Tag Archives: family

Book Review, “Out of the Ashes,” Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse authors

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Out of the Ashes, by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse, is the second book in the Heart of Alaska series. Set at the historic Curry Hotel in 1925 Alaska, it tells the story of two people attempting to overcome the violence in their pasts.

Jean-Michel Langelier accepts an invitation to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel after the death of his father. Traveling with his sister Collette, he looks forward to reconnecting with his former love, Katherine Demarchis. Katherine, a young widow, travels to the Curry Hotel with her grandmother, who insists it will help her recover from the cruel and dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Both are forced to face their pasts and must decide if they are willing g to allow God to be a part of the future.

This was a marvelous book. I especially liked Maria Harrison, with her bold attempt at leading her granddaughter through a dark time and into a relationship with God. Of course, Mrs. Johnson remains a lovely character in the series, with her direct and loving ways. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.  

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Book Review, “Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily,” Ron Deal and Dianne Neal Matthews authors

Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily cover

Daily Encouragement for the Smart Stepfamily, by Ron L. Deal with Dianne Neal Matthews, is a wonderful tool for any stepfamily. It is designed to bring “wisdom and inspiration” to blended families in a simple manner.

This book is designed to offer practical advice to families trying to blend together. The 365 short devotions are written to take one minute or less to read, because families are often busy with day to day activities and obligations.  Topics include parenting and step parenting, strengthening your marriage, bonding with children, co-parenting with exes, and grief. Each also includes a prayer for the home. Some are designed for the parents, and some are written to share with children.

This is a marvelous devotional for any blended family. I especially like the authors’ note to begin reading on the date you receive the book and not pressure yourself to read every day but to pick up wherever you are when you have time again. I also like the idea that the devotions can be read together or individually and discussed later.

I would recommend this book to any couple attempting to blend two families together.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

 

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Book Review, “Beneath the Summer Sun,” Kelly Irvin author

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Beneath the Summer Sun, by Kelly Irvin, is the second book in the An Every Amish Season series.  It follows Upon a Spring Breeze. This story features a widow with seven children whom the community expects should remarry.

Jennie Troyer knows that the Amish leaders expect her to marry again, but she cannot bring herself to do it. Everyone thinks that they understand her grief holding her back. What they don’t know is that her first husband was extremely abusive, and she is afraid to trust another man. Two men are interested in marrying Jennie and helping her with her children. Nathan Walker is a Mennonite book salesman interested in becoming Amish.  He loves spending time with Jennie and her family.  Leo Graber was in love with Jennie before she married her first husband, but his guilt regarding his father’s death held him back from courting her.  Now he wishes he could have another chance.

I enjoyed this book. It exposes the very real problem of spousal and child abuse in our world and does a marvelous job of describing the feelings and struggles of those abused. I especially like Mary Katherine, who is such a good friend.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Amish Fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Out of the Ordinary,” Jen Turano author

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Out of the Ordinary, by Jen Turano, is the second book in the Apart From the Crowd series.  It follows Behind the Scenes. The story is set in New York in 1883 and tells the story of a young woman working as a paid companion to an elderly woman.

Gertrude Cadwalader’s employer is challenging, as she tends to steal items from others and then send Gertrude to return them unnoticed. When this occurs at a friend’s engagement party, Gertrude is furious and gives her notice. Upon attempting to return the items, she is caught and taken to the police station. Her friend, Harrison Sinclair, is caught between his sister, who caught Gertrude and called the police, and his dear friend, Gertrude herself.  As the truth comes out, Gertrude and Harrison find themselves attracted to each other and working together to set things right.

This was a wonderful story.  While I found the wording in the book somewhat difficult to maneuver, especially the first half, I also found myself glued to the story line. Gertrude was honest and intelligent. Harrison was unique and confident. But I found Mrs. Davenport a most interesting character, with her flaws and repentant nature.

I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “A Prairie Girl’s Faith,” Stephen W. Hines author

a Prairie Girl's Faith cover

A Prairie Girl’s Faith, by Stephen W. Hines, presents a thorough look at the faith of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of the famous Little House book series and a true pioneer woman. Hines has combined information from years of research into this book.

Hines begins the book with an introduction explaining that his fascination with Laura Ingalls Wilder began with his reading the books as a child. He then explains how Laura was introduced to faith as a child and would have leaned heavily upon it in her pioneer family, often with absolutely no neighbors nearby for assistance or companionship. He describes Laura’s relationship with her daughter and its possible affect on her writings. He discusses Laura’s relationship with her husband, Almanzo, and their reliance upon faith as they struggled to find a home. The book also includes an interview with Laura’s friend, Neta Seal, who knew Laura quite well.

I enjoyed this book very much. I did not realize that Laura began writing the Little House books in her sixties, or that her daughter edited them for her. I also did not know that Laura had written in many other publications before she even thought about the books. I was surprised to discover that Rose did not share in her parents’ faith.

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Too Far Down,” Mary Connealy author

Too Far Down cover

Too Far Down, by Mary Connealy, is the third book in the Cimarron Legacy series.  It follows No Way Up and Long Time Gone. This amazing conclusion tells Cole Boden’s role in the story and reveals the criminal causing the troubles throughout the trilogy.

Cole Boden, though torn between missing his life in the east and his love of life in the west, takes pride in running the CR Mining Company on the family ranch. So, when an explosion kills several men and unravels threads of information leading back to other attacks on his family, he takes it personally.  Working with his family and neighbors, he hopes to track down the murderer responsible for everything. But Melanie Blake, while admittedly great help, also becomes very distracting. When all of their lives are threatened, Cole must make choices he never imagined.

I enjoyed both this book and the entire series. The Boden family comes across as real and endearing. I especially like the way Cole takes responsibility for his family and their safety. I especially loved Uncle Walt and wished I knew more about him.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or western novels.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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Book Review, “Cherished Mercy,” Tracie Peterson author

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Cherished Mercy, by Tracie Peterson, is the third book in the Heart of the Frontier series.  Set in Oregon Territory in the mid-1850s, it tells the story of the youngest Flanagan sister, Mercy.

Mercy Flanagan has survived the Whitman Massacre and now lives with her sisters Grace and Hope and their families. In spite of her experiences, she longs for peace with the native people. When their friend asks Mercy to come help with her difficult pregnancy, even though it means traveling to the Rogue River Valley in the midst of conflict between the militia and the natives, Mercy agrees to go. Once there, the situation turns much worse than she could have imagined. When her friends, Isaac and Eletta, die, she finds herself caring for their foster daughter, Faith, who is really Hope’s daughter. She and Adam, Isaac’s brother, find themselves needing to depend on each other, but Adam continually holds her at arms’ length.

I enjoyed this book very much. I found Mercy’s faith in God’s protection refreshing. Her courage and determination to protect her friends is something many can relate to. I also appreciated that a portion of the ending was devoted to Hope’s reunion with Faith.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Kara

I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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