Literary Insights

Literary Insights: A Book Lovers Review

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Prayer Box (A Carolina Heirlooms Novel) by Lisa Wingate

            On the run from a powerful, abusive ex-husband, Tandi Jo Reese finds refuge in a deserted caregiver’s cottage on Hatteras Island. The locals assume that she’s there to take care of the main house, and they offer her friendship and support. This novel paints a picture of how God works in the details of our lives, of how one woman's selfless acts and prayers changed lives in a small town where she was actually despised and mistreated. Instead of bitterness, her love for her Heavenly Father guides her heart to loving and praying for others. Her relationship with her Father in heaven is revealed through the letters she has written and kept in boxes, found after her death.

           The Prayer Box is an interesting story on family ties, redemption, and of allowing oneself to be swept up into a river of grace regardless of one's past.  In the end, perhaps it's also a testament to the fact that maybe, sometimes you really can go home again.

             Lisa Wingate’s easy storytelling about faith, the healing power of love, and how both are often found in unlikely places. The message was excellent and although, a great ending, it took too long to get into the heart of the story.

            A well told story of redemption and hope I would recommend this book for book clubs, or just an easy read on a lazy weekend.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother's Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace By Terri Roberts, Jeanette Windle

After a son does the unthinkable, how can a mother go on? Forgiven recounts the events of October 2, 2006 and the Nickel Mines Schoolhouse shooting in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. A gunman, entered an Amish one-room schoolhouse, shot ten girls, killing five, and then finally taking his own life. This is his mother's story. Not only did she lose her precious son through suicide, but she also lost her understanding of him as an honorable man. It was a trauma that none should ever have to face.
Forgiven is the true story of a man who was raised in a good Christian home, seemed to have a great life going for him, and then without any warning, walked into an Amish schoolhouse, ordered all the boys and teacher out, and shot the girls, killing 5 of them. The biggest headlines came when her Amish neighbors did the unimaginable, reaching out to the family of the shooter with comfort and forgiveness.
No one could have foreseen the love and friendship that have been forged from the fires of tragedy. To know that after trying your best to raise a son to be a good husband, good employee, good man, you find yourself having to live through the unimaginable.
 Forgiven is  a story that recounts real lives living the truth of the bible in the best way they know how and is a testament to the difference that Jesus Christ makes in the real world.
I recommend Forgiven though caution advised: You will need a box of Kleenex to get through this story of a mother’s love and a remarkable story of grace. Forgiveness is sometimes a journey and it is not always easy, but without forgiveness one cannot heal.

Received copy of book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my review.
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Bronte Plot

Lucy lives in a world of books and antiques and it is very Jane Austen.  At the very beginning of a relationship which could possibly be the "one" her slightly unorthodox methods of handling business puts her future in jeopardy not just with James but with Sid her boss and mentor whom she adores.

An unexpected business trip to England with Helen who is James's grandmother brings the whole to crisis point. Helen has secrets of her own. Secrets which she has kept for sixty years and her choice of Lucy as a companion is no random choice. As the story of both Helen and Lucy unravel, will they both find peace the way they each want and will James ever forgive her.

This is a tale surrounding literature that in the end is about leaving the past behind and moving toward the future. This is a great introduction to some of English literature's finest works and perfect for a book club selection. A delightful story, the literature, the conversations about literature and the literary places they visited in England.  The only drawback is that the main character’s romance was non-existent, especially in light of the story being about books on romance, but still a good read.

I received a digital copy of this book from  Thomas Nelson-Fiction  through Net Galley for my review.    

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Monday, November 2, 2015

For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards by Jen Hatmaker

        Jen Hatmaker has wisdom, wry humor, no-nonsense faith, liberating insight, and a fearless honesty that has made her books read by women worldwide.

           I find that Jen Hatmaker's audience must be made up of mainly a younger audience and for me is lacking in real substance. For the Love mainly is humorous, easy to read in small snatches, and occasionally makes a great point of practical theology. This book does not seem to be about finding how to primarily apply the grace to ourselves and others secondarily, only the author’s experience in how she responded to life circumstances.

           Jen Hatmaker reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. The cover makes a claim by reading this book you will read about how to reclaim your prophetic voice and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world. For the Love falls short on this point. The book was full of should and shouldn’t with very little actual Scripture used. For the Love really is a collection of essays written on different topics like church folks, self-care, marriage, kids, Netflix, and difficult people. I would recommend this book if you are interested in a good read for some light yet inspiring Christian humor, it does not really show how to “fight for grace.”

          I received a digital copy of book from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.

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