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Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick – A Book Review

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     Jane Kirkpatrick, an author known for bringing history to life, has skillfully told the story of another strong woman, unknown to many, who helped pioneer our country. Eliza Spalding Warren was the first surviving white child born west of the Rocky Mountains. Her earliest memories were formed among the Nimíipuu, who were called Nez Perce by the white settlers, her parents being sent to Lapwai, Idaho by the Presbytery Mission Board at the request of the Nimíipuu.
     Having formed only happy memories, things changed drastically for ten-year old Eliza. Spending time away from her family while being educated at another nearby mission, Eliza was taken hostage during an Indian massacre by those who were angry about the mission’s being built on sacred land and the mission doctor’s inability to save the natives from the pox. This became a defining moment in Eliza’s life, the memories of which encroached on her daily living for many years, well into her adulthood.
     Kirkpatrick’s telling of Eliza Spalding Warren’s story helps the reader to realize that our memories often become tangled as they are being woven, tangled by misconceptions, tales of others’ memories, extreme emotions, and knots caused by the passage of time. Our own memories are woven into our lives, but it is up to us to decide whether or not they will define us as we continue to weave in new memories.

     For fans of Kirkpatrick, The Memory Weaver won’t disappoint. For readers whom Kirkpatrick will be a new-to-you author, The Memory Weaver will have you reaching for another book by this author. May I recommend for you two of my favorites: A Light in the Wilderness and Mystic Sweet Communion (the book that led me to reach for another). 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Rosemary Cottage by Colleen Coble - A Book Review

Rosemary Cottage

     So happy that I pursued reading book two in the Hope Beach series even though book one was not among my favorite Coble books. She was back in full swing with this book, hitting it out of the park. (Or should I say off the beach?) Murder, drugs, kidnapping, secrets and lies, with a touch of romance; believable dialogue, relationships that ring true, and settings the reader could walk into, true Coble.
     Why was it so hard to be herself, to be transparent? When she went to church, she put on a smile and never let anyone see her heartache. She was always “fine.” It wasn’t just here either. All around her she heard people asking, “How are you?” and others answering, “Fine.” They all wore masks. Amy Lange had been raised to suppress bad feelings, to put on a smile and look on the sunny side. That describes the outlook in many in our churches today, some taught by parents, others through life’s circumstances. Our masks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most have lips curved up at the edges; masks, like Amy’s, hiding feelings, and secrets.
     Coast Guard officer, Curtis Ireland, has secrets of his own. Secrets, when revealed, that might cost him the guardianship of his orphaned niece. Then there are also the secrets of those no longer among the living, secrets carried to the grave by Amy’s brother and Curtis’ sister, life changing and life ending secrets. Amy and Curtis must join forces to solve the mystery of their siblings’ deaths, and to learn how to open their hearts.

     I highly recommend this book to both lovers of mystery and romance. While it would make a great summer beach read, it would also be a great curl up by the fire read. Whenever and wherever you decide to read Rosemary Cottage, it’s a guaranteed good time. While characters from book one in the series reappear in book two, it will work well as a stand- alone read. So, here’s to happy reading!