Ce livre était fantastique! What does that mean, exactly? The translation is, "this book was fantastic," in French. I have never read any books by TraCe livre était fantastique! What does that mean, exactly? The translation is, "this book was fantastic," in French. I have never read any books by Tracy Groot before, but this book has made me a fan. I loved this novel and could not stop reading it. I have a "thing" for WWII fiction and for stories where people resist their oppressors by refusing to be like them. There were a number of times while reading this novel that my eyes welled with tears. I sensed the hope, sacrifice, and redemption themes coming up in the plot, and I experienced them within the pages of this book. Sometimes the littlest things bring perspective to everything else. When Krista found the blessing in the fact that a guard had enough compassion to assist her in helping her give a person being tortured a drink of water, I was moved by that scene. In the midst of horror, one can still see the hope that lives in believers, and people are drawn to it. Krista saw that traumatic job as a ministry. I can't imagine...
C'est les horreurs de guerre. That's the horrors of war. I found many of the situations in this book quite convicting, and I am glad the author didn't water those situations down. When Tom asked Brigitte about the hardest part of the war and she said, "the hunger," it made emotion rise in my heart. She described it so well. We take so many things in life for granted. Many of us think having no extra money after we pay our bills is hardship...not! Anyway, I loved the heartfelt way the author penned this story and how she didn't soften the pain that the characters went through. I grew attached to a number of them and was sad when they were no longer part of the story. Even the hardest of hearts could be softened by the right situation.
The reason this book is making my favorite fiction list has to do with the fact that the novel made me think about my life and about what I would do in similar situations. Though the characters were brave because they fought for France, I could see the spiritual alignment to the many martyrs for the faith over the centuries. The love story was also quite beautiful. I loved how Brigitte was used to show Tom that there is still a person beneath one of the most offensive professions. I loved the change of perspective and thought about how hard times can bring out the best and worst in people. Ironically, the next book on my to-read list is a story of Rahab. Since this one was an "impressionistic retelling" I've been prepared for a wonderful experience, I'm sure. Again, loved this story! Very realistic and heart-wrenching. A must-read for 2012....more
The Best Friend is a teen novel that many girls can identify with. I recall the days when true friends were hard to come by and everyone wanted to runThe Best Friend is a teen novel that many girls can identify with. I recall the days when true friends were hard to come by and everyone wanted to run with the in crowd. The author captures this well. She also shows how distorted perceptions and half-truths can alienate real friends, plus they can create rifts between people that are hard to bridge. On the other hand, the author shows how Christian friends can wrap around the hurting teens and loved them back into the fold. Plus, God can even use the person who strayed off the path to lead another person into the fold who would never have been reached any other way. God uses even our mistakes to work His will in this world. Lots of good lessons and themes in this book. I have to say that I wasn't fond of Lishia for most of the book, and Riley I have never been fond of. That girl is a mess. But the bottom line is there is a good message about friendship in this story that will reach teens, and it shows how confession really is good for the soul. I enjoyed the book and read it straight through. ...more
Well this is a favorite for me this year. I didn't want to do anything but read this book. The love story was tender and the mystery of the house wasWell this is a favorite for me this year. I didn't want to do anything but read this book. The love story was tender and the mystery of the house was downright creepy. The thing I liked about this story were the spiritual elements because there was truth in what the characters said. You can't dabble with spirits. There are no such things as good spirits, but only demons cloaked in whatever you want them to be so they can get close. That gave me the shivers. Anyway, there were a lot of good nuggets in the spiritual thread of the book.
I also appreciated the theme of grief and loss and all of the points the author brought out in the process of showing it. I loved how you were in the heroine's head and coping as if you were the person grieving. There were a number of times when I got teary myself. Like when she visited her deceased husband's parents, and when she painted the surprise at the camp. The emotion expressed in the story was deep and believable.
Of course, my favorite character was the hero, though the heroine was very likable as well. The hero cared about others to the point where he'd set his own needs aside at times. I loved how he sometimes felt selfish himself because of his feelings for the heroine. I also loved how honest he was in his thoughts regarding his attraction to her. But the best part about him was that he loved deeply and that he was so tenderhearted. The fact that he was handsome, yet imperfect, was the icing on the cake.
The bottom line is that I loved this book and I think it's Tracey's best contemporary novel to date. I was enthralled with the plot and the characters. This book had all the tension of a Dekker novel, but with a deeply romantic and emotional thread that only a woman can write in a way that women understand best. Fantastic story! It's making my best fiction list for 2012....more
Okay, this book was completely amazing from start to finish. In fact, of the eight novels of Marylu Tyndall's that I've read, this is my absolute favoOkay, this book was completely amazing from start to finish. In fact, of the eight novels of Marylu Tyndall's that I've read, this is my absolute favorite. Not only was there plenty of realism and romance, but there were a lot of insightful comments about faith, slavery, surrendering to God, the meaninglessness of worldly riches, etc. But you could also see how difficult it was for some of the characters to forsake the physical comforts in life.
The lure of wealth is powerful and can snag the hearts' of even the best of people. Not to mention that when you have things of the world filling your heart, there is no room for a close relationship with God. But like a true Gentleman, God steps back and waits for us to see that we miss Him and need Him in our lives. Sometimes He sends a messenger to us, or He speaks in that still, small voice. There were so many deep and profound spiritual truths in this story I could go on and on. This story totally wow'd me.
I am a sucker for a good historical romance as well. Not only does the author deliver a satisfying read with plenty of historical content to bring you to another time and place, but she skillfully shows how love can develop and grow in the most unlikely situations, and how this can change a person's world, literally. I was feeling the depth of their love in this book and it was beautiful to experience with them. Not to mention those kisses they shared were heart-melting and powerfully written. The self-sacrifice of the heroine really moved my heart as well. More than once I got that familiar lump in my throat and wanted to sigh.
I was totally enraptured by the story and fell in love with the characters. One of the points I really loved in this story was how manipulating to win a man's heart often drives him further away. At least that's true if he is a good man. This is especially true if the person doing the manipulating has no concern for those she hurts. That true beauty coming from the inside of a person was a powerful theme in this book. It was evident by a woman's actions, not just her outward appearance.
The authors conclusion at the end was pretty profound and I loved it! I also loved how the author showed that loving the unlovely as Christ loves us tends to confound evil people. It may not make them change, but it does make an impact on them.
Anyway, the romance was scorching hot (for an inspirational novel) because I felt their passion for life and for each other. That was very well done. I truly cared about what happened to them. And true to the author's style, she kept me hanging on to the end. I didn't skim a single page of this book, but savored it all. I highly recommend it. ...more
More like 4.5 stars, but still an excellent read. I loved how the author had the character's dialog so unique and well done that I could hear their voMore like 4.5 stars, but still an excellent read. I loved how the author had the character's dialog so unique and well done that I could hear their voices in my head while they spoke. Each character had a distinct voice and way of thinking. That made this book stand out from others. Plus, it wasn't boring. Just being honest here. While the story itself isn't exceptional in the sense that it's not very unique, it still made me smile and had plenty of redeeming qualities. The spiritual arc in the story was one of them. And the sister being blind made me think of Mary from Little House on the Prairie. Just sayin'.
I also enjoyed the romance. It was interesting reading alternating perspectives from two different groups of people finally intersecting about three quarters of the way through the book, and at the same time it seemed to take away from the main story. Not sure how else to explain that. At any rate, the romance was sweet and tender, the hero was admirable and appealing, and the younger sister was just precious in how she said what she was thinking without worrying about propriety. I found that adorable and her older sister's love touching. The heroine was stronger than she realized and sometimes being less dependent helps that strength come out. All in all, a solid read and one I would recommend without hesitation. ...more
More like 4.5 stars but close enough to five to round up.
I really enjoyed this story and read it quickly. The writing was good and the style easy to fMore like 4.5 stars but close enough to five to round up.
I really enjoyed this story and read it quickly. The writing was good and the style easy to follow, yet rich with language that evoked emotion. The prologue alone was enough to choke me up. Then the story launched into various dramatic situations that made me think about a few Little House on the Prairie episodes. Daniel was a sweetheart, but he had some maturing to do. I couldn't help pitying Mary's situation and how much responsibility she had, but at the same time I could see how much she needed her family to help fill that gap in her life that couldn't seem to ever be filled.
The spiritual and emotional ARC was well done for a number of characters including Mary's younger sister. I liked seeing her growth and also watching Daniel mature into a young man that could be trusted. The situation with Mary's dad was sad, but there was a lot of truth in what he said about our days being numbered. It's easy to forget that we won't all live to a ripe old age, but there is nothing we can do about that. Anyway, I liked watching this couple slowly rebuild their relationship, and witnessing Mary learning to trust Daniel again. It was a heartwarming story with a sweet ending. The best part was it never bored me but kept me reading. These days I am easily bored, so that's a clear sign that this novel is a good book....more
Homefront Hero had a lot of realism in it. I found the knitting theme and the promo done to get people knitting socks for soldiers to be a cute themeHomefront Hero had a lot of realism in it. I found the knitting theme and the promo done to get people knitting socks for soldiers to be a cute theme and an interesting way to bring the hero and heroine together and make them have a reason to have physical contact. I loved how they didn't like each other at first, but at the same time were attracted to each other. This theme is not uncommon in romances, but the author did a great job showing those walls coming down between them. In fact, that was the best part of the book. I felt the hero's discouragement over his body not healing as planned, and his faith journey seemed genuine as well. There was a stronger faith message in this book than in many Love Inspired novels, and I appreciated that. The horrors of war and the influenza epidemic at the time caused a lot of people to seek spiritual truths where they may not have cared otherwise. All in all, this was a good book. At first I wasn't sure how the author would draw me in and keep me there, but she did it with the romantic tension and the knitting themes. I enjoyed this story and read it in less than two days....more
As someone else mentioned, I'm a bit sad to see this series end. I've enjoyed each novel and experiencing the romantic conflictsMore like 4.5 stars.
As someone else mentioned, I'm a bit sad to see this series end. I've enjoyed each novel and experiencing the romantic conflicts therein. This story was especially sweet because of the little boy, Levi. He had so many cute phrases and his excitement over everything was quite contagious. I found Nick's affection for the child quite precious, and if I were a single mom, that relationship alone would melt my heart. Oh, and the hero, Nick, with the "lethal" blue eyes held my heart early on. I enjoyed the emotional ups and downs with this story and watching Lilly grow over time. She was a real stinker at first because she was stubborn and fearful over everything, but she did learn to let go of trying to control all aspects of her life and always protecting her heart. She was rewarded for learning to trust God with her circumstances and trusting Nick with her heart. It was a beautiful thing to behold when she finally allowed herself to let Nick into her heart to stay. Those yummy kisses were breath-stealing, too. The author really knows how to write a fun and enjoyable romantic beach read. I enjoyed spending time at Lake Manawa and experiencing love with each of these characters. I highly recommend this series....more
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy reading about the time period...pretty much every time I get a book set during this part oMore like 4.5 stars.
I enjoyed this book as much as I enjoy reading about the time period...pretty much every time I get a book set during this part of American history. Oh, and the Chicago World's Fair is a great setting. Having recently been to Chicago and driven down Michigan Avenue, I found that quite intriguing as well. Of course, throw in an orphanage and people who help them, and you've got me hooked. I love stories were people of means sincerely care for the poor and don't help them out of duty. Lucy was a great character when it came to her compassion. The same went for Will. And I just plain felt sorry for Daniel. If you read the book, you'll see why.
The love part of the story was slow in coming, but it was nice and satisfying when it finally happened. There were a number of other elements in the story that were nice twists and turns to the plot. I was worried for the characters as well. And Charlotte's secret... well, let's just say my heart still hurts for her situation. Maybe she'll find love in another book with a certain servant named Archie? Of course, there is that legal issue and the fact that she is hiding for safety reasons that sort of puts a snafu in that plan. But authors can do amazing things in fiction and I'm looking forward to seeing what Ms. Newport cooks up next. ...more
There is just something about forbidden love that draws me to the story every time, especially when it has to do with Native Americans and the many prThere is just something about forbidden love that draws me to the story every time, especially when it has to do with Native Americans and the many prejudices they suffered over the years. There was little to compromise when it came to love. If you married you either lived with the tribe and were persecuted, or you lived among the whites and were persecuted. At any rate, I find many historical battles quite fascinating as well as the way different cultures saw things such as marriage, family, and God. The part where the massacre took place was terrifying and I felt the horror of it. But I also saw what Meeker did to provoke the situation in the first place.
This book intrigued me because of the plot and conflict and I read it quickly. The beginning was fairly traumatic and I couldn't help loving Jessie as a result. He suffered a lot over the years that it was easy to see why he was distrustful of people. I could also see the draw Shiloh felt toward him. There was something very passionate about Jessie that made me care about him. I also cared for Shiloh and appreciated her heart for people who were in unfortunate circumstances. The characters were well drawn out and the conflict kept me reading. And those ardent, searing kisses... whew! Kathleen Morgan sure knows how to stoke a romantic fire in her novels. This was a very enjoyable read!...more
This novel was compulsively readable and I found myself lost in the story... and sometimes scared silly. So maybe it's not a good idea to read some ofThis novel was compulsively readable and I found myself lost in the story... and sometimes scared silly. So maybe it's not a good idea to read some of these scenes at night. Just sayin'. Anyway, I loved the mystery/suspense themes within the story and the insight into a PK's mind. I also loved how Sam was a bit nuts and how he did so many brave things as a result. At his core, he was a good guy who cared about others. You have to admire a hero like that, even if what he did sometimes seemed pretty DRAGNET (you have to read the book to get that insider joke.)
I read this story in two sittings. I had to know what was going to happen next and if I hadn't needed to sleep I would have read it straight through. It was pretty freaky being in Jennifer's head at times. When she hailed "Sam Hopkins" as her magic friend and when she got spooked, I got spooked, too. There was a scene where she was almost lucid and asked why God allowed her brain to have a mental disease that was quite touching. She really did have a true friend in Sam Hopkins. Everyone needs a "Sam" in their lives.
One of the things that I found most compelling about the story itself was the message that people aren't always what they seem. And to assume someone is a good person just because of the role they have in society and the way they act in public is not a good thing, because we all have our private lives and sometimes people who look "good" on the outside have ugliness inside of them that's hidden. It seemed to me that part of what Jennifer suffered from was exposure to demonic activity.
At any rate, this was an intense read, but I enjoyed it and I'm not one to love scary books. Being inside the mind of a sixteen-year-old boy was kind of fun too. This is making my favorites list simply because I couldn't put it down and I loved the message in the book. Klaven has a new fan in me, though I'm still easily scared. Just sayin'....more
I can't say which story I enjoyed more, because this book was as wonderful as Mistaken Identity, if not better. I loved the redemption theme and seeinI can't say which story I enjoyed more, because this book was as wonderful as Mistaken Identity, if not better. I loved the redemption theme and seeing how someone so lost in worldly ways ultimately found it an empty life, and then seeing the challenges she faced with her boyfriend once she realizes she'd taken the wrong road. How awful it would be to work with battered women and then find yourself in a similar situation. That was well done. I've worked with a number of gorgeous teens and young women who felt trapped with their boyfriends. The author showed this well and also showed how conflicted they feel when the boyfriend is remorseful. Even better, this story illustrated how true Christians can impact others' lives if they are faithful friends without a hidden agenda. A lot of patience was required to deal with Lexi, but you could see her heart changing in this book, and that was something to behold. I found this novel very inspirational and hard to put down. I read this book in two sittings. I didn't want to go to bed and got as far as 96%, but I had to go to sleep or I wouldn't have enjoyed the ending so much. So, for an entertaining, informative, and emotional read, try Shattered Identity. You'll be glad you did, especially if you need insight into the mind of someone who has been pulled into an abusive relationship and how confusing that can be for them. You don't have to be a young adult to enjoy it, though for a time I found myself reminiscing about those days, which is half the fun of reading YA books....more
I rarely buy books, but saw this in a Barnes and Noble while on vacation two days after the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, so I picked itI rarely buy books, but saw this in a Barnes and Noble while on vacation two days after the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking, so I picked it up. I read the prologue and was immediately drawn in by the tragic opening and decided I must read the rest of the book. I have a fascination with the Titanic's sinking and that whole tragedy anyway, so I couldn't resist the urge and ended up buying it. I'm so glad I did. I read the book in two days and enjoyed it very much.
There were so many things to like about this story. The author did a great job with setting and making me feel like I was there on the ship. Amelia was compassionate and a very likable heroine. The brothers were both endearing in their own ways. I felt pity for the father and his pain from not knowing the well-being of his youngest son. I loved how the author had written a parallel story similar to the prodigal son from the New Testament. Some of the dialog was even the same. That part of this book was particularly moving and brought tears to my eyes. Which one of us hasn't felt worthy of someone's love and forgiveness at some point in our pasts? The emotion of the characters as they dealt with repentance and forgiveness was very touching as was the way Amelia ministered to Quinton's spiritual needs.
The thing that intrigued me most about this story was not knowing which brother was going to come out as the survivor in the end. Not only that, but I was anxious about who was going to live and who was going to die other than the well-known passengers like John Jacob Astor. The description of the passengers' trauma following the sinking was well done. I can't imagine the survivor's guilt many of them must have felt. Each brother had special traits that the heroine loved, but she had to choose who would hold her heart in the end. At times I even fluctuated on who I thought that should be. This was a heartwarming story with a very satisfying ending. The romantic elements tugged on my heart strings as well. Highly recommended....more