This book is soooo funny! This is the second time I've read it, and it still makes me laugh out loud. It will, of course, be best appreciated by peopl...moreThis book is soooo funny! This is the second time I've read it, and it still makes me laugh out loud. It will, of course, be best appreciated by people who have read the Book of Mormon and will be most enjoyed if read in conjunction with 1 Nephi. :-)
My favorite line in the whole book is this:
1 Nephi 2:8-9 (What Lehi actually said): "And it came to pass that he [Lehi] called the name of the river, Laman ...And when [Lehi] saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying: O that though mightiest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!"
The Plates of Laman 2:20 (What Laman heard): "And it came to pass that in his spare time my father began to give names unto the landmarks in the wilderness, and he did call the river Laman, after me, saying: Laman, be thou like unto this river, continually running, or something like that, for the words of my father did often go in one ear and out the other."
A fresh, new take on the story of Alma the Elder in the Book of Mormon. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Zephaniah and her sister, Sari....moreA fresh, new take on the story of Alma the Elder in the Book of Mormon. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Zephaniah and her sister, Sari. I'm hoping the author will write more about the characters. (Especially hoping for a romance between Sari and Gideon. ;-) )(less)
Farewell, My Denmark, by Tina Peterson Scott, is the story of a group of Danish converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who leave...moreFarewell, My Denmark, by Tina Peterson Scott, is the story of a group of Danish converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who leave their beloved homes in Denmark to travel to America in 1863. What sets this story apart from other LDS Pioneer stories is that, instead of giving us another version of “crossing the plains” to the Utah Valley, it takes place entirely in Denmark and on the ship that brings these new converts to America.
Catherine, the young narrator, receives a conviction in her heart through prayer that immigrating to the United States is what the Lord desires her and her family to do. She sets out in faith, but discovers that faith and conviction do not guarantee an easy path to the goal. Her heart is full of love for her country of Denmark and for loved ones left behind. The journey aboard ship is challenging and sometimes heartbreaking. LDS readers are familiar with stories of mothers and fathers who buried children who died along the trail as they crossed the plains. But what would it have been like to lose a child while confined to a ship in the middle on an ocean? To see a loved one, not buried along the trail, but buried at sea? This book opened my eyes to challenges I had never before considered, faced by Pioneers immigrating from Europe in the 19th Century.
This book is extremely well researched, as attested by the research notes in the back of the book. One feels the author’s love for her Danish ancestors throughout the story. If you are interested in reading a different take on the LDS Pioneer experience, I highly recommend Farewell, My Denmark.(less)
I enjoyed this novel. The main characters were sympathetic and I enjoyed the gentle way they evolved. The one thing I didn't care for was the footnote...moreI enjoyed this novel. The main characters were sympathetic and I enjoyed the gentle way they evolved. The one thing I didn't care for was the footnotes at the end of each chapter. This seems to be a trend in LDS historical novels, but it jerks me out of the story and reminds me that I'm reading a novel, rather than living the world with the characters. I ended up skipping over most of them because I wanted to get on with the story. For me personally, these notes would have been better included by chapter and page in a Notes section at the end of the novel. I would have enjoyed reading them then.
Nevertheless, this is a well told story opening a window to the reader on Maoist China. Not a time period I would ordinarily choose to read on my own, but I read it for the Whitney Awards, and I'm glad I did.(less)
Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston is a delightfully breezy mystery, definitely on the “cozy” side, filled with highly lik...more5 stars for pure enjoyment.
Dearly Departed by Tristi Pinkston is a delightfully breezy mystery, definitely on the “cozy” side, filled with highly likable characters and a wonderful sense of humor. Although the characters are LDS, this aspect is done with a very light touch, keeping the story highly accessible to non-LDS readers as well. Ida Mae Babbitt is an adorable handful, though I admit, my favorite parts were the scenes between obituary writer Eden and her crime reporter cubicle neighbor, Kevin. But that’s probably the romantic in me. (Not that Ida Mae doesn’t get a bit of romance of her own in the end. Oops! Was that a spoiler? I hope not!) I haven’t read Tristi’s first Ida Mae Babbitt mystery, Secret Sisters, but I gather from the context of Dearly Departed that there was a bit of a romance going on in that volume between Eden and Ida Mae’s grandson, Ren. If so, then I’m putting myself down for Team Kevin. (Sorry, Ren, but I don’t know you, and I do know Kevin, and I just liked the heck out of him!) I suppose to be fair, though, I should give Ren a chance and read Secret Sisters. Putting it down on my TBR list!
My favorite line from the book? “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch!” What does it mean? Ah, you’ll have to read the book to solve that mystery, as well!(less)
I'd give this book 4.75 stars, if Goodreads would let me!
Chocolate Roses, by Joan Sowards, bills itself as “A Jane Eyre Parody” for LDS readers. Now,...moreI'd give this book 4.75 stars, if Goodreads would let me!
Chocolate Roses, by Joan Sowards, bills itself as “A Jane Eyre Parody” for LDS readers. Now, I have read Jane Eyre, and have even watched an adaptation on PBS, but both have been a very long time ago. So I’ll be honest…I had to look up a summary on Wikipedia.com to remind myself how the story went. Chocolate Roses can be enjoyed in its own right, but having at least a glancing familiarity with Jane Eyre will heighten your enjoyment even more.
The protagonist of Chocolate Roses, Janie Rose Whitaker, is a wonderfully well-rounded character, as is her best friend and roommate, Flo the Great Dane. (Yes, I’m talking dog here!) This book is full of humor, sure to tickle many a reader’s funny bone, as well as romance and yes (being true to Jane Eyre) unavoidable tragedy. All are handled with a delightfully deft hand that makes this book very hard to put down.
Chocolate Roses is clearly aimed at an LDS reading audience, being chockfull of LDS cultural and doctrinal references. But any church-going reader of any faith will likely find much to relate to here, too.
Summary: One of the best LDS novels I’ve read in a very long time! (less)
"Missing"’s subtitle, "An LDS Mystery Novel", is slightly inaccurate as "Missing" is actually more of a suspense novel than a mystery. We know almost...more"Missing"’s subtitle, "An LDS Mystery Novel", is slightly inaccurate as "Missing" is actually more of a suspense novel than a mystery. We know almost from the beginning who committed the “crime”, but that in no way detracts from the fast-paced twists and turns that await the reader. The heroine, Stacie, is a warm and sympathetic character, while Adrienne, the villain, is so diametrically the opposite that the reader will find great pleasure in wincing at her awfulness and rooting for her defeat.
"Missing" is strongly tilted towards an LDS readership, although anyone enjoying inspirational fiction will enjoy this, too. Some of the terminology, such as “Primary room”, “Relief Society room”, and “Cultural Hall” are distinctive to the LDS culture. Non-LDS readers can easily avoid confusion by understanding that these are simply names of specific rooms in an LDS meetinghouse. (less)
What really grabbed me was the book’s subtitle: "Haunts Haven: An LDS Ghost Story". How many LDS ghost stories are running around on the shelves of LD...moreWhat really grabbed me was the book’s subtitle: "Haunts Haven: An LDS Ghost Story". How many LDS ghost stories are running around on the shelves of LDS bookstores? Until now, I’d have been forced to say “None!” Now, happily, I can at least say, “One!” And Joan pulls it off in a way entirely plausible to an LDS audience. If you’re looking for an LDS novel with an unusual twist, you will want to check out Haunts Haven.
Without taking anything away from the well written action of this book, in the end, I wound up feeling cheated. Why? Because I'd waited eagerly but pa...moreWithout taking anything away from the well written action of this book, in the end, I wound up feeling cheated. Why? Because I'd waited eagerly but patiently through 5 of the 6 books in this series to find out who "the old man" was, and while I won't give the answer away here, I will say that it was a BIG disappointment! If, like me, you've been waiting with bated breath for the "Big Reveal", let your breath out now. Read this book. Just don't expect to be satisfied where this question is concerned.(less)
Too many characters--did we really need to add so many more in volume 5? The flow of the book was jerky, as we continually broke away from one charact...moreToo many characters--did we really need to add so many more in volume 5? The flow of the book was jerky, as we continually broke away from one character's story (at the most interesting point, of course), to spend several chapters on another characters story line, only to break away from that when it became interesting, and move on to a third, etc. By the time we returned to the first character's plot line, who could remember what it was anymore? And did we still even care? The political line was more interesting than the "regular characters" line. Should have spent more time on the former and less on the latter, for this reader.(less)