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Saturday, May 27, 2017

My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer - A Book Review

Product DetailsKim Vogel Sawyer

     This is not a new book to the market, the copyright date on this book is 2008, but it is one I would highly recommend. I was unaware that 150,000 homeless, orphaned and abandoned children were sent from crowded cities in the Eastern states out West between the years of 1854 and 1929 on trains that became known as “orphan trains.” In the early 1900s the practice of child labor was called into question. Advocates for children sought to improve the education and safety of our country’s young ones. The plight of children is the focus of My Heart Remembers, a story of three fictional siblings who rode an orphan train only to be separated, and the children they longed to aid and protect.
    Recent immigrants, Maelle, Mattie, and Molly Gallagher lost their parents in a New York City tenement fire. Maelle took to heart her father’s admonishment to watch out for the wee ones, the wee siblings whom she lost track of after arriving in Missouri, and the wee ones she met along the way as she grew up and sought after her long lost siblings. Mattie never forgot his older sister’s promise to find him, but was unsure how that could happen as life kept him constantly on the move; how he longed for home and family. Molly appeared to live a life of luxury, doted on by loving parents, unaware that she was not their biological child, that is until she was orphaned yet again. Might she really have siblings somewhere, siblings that loved and wanted her? My Heart Remembers tells the story of how God used all things for good in the lives of these three siblings, and how they came to know Him as a trusted Father.

     I purchased this book a number of years ago, and it waited upon my bookshelf until May of 2017. God’s timing is always perfect in big and little things. I did not receive this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Rather I offer it to those who are looking for a truly touching read, filled with important life lessons. 

Life After by Katie Ganshert - A Book Review

Product DetailsKatie Ganshert
     Every American thirty years of age or older should be able to relate to Life After, as they recall life after 9/11/2001. Many younger Americans may also be able to relate to life after a number of subsequent national tragedies or life after any personal tragedy. Unfortunately, life means sometimes searching for life after. Fortunately, we have a Lord and Savior who weeps with us and who leads us forward.
     One year later, Autumn Manning, the sole survivor of a train bombing that took the lives of twenty-two others in Chicago, has become obsessed with the lives of those left behind as well as the lives cut short. Her family is concerned that she may never find her way out of all that plagues her, but they cannot understand the guilt that is mounting in Autumn’s core. While her family tries their own intervention, they could never imagine the form in which help would arrive.
     Kate Ganshert tackles the difficult themes of evil that brings pain and loss to people who have done nothing to bring them upon themselves and coping with false, undeserved guilt. She does so with understanding, compassion, and by helping readers gain a more accurate view of God and a more accurate view of themselves.

     Thank you, Waterbrook and NetGalley for providing me a copy of Life After in exchange for my honest opinion, I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

War Party, a Short Story by Marsha Ward - A Review

War Party by [Ward, Marsha]     Marsha Ward

     I appreciate Marsha Ward sharing this story with me, and hope those reading this will appreciate my honest review.
     I have recently read several books and viewed several movies focused on the history of the Cherokee. I found it very interesting to have this peek into the 1872 Battle of Salt River Canyon involving the Apache. Modern day Americans are so aware of the impact of our encroachment on the creatures with whom we share our environment, that it is somewhat beyond comprehension that we were once so callous to the impact of our encroachment on other humans who preceded us into that environment. War Party gives us a glimpse into the impact on both pioneers and those native to the land. While I typically read novels in which the author has time and space to develop characters, I found Ms Ward to be able to engage the reader with her characters within the limited time and space of the short story.

     To be honest, I have not read short stories since I left college. I had my Kindle read this one to me while I ironed, and enjoyed being able to hear a story from start to finish within that period of time. I may look for more short stories in the future as I can see they would nicely help pass the time while doing household chores as my Kindle reads, or time in a waiting room or the school pick up line as I read them to myself. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron – A Book Review

Product Details   Kristy Cambron

     If you loved Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key or Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief you will likely love Kristy Cambron’s The Butterfly and the Violin. Cambron tells the story of Sera James, who runs a Manhattan art gallery, and her quest for an elusive painting that she had viewed as a child. The quest turns into an obsessive search not only for the painting, but for the story of its subject, Adele Von Bron, Austria’s sweetheart, an accomplished violinist. While Sera’s story is lived out in modern day New York City, Adele’s takes place during the Second World War with circumstances that find her transported to Auschwitz. In an effort to heal her own heart, Sera feels compelled to learn whether Adele’s love story ends with life lived with her love Vladimir or with tragedy behind the gates of the concentration camp. This story of picking up the pieces, trusting God, and moving forward following betrayal and loss will wrap it’s arms around the reader’s heart long after the last page is turned.             

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dream of Life by Michael Phillips - A Comment

 Product Details    

Dream of Life is the second book in Phillips’ American Dream series. I finished the book last month, and have been trying to decide how I wanted to review it, but life kept getting in the way, and I was struggling with the words that would do justice by this book. Let it suffice to say that I have recorded twenty-four page numbers inside the back cover that I want to copy quotes from in my reading journal. While Phillips is a master story teller, his works carry meaningful messages that touch both heart and soul.