not spend the day in slumber or sloth. I never heard of sluggish angels. They are as flames of fire. The new life in a Christian is quick, energetic, forceful. The new life produces a holy walk as soon as it is created. If you have been born unto God, you have cast off your lethargy, and are ready to run the race set before you. You may happen to be dull and sleepy occasionally through disease; but you will not choose this. When in spiritual health, you will glow with divine ardor, and burn with holy fervency, delighting yourself in serving the Lord.
I also am considering what the scripture has to say to us. Always something new. Refining something old. It’s exciting.
I was so glad to return to the town of Blessing, just as Anji Baard Moen did, after the death of her husband while living in Norway. Blessing was where she grew up, had her first love, developed friendships, so it wasn’t hard to leave her mother-in-law’s harsh home where children were little more than objects in the room.
The threat she lived with, though, was that her mother-in-law would not share any family money with her if she would decide to remarry and give her children a father. How selfish, but Anji worked hard and wasn’t sure she would want to remarry. She set her mind to teaching, and writing articles for the Blessing Gazette, but while doing that, met an Anglican Priest that became her friend.
Thomas Devlin, an Irish minister, was the main editor. Single, fun, and sensitive, Anji began to look at him differently and wondered if he was experiencing some of the same feelings. He came for dinner, enjoyed her children and finally asked to court her.
A circus train came through the town exposing Blessing to Diphtheria. Thorliff, a very loved member of the community and Doctor Astrid’s brother, lost his wife, Elizabeth, to the disease, but recovered himself to take care of his children. Anji was grieved to see him suffer as he was her first love as young people in this town.
Then the church call came…it was too far away. He knew he was called and yet was drawn to Anji and she couldn’t face leaving Blessing for the second time. Thomas went to have an appointment near Chicago to find out if this was where the Lord was calling him. The distance softened both Anji and Thomas’s heart preparing them for future ministry. After Anji had a heart to heart talk to Thorliff about the past, she realized how she must move forward in her life.
Ingebord, still a vital widow in the town, is a support system for many. Her medical training of Astrid pays off. She becomes the main stay of the hospital, assisted by Miriam, now living in Blessing married to Tryve.
The colorful characters of Blessing come to life again as Lauraine Snelling presents a new tale of community, love, suffering and perseverance.
|What I like about Dee Henderson’s writing is that you really feel like you are there. The flow is very good and she knows when to change from scene to scene well. The story was a good Christian fiction story in the sense that your teenager could read without your worry. It does show that Christians can make decisions that do not muddy their lives when following the Lord’s mandate. I expected a little more mystery woven around her family and added suspense, since this is the type book it is supposed to be based on the title. The main character’s progress through her trial may have been a little too progressive too fast, but some of it was based on her own personality and the personal time in taking photos and traveling as opposed to being kept somewhere in seclusion. I enjoyed reading it very much and this was the second one of hers I have read so far. I look forward to more of this talented writer. Compelling Cover.
This book was provided by Bethany Books and the comments are my own opinions.
This book was provided by Bethany/Baker Books for review. The opinions are my own.
I felt like I was right beside Miriam as she traveled back to the town of Blessing where she knew Trygve was anxiously awaiting her return. Her heart still hadn’t convinced her that she loved him, although she did adore him and wondered what the funny feelings she had stirring in her stomach were all about. She left brothers and sisters behind in the city and a mother just freshly put in the grave. Although excited, it was scary. Her family had to rough it in a tenement with no parent. She would live and work around large families that had lived in and around Blessing for many years in a community built mostly of their own faith. A very good student nurse, Miriam would contribute greatly wherever she was, but Blessing needed her and she had a contract to fulfill. She had already been here once, being taught by two women doctors that were being received for their strength, love and expertise more than most. Once she arrived and was shown her own sweet room with a window, ate in the Dining Hall, and felt the warmth of Trygve’s looks, she knew she was where she should be. She was becoming a woman, but had no one to explain these things that she was experiencing. Then she received letters from her siblings which was a special surprise. She hadn’t been there long before there was dangerous accident, a tragedy, that left one dead and others injured. Tempers flared regarding the accident, the bank’s inability to loan money for construction, and prejudice towards the poor tent people who yearned to become part of the town and find work to thrive. Through diversity and loss, Blessing still claimed the bond that had always been there, and in the middle of it, Miriam declared her love to her beau Trygve! She would finish her contract, possibly soon marry and find a way to bring her sweet family to the town that was a “Blessing”. I have read several books about this town and the people and it is a very sweet saga. I enjoy the writings of Lauraine Snelling, her style, and the people she introduces that I usually like. I feel like I have been to North Dakota myself while gleaning from the everyday lives of the people who lived there.
This book was provided to me by Bethany Books. These opinions are my own from the reading of this novel.