Monday, September 28, 2009

Seaside Letters, A Nantucket Love Story by Denise Hunter, Thomas Nelson publisher

This is a about Sabrina. A young woman who falls in love and hides her feelings from the very one who could give her the love she so desperately wants.

I read the first third of the book in one sitting. I was drawn in by Ms. Hunter’s original plot with its many subtle twist and turns. She built the plot up layer by layer with the usual premise of a woman falling in love with a man named Tucker whom she met on line. Nothing different about that, however Ms. Hunter introduces her first twist in the introduction when Tucker approaches Sabrina with an offer. Please help me find the woman I have fallen in love with on line. It doesn’t take long before Sabrina realizes Tucker is looking for her. Sabrina however doesn’t want to be found and does everything she can to stay hidden even as she falls deeper in love.

There were points in the book I wished Ms. Hunter had flushed out a little more, such as Sabrina’s insecurities about her appearance. Also I would have appreciated more details on the background of Sabrina's family and her landlady, mystery writer Renny. Those things would have added more definition and substance to the story and made it more believable. These characters have a profound impact on Sabrina’s life, but the reader comes away knowing little about them. That said I would have no problems reading another book by this storyteller. I am member of Thomas Nelson’s Book Review Blogger.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Plain Promise by Beth Wiseman

Plain Promise is a story of a young Amish widow named Sadie who is trying to rebuild her life after the sudden death of her husband. She has a suitor she has yet to meet face to face. They court each other through letters and Sadie hopes to marry him one day. She spends her days working her small farm and running her shop hoping for the day they will wed. Never seeing how the best laid plans can go astray.

Normally I am not a big fan of romance but I couldn’t resist the tender way Ms. Wiseman unfolded this story. It drew me in and kept me cheering for a happy ending for Sadie.

The author took her time and didn’t take the straight road to romance. I must admit I felt the sting and disappointment of her lead character Sadie when all her hopes for the future seemed to be dashed yet again. Sadie's strong commitment to her faith kept her grounded as she cried out to know the will of God.

Beth Wiseman made the Amish community and their simple life a joy to behold. It is a reminder that God should be the center of our lives.

The book is descriptive, imaginative and at times humorous. I enjoyed the time I spent in Lancaster County and look forward to reading other books by this gifted author.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

While reading a favorite blog I came across Francis Chan’s book. On the side, the blog’s creator placed a little shelf that held books she had read. Crazy Love was one of those books. When I moved my curser over the book I got a peek inside. It was this line of the book that stayed in my heart. “ Sometimes I feel like when I make decisions that are remotely biblical, people who call themselves Christians are the first to criticize and say I'm crazy, that I'm taking the Bible too literally, or that I'm not thinking about my family's well-being”

Wow! His words spoke to the heart of where I am. Encouraged to find out more I did some hunting and found the book and a companion website, Francis Chan made a short video to correspond with each chapter. After the first video which shows the awesome power of God, my heart shifted. I am not trying to be dramatic, but something changed in me. My prayer life changed and I began to go after God with a new sense of purpose.

It was weeks later when I finally purchased the book. It was well worth it. Francis Chan is a man passionate about God. Not just following some religious prototype of a Pastor but a man who questions his own heart and his own devotion to a God who loves beyond understanding. Chan questions why we have a problem taking the words Jesus said literally. His book addresses how we have moved so far away from lives of true Christianity for risk free lives of comfort and safety.

It you really want to seek the God who created the universe this book will put a flame in your heart. Or you will put it down not willing to give to God what is rightly due to Him. If you have become dry or complacent in your faith, or just want more of God read this wonderful, challenging and correcting book. It was written with the warm relentless love of God.