Seldom do I breeze through a book in less than a day, but, this book I did. Most women could relate to the heartbreak that Ashleigh, the main characte...moreSeldom do I breeze through a book in less than a day, but, this book I did. Most women could relate to the heartbreak that Ashleigh, the main character goes through. Ashleigh isn't too experienced in the dating realm. She goes to a Christmas party and she meets a seemingly nice and normal man named Michael who asks her out, from then on for 2 years they date. Ashleigh imagines that they will get married or live together, even though Michael seems more than comfortable living on his own and he never offers to have her live with him.
Then one day out of the blue on Facebook no less, Asleigh sees that Michael has changed his status to "No longer in a relationship" with absolutely no explanation to Ashleigh. From then on Ashleigh gets out of control trying to get Michael back. She ends up endangering herself, her job, her finances and her sanity while trying to get Michael back. She matures, but, she has to learn the hard way like so many of us women do.
This is chick-lit with a comical twist. It is written by a British author, so some references in the book Americans may not be familiar with. I enjoyed this book and could see my much younger self in some of the things that Ashleigh did or thought. Though, I never got quite as crazy, there were many times I cringed with embrassment for Ashleigh. This book made me think of my single days after my divorce, and it made me appreciate my wonderful husband even more when I remembered all the turkeys out there in the dating world.
I'd definitely read another book by this author. It does appear this is a re-release of a book published in the UK in 2010 by Hodder Ome/Hodder and Stoughton under the same title. I don't know if it has undergone any editorial changes.(less)
This book "Tidewater Inn: A Hope Beach Novel" is the first book I've read from author Colleen Coble. It's the first in a new Hope Beach Series with th...moreThis book "Tidewater Inn: A Hope Beach Novel" is the first book I've read from author Colleen Coble. It's the first in a new Hope Beach Series with the second one "Rosemary Cottage" due out in July 2013. It's a Christian based mystery/romance which uses scripture throughout to make points in the story. This particular book touches mainly on selfishness versus selflessness and with greed versus generosity.
Tidewater Inn's main character is Libby, who has grown-up with an alcoholic, eccentric mother who gave her little stability. Libby has had to struggle to make ends meet all her life, even though she works hard in restoring historic homes. Libby's well-meaning mother told Libby that her father died when she was just five years old. Much to Libby's surprise she gets a call from her friend and co-worker Nicole telling her that she has just inherited a gorgeous old beachfront inn, named the Tidewater Inn on the picturesque island of Hope Beach, from her father Ray. To top it off, Nicole informs Libby that she also has two half-siblings, a brother named Brent and a sister named Vanessa.
While Libby's friend Nicole is on the island waiting for Libby to join her, she sets up a meeting with Vanessa. Waiting for Vanessa to arrive, Nicole is abducted while Libby is watching on a webcam by two strange men. Libby immediately packs her bags and takes off for Hope Beach.
If that's not enough for Libby to deal with when she arrives in Hope Beach, she has to deal with the scrutiny of the local sheriff, as well as, pressure from outside real estate tycoons who are willing to drop 12 million for her inn and the growing resentment and anger of her two half-siblings. The only people that seem to be on her side are her newly introduced aunt Pearl, who is the local Postmistress and Alec the handsome, Coast Guard lieutenant who helps when her borrowed car breaks down. Will Libby find out what happened to Nicole before she's in jail as the prime suspect? Will she sell the beloved Tidewater that her long lost father left to her?
I loved the way the author uses the character's reference to scripture in this book. It seemed to be very realistic and it dealt with real issues that many people face today. This definitely will not be the last book that I read from author Colleen Cobble, I've added the next installment of this series to my must read list. I really like Libby and I found that she was a woman that many women would be able to relate to in some form. Also, this mystery wasn't too easy to solve as in many books of this type, which was a nice bonus.
Overall, I'd highly recommend for fans of Christian romance or Christian mysteries. (less)
To be honest, I passed on this book a few times when it was on my Vine selections. I really don't know why I did. Perhaps, I thought it would be too r...moreTo be honest, I passed on this book a few times when it was on my Vine selections. I really don't know why I did. Perhaps, I thought it would be too real and depressing. For some reason, I went back and selected it, not really sure if I had made the right choice. You see, I haven't been attending a church. I'm a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ as my Savior, been baptized, but, I have been sort of "disillusioned" by organized church congregations, some of which say that if you have "faith" than bad things will not happen to you, or if something bad does happen in your life than there must be some sort of sin or something that you are doing wrong against the will of God. Well, I've never agreed with that and I don't think Job did either. In fact the man who wrote one of the most beautiful hymns "It is Well with my Soul" by Horatio Spafford had so many tradegies in his life and he wrote that song after. I think in a nutshell that song matches this book.
Anyway, in this true book, the author's young son gets diagnosed with leukemia. He and his wife are very active in the church and he is what I would call a leader in the church. He witnesses, he's the spiritual leader in his household, he's basically doing everything good and right, he even witnessed and encouraged people with sick children before by saying have "faith". Of course, it's easy to say "have faith" when your child is healthy, your bank account is full and everything is going your way.
When his own child gets diagnosed with leukemia, he has to reevaluate what "faith" really is. As the author basically says, "faith" is really having the courage to be honest with the Lord and admit your doubt and worries, yet know that for whatever reason, what you are going through is for God's glory, even if it doesn't work out the way you want it to, or even if you don't know why God would allow something. As, he illustrates by scripture through many stories, including the story of Job and the story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha. The author also, uses his own personal thoughts, weaknesses and feelings toward God during this time.
I could really relate to this book. I liked that he told his personal story, without getting too theological. Jesus also always spoke in a simple way, so everyone could understand him. I found this book very accessible to anyone, Christian or non-Christian. Though, I'd highly recommend for Christians to read this book. I loved it.(less)
"The Land of Decoration" I read in one day about a week or so ago. I've been wondering ever since I read it, what I should say in my review in regards...more"The Land of Decoration" I read in one day about a week or so ago. I've been wondering ever since I read it, what I should say in my review in regards to it. The story has really stuck with me. I don't think I've ever wrote a review this long.
This book starts out with the 10 year old protagonist Judith McPhersen. Judith lives with her father in only what could be called a very lonely and dysfunctional house (to put it mildly) in what is described as a very poor & seedy part of town. Judith's father is part of a very fundamentalist religion which they call "Christian". I would have to say a better description of what Judith and her father belonged to would be a fundamentalist cult which focuses solely on religious legalism not, on the saving, freeing grace through a relationship with Jesus Christ as most people that call themselves Christian. Judith's small religious cult is waiting for Armageddon and that is solely what they focus on. They really don't go by any New Testament teachings of Jesus. Their small group of followers are taught that they cannot socialize with anyone who is not part of their group. In turn, Judith is in a sort of self-imposed isolation, with no friends her own age and really no one at all, to share anything with besides herself. Because of this, Judith really has no social skills with children her own age. She's the target of a horrible bully and his gang of followers at her school. The bully, Neil Lewis, is a horrid boy which decides to make Judith the brunt of all his meanness and he initially threatens her life. Judith cannot talk to her distant and seemingly cold father, so she wonders what exactly to do about the bully's threat.
Judith has an imaginative world in her room, that she makes out of disregarded items that she finds in various places. She names it The Land of Decoration (named after the Promised Land described in Ezekiel 20:5-6). One night after Neil Lewis threatens Judith she has a very vivid dream where she is given the choice of 2 mysterious items and the power that each one has to offer. She picks one and the next day she hears a voice telling her that she has the power to work miracles with her Land of Decoration. After several of the things she put into her imaginative town have come to pass she believes anything that she creates in The Land of Decoration will come true in her world.
Are these really miracles that Judith herself creates? That's one of the questions that the book asks. Is the voice in Judith's head Satan, or just Judith trying to rationalize her own actions by playing her own God? Is Judith just mentally ill? Judith herself believes she is directly speaking with God and the author portrays the voice as God. Though, the things that "God" is saying are at times very ungodly. At times I found this disturbing, reading the book as a Christian. Given the fact that Judith and her father are members of a seemingly loveless, legalist cult which distorted the Bible for their own ends and preached false doctrine, I just couldn't believe that it was God that Judith was speaking to.
Speaking as a Christian, what I would want other Christians to know about this story is that Judith and her father are horribly deluded spiritually. Their legalistic cult separates them from all people. They hurt from the lack of a true Christian fellowship and from knowing about the love of Jesus. Judith attaches herself to things and not people emotionally. She and her father seem cold to others as they focus on legalist views of the world and their religion. Judith keeps to herself as she has been separated from the outside world and anyone who is not in their "group". I found this very sad. Though, the story deals with spiritual things to a considerable extent, it didn't effect me negatively as I was reading. I'm kind of at a loss of how to judge it all. At the end of the story the author basically confesses that the voice is not God, and that Judith is listening to the wrong entity, but, the author doesn't reveal it in a distinguishing way to the reader. I'm afraid that someone reading it might be confused about what true Christianity really is. Many of the minor characters in the cult who call themselves Christian are portrayed as selfish, uncaring or uneducated. Though, I could in a way, understand this as they were in a legalist cult full of false doctrine and it shows the dangers of such.
Of the things I didn't like in this story, there is also quite a bit of foul language, though it's mostly in the second half of the book and used when the characters are full of very strong emotion. Also, Judith is ten years old and is portrayed as sheltered and naïve about many things; some of her other classmates seem very much older in the way they sometimes speak. One instance in the book, do 10 year old girls really describe 10 year old boys as "sex on a stick"?
Usually, if there's much foul language in a book, I won't even finish reading it. Though, I have to say by the time the language came into play I was already riveted. I have to say McCleen's writing was fantastic. It really captivated me and I finished this book in less than a day- I left all my housework and just read...yes, it was that captivating! There's so much to think about in this book. This book sure isn't a fluffy read. This is toted as a "novel" which would make one think it's a story you could look to for exhilaration and contentment which isn`t the way I felt after reading it. The ending was bittersweet to a point. There were also some times where I wondered exactly what the author was trying to convey. There's so much to discuss in this book.
This isn't a book that anyone should read in an absentminded moment and I would not suggest it for a younger reader. I also wouldn't tell Christians to avoid this book; read it with vigilance and I'd only suggest to spiritually mature readers. Bottom line is that I really enjoyed this book. It offers plenty of opportunity to discuss what Christianity is and what it isn't and exactly what God requires of us as Christians (though the "Christians" in this book seem to be anything but).
Grace McCleen is a wonderful story teller and she will enthrall you until the very last page. I'd love to read another story from her without the religious undertones. The author herself was also a part of a family who was in the same type of fundamentalist religion when she was growing up. I would gamble that Judith is largely a part of herself at 10 years old. This is a very fascinating and contemplative story, which even if you don`t enjoy it, will at least get you thinking. I'd rate this book a 4.5 star read as it's not often that a book stays with you. (less)