Great Reads for Autumn 2016

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I’ve recently had to move house and leave my job due to unforeseen circumstances. Thankfully I now have another job in the pipeline, once all the paper work has gone through.

It’s been a tough couple of months, but it has meant that in the last few weeks I have had time to catch up on doing some of the things I love, like reading and crochet!

These are books I have read and enjoyed during this transient time, that I think others will enjoy as well. I am thankful to the publishers and Netgalley for allowing me to read the following in exchange for an honest review. Continue reading

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New Christian Fiction: Summer 2016

As you may have guessed, I am a prolific reader, and I love sharing book recommendations with others. I’ve got some really great ones to share from the last few weeks:

cover80592-mediumThe Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

A lovely story of two women who find there lives entwined in circus life. One an ordinary girl from America, the other, an English noble woman from Yorkshire.
I loved the exciting setting of this sweet tale. It was interesting picking up many facts about circus life. It reminded me of a slightly less gritty version of water for elephants. Whenever I set this book down I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again and return to the circus.
The faith element was there throughout the story although it definitely wasn’t shoved down your throat. I finished the book with a definite feeling of hope, despite the hardships so many of the characters faced.

cover83996-mediumThe Things We Knew by Catherine West

An intense family drama which reveals  new secrets on almost every page.
The highlight of this book for me was the characters, I adored the main character Lynnie, and the supporting characters were all realistically drawn. The author managed to make you love them, even when they were doing the most stupid things.
This is one of those books where you don’t want to give too much of the plot away: Lets just say it centres around a possible murder, old and new family secrets and real love. If any of those sound interesting to you then this book is definitely worth your time.

 

cover82516-mediumInto the Free by Julie Cantrell

This was such a sad story, seriously, I was fighting back tears the whole way through, and I’m not someone who often cries at stories.
Just when you think that thin

 

gs can’t get any worse for young Millie, the main character, they do. And then they get worse and worse.
And yet, despite all the tragedy, there is hope. And despite all the sadness, I wanted to keep on reading.
I would recommend this book, but not if you’re already feeling down, as it might just push you over the edges. Even so  this is one of the best books I have read in a long time, I went straight on the read the sequel, When Mountains Move, which is also an amazing story.

Thanks for sticking with me until the end. Are there any other titles you would recommend. (I love receiving recommendations as well as giving them!)

 

 

New Biblical Fiction Summer 2016

I was unsure about reading biblical fiction. After all is it really even biblical to mess around with bible stories?

For this reason I began reading these books with some trepidation, looking our for misinterpretations of scripture. But although I didn’t agree with everything these authors wrote, I found that reading these books gave me a greater understanding of the stories they were based on and left me reaching for my bible.

Yes, some artistic licence had been used, but reading these books got me excited about the bible stories in a new way and truly blessed me. I am sharing these reviews as  I am certain they will bless other women as well.

 

cover80016-mediumLand of Silence by Tessa Afshar

I’ve read the story of Jesus healing the woman who suffered from the disease of the blood so many times. But I never really  thought about the life of the woman Jesus healed, or how deeply this illness would have affected her.
How she would not be able to simply hug her friends, how people would be considered unclean after sitting in the same chair as her, how she would have to have become such an outcast.
This story, although a work of fiction, really opened my eyes to the life that woman might have led, and the huge impact Jesus restoring would have had on her life, not only healing her physically. (like I had previously imagined) but restoring her dignity, and in the process, giving her a whole knew life as well.
I highly recommend this, the story of Elianna, a tale of heartbreak and hope, to anyone. Read it and be reminded how Jesus transforms lives if we just take a risk and reach out to him.

cover79750-mediumCounted with the Connilyn Cossette

This book started out brilliantly, it was so interesting reading about the plagues from the point of view of an Egyptian slave girl, Kiya.
This book really made me think about the story in a new light, the faith of the Hebrews and the fear that must have been running through the hearts of the Egyptians as  all they had worked for fade away.
This part of the story was definitely the strongest for me.  The second half, focused on the Exodus, was fun to read, but became more of a romance set against the backdrop of history, it was still interesting, but just not as good as the first half.
I would definitely recommend this book, for the interesting point of view, and the way it may me think about a very familiar story in a new way.

Have you ever  read any biblical fiction? Are there any books you would recommend?

These books were both received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

February/March Reads

Wow I’ve been off the radar for a little while. I’m not quite sure how that happened. I guess I just haven’t been feeling particularly inspired. But I can happily say I’m back, just to share a few books today, but I have got another devotional for later this week as well!

I read some great books earlier this year, courtesy of Netgalley and Book Look Bloggers so I thought I had better share the reviews.

You are Loved no Matter What by Holley Gerth

I really enjoy reading books like this, the kind of books aimed specifically at women that leave you feeling encouraged and challenged in your faith.
To be honest when I started reading this book I wasn’t sure if it was for me, it seemed to be aimed more a perfectionists, and I’m definitely not a typical one. I certainly don’t mind a bit of mess and clutter! Although I do harbour a few secret tendencies! But this book this book spoke to me in ways that I wasn’t expecting.
I particularly enjoyed the chapter on personality type and the ones that dealt with the popular bible verse “be perfect as your father in heaven is perfect.”
I would highly recommend this book, as I think everyone would get something out of it, whether they are a typical perfectionist or not!

 

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

This was a fast paced and exciting novel, that I couldn’t wait to get back to reading every time I put it down. The action switched between Casey, who was running from a false accusation of murder and the detective tasked with finding her.

The action didn’t let up in this exciting and enjoyable book, but at times it felt like it was aimed at teenagers, and there were a few too many coincidences!

I was disappointed with the ending as there was a major cliff hanger. It was frustrating as this was only a relatively short book anyway. When this happens I always feel like its some kind of marketing ploy to get you to buy the next book.

All in all an enjoyable story. Until the final chapter!

A Spy’s Devotion by Melanie Dickerson

I think I have developed a little but of weakness for these Christian historical romance novels. Sure, they might be a bit cheesy, but you know you are going to get something clean and easy to read.
A Spy’s Devotion was no exception, and it was probably one of the most fun ones I have read. While it’s not a story I’m likely remember for years, it was a great way to spend a couple of hours.
The main character is a sweet, eager to please orphan, who finds herself having to step out of her comfort zone and defy her relatives in order to assist a spy.
if you want a light-hearted book, with spies and romance and characters you will love to hate. I would definitely recommend this.
In fact my only annoyance with this book was that the author kept on referring to the east end of London as the “east side.”

Thanks for reading!

January Reads

Okay, okay, I know where now a good few days into February, but I’ve been feeling ill, al least that my excuse.

So in January I managed to read a couple of good books for review. I love reading books for review, as it allows me to read great books for free, and discover new authors.

Girl-Meets-ChangeGirl Meets Change by Kristen Strong

The only thing constant in life is change. And how true this statement is. Sometimes change is chosen, but often it’s not, however it is rarely easy. That’s where this great book comes in.
Easily readable and relatable, Kristen continually points us to Christ, the one constant in times of change, as well as offering practical advice and many real life examples. The main point I will take from this book is the need to look for positives and praise good in all circumstances, no matter how tough it may seem.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone, as we all go through periods of change in one way or another.

 

 

The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubertthe-girl-from-the-train

Occasionally you read a book which you know will stick with you for a long time to come. This is one of those books. Translated from Afrikaans, it is the beautiful story of a young girl who managed to escape the train destined for Auschwitz.

It is a love story, but it’s also so much more. It’s a story of hope against all odds, enduring friendship and the impact of prejudice on one girls life. I dare anyone to read this story and not be moved.

 

 

 

 

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Until the Dawn by Elizabeth Camden

This is a nice, quick and easy read about buried family secrets, finding joy despite harsh circumstances, and overcoming your past.
Sophie is an unusually cheerful woman, despite three failed engagements and her mothers death. Nicholas carries the weight of both physical and emotional scars. These scars lead to him becoming cynical and depressed. When Sophie enters his world its easy to seed that sparks will fly and they will fall in love.
The real beauty of this book was the setting. It had a kind of return to Eden feel about it. I was also reminded about the importance of choosing joy.
I would recommend this book if you want an easy yet deceptively deep book..

Joy despite circumstances seemed to be a real theme in my reading over the last month. I believe that God is trying to tell me something in this, and will be sharing more on the subject over the coming weeks.

Please share any awesome books you have recently read.

 

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

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Why am I struggling so much to write the review for this book? I’ve put it off for a few weeks now!

Maybe it’s because this book is based on a real story, it focuses heavily on the everyday aspects of life rather than

Maybe it’s because I struggled to really connect with the main character.

Based on the true story of the lives of a missionary and her daughter, both by the name of Eliza. I would describe this as much more of a thinking than action type book. In fact most of the book is based around the consequences of one tragic event which shaped the life of the younger Eliza, who was captured, along with a group of others, by a band of Native Americans. However the book doesn’t go into a lot of detail about this event instead focusing on how this one event shaped the rest of her life. This was often interesting, but did make the story feel a little mundane from time to time. Much like real life, I suppose.

Yet despite this there was something about this book that had me hooked. I wanted to keep on reading to find out what happened to Eliza.

I guess the main reason I am struggling with this review is because it really felt like the author was trying to get across some kind of deeper message, one about how memories can be flawed and how one event can affect your life forever, if you choose to let it. But somehow this message didn’t quite connect for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a little bit thick, or maybe it’s because the book didn’t quite hit the mark.

Book Review: Bathsheba a Reluctant Beauty by Angela Hunt

Bathsheba

I’ve previously shied away from biblical fiction, thinking it might be boring; and anyway, I already knew the ending. But boy, was I wrong! Not only was this book enjoyable, but it was helpful too.

I can often get confused when I read stories from the Old Testament of the bible. There are some great stories, but they have so many characters! And a lot of the characters have the same names; making it even more confusing!

That’s why reading biblically inspired fiction can be great. Of course it’s no replacement for actually picking up a real bible. But for me, it can really help me get deeply involved in the stories, and begin to imagine how the characters might have been feeling, and pick up on loads of details I had previously missed.

Reading the story of Bathsheba was a great experience. Particularly as the part of the bible this story is taken from is one of the most confusing to me. Bathsheba is the woman King David cruelly took as his own, before killing her own husband. He then took her as one of his many wives. The wife who went on to provide him with his heir, Solomon. Reading this book helped me to feel more sympathetic towards David. I had previously struggled with how someone so righteous could do something so cruel/ But I suppose we are all just as capable.

The way this book was written had me gripped from beginning to end. The author writes beautifully and makes you want to keep turning the pages. If you don’t already know the story from the bible, it’s a gripping and exciting one, with probably more drama than an episode of Eastenders. (Not that I ever watch that show!)

Anyway, I would thoroughly recommend this book, even if you are very familiar with the story. I’m sure it will open your eyes to details you had previously missed. It will also bring the story of Bathsheba the reluctant beauty to life, and hopefully make you want to pick up a bible and relive this story again.