I received this book from Goodreads Firstreads. Since I liked almost nothing about this book instead of reviewing it, I thought I'd list it's major f I received this book from Goodreads Firstreads. Since I liked almost nothing about this book instead of reviewing it, I thought I'd list it's major flaws and then mention the few things that are ok about it.
1. Never never never name your character after yourself. It's extremely off putting for the reader. Even if it is the character's fake name.
2. I had a real problem with the theology. There was this one part of the book where it was explained that one couldn't have true communion with God unless one was "baptized in the spirit," a.k.a. spoke in tongues.
3. One of my LEAST favorite types of characters in books or films is the Snarky, butt-kickin' tomboy girl. No one tells her what to do cause she's such an independent little spitfire. Please, if you are going to make a tough woman the main character make her less obnoxiously obvious about it. I found myself rooting for something bad to happen to her just to teach her a lesson.
So, I think the story could have been very interesting. It's the story of a princess's return to her kingdom after years of being hidden away, and her eventual fight to take back half of her realm that had been claimed by the outsiders who had taken over from her mother. Naturally, she falls in love with the current ruler of the half that has remained true to her, and there is some amount of tension before they can finally be together. The kingdom she rules is supposed to be a picture of the church I'm guessing because it's in present day era, but not of present day era. That wasn't entirely clear until the end, but that wasn't a flaw or anything. I think I just couldn't stand the protagonist so much that I wasn't exactly cheering her on. ...more
I just finished So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God and I have to say I was very unimpressed. Actuall I just finished So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God and I have to say I was very unimpressed. Actually I was more than unimpressed. I think the book is pretty bad. I recognize that Godly womanhood is under fire in today’s world, but I kind of think Godliness has always been under fire. It’s tough to be a believer. In John 15 Jesus says “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you…If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” As believers, we shouldn’t be surprised that Jesus’s prediction is true. So, yes, being Godly will put you in a position of opposition to the world. So, I appreciate the fact that these girls are questioning things the world takes for granted: “Everyone needs to go to college,” “Independent is the way to be!” “Birth control for at least the first year of marriage,” “Of course women should have their own careers.” All of these things the world, and to a certain extent the church just swallows as truths without much examination. But I feel like the girls made their arguments very poorly. First, a caveat, when I say girls I really mean it. At the time this book was written they were 17 and 19. I think they are thoughtful young women with good hearts and I think they were very zealous for Godly femininity. I just think a few more years would have given them some perspective. I guess I’m more surprised that there were adults in their lives that let them write this sort of thing and put a stamp of approval on it. I think my first clue to the fact that there would be theological problems was when the young authors said, “Many of the answers and solutions we…have found will seem incredibly extreme and drastic. We believe that in a day of extreme apostasy and judgment, extreme measures are exactly what are called for, and that a drastic step in the opposite direction is exactly what we need to take.” First of all, this assumes our struggles are far and away harder than the struggles of any other Christian civilization throughout history. Not true! Also, I’m going to need some biblical proof that the answer to a problem is to take a “drastic step in the opposite direction.” I think there are plenty of directives God gives us as to how to live a wise Christian life and if we just followed them (which is hard enough) we’ll be fine. I don’t think we need to go beyond what God has told us to do. Anyway, the rest of the book is basically rules for living in a way that shows direct opposition to the world. 1. Women must submit to the headship of fathers or husbands; 2. Women should never go to college because every woman who goes to college loses her faith or exits an embittered feminist; 3. It’s best women never work. Ever. But if you must be a “wage slave” work under another Christian woman because male bosses are just RIPE for sexual encounters with their employees; 4. Women must never enter the mission field, unless accompanied by their husbands; 5. Women should never be in leadership positions, not just in the church, which is as far as the bible goes, but in any leadership position ever. Ok, outside of the first rule, obviously there is plenty to make fun of. Like I said, I love when Christians challenge the world’s thinking, but I think where the bible is silent we should be too. The much touted Proverbs 31 woman works publicly and at home. Priscilla and Aquila BOTH were tent makers. God just doesn’t say whether women should or should not work outside the home. The girls did somewhat hesitatingly admit that going to college, getting a job, etc wasn’t actually a sin, but then they proceeded to heap guilt on you about it. Anyway, I guess reading the book made me think I was reading a book written by a conspiracy theorist. They had all these examples of women whose lives fell apart in college or who finally found fulfillment in working at home after trying to find in everywhere else. I don’t deny the truth of those stories. I just have a feeling the Botkin sisters would deny my story or the stories of other women I know who have been through college and/or jobs and made it through with our faith still intact and our lives pretty joyful. They’d probably just say that I was well-intentioned and thought I had it together but I didn’t really. You just can’t argue with someone like that. I would like to know how they would respond when I tell them that due to my college degree I am a better helpmeet to my husband. He actually said it would have been very tough to marry someone who hadn't gone through college. So...hah! ...more
I won this from Goodreads giveaways and I was THRILLED because my husband is Estonian, and I'm interested in WWII (aren't we all) and I have to say t I won this from Goodreads giveaways and I was THRILLED because my husband is Estonian, and I'm interested in WWII (aren't we all) and I have to say this is the first novel about Estonia during WWII I've ever seen. The novel revolves mainly around three characters, Edgar, the protagonist, his wife Juudit, and his cousin Roland. It's actually about Edgar adapting his personality, name, and loyalties to fit whoever was in power at the time, and how he effectively avoids and ultimately silences the two people closest to him who could give him away. He's kind of a disgusting and wicked traitor, but he certainly plays his cards well. Someone else in a review said it was a novel of the futility of resistance to power, and I could see that. It's also a pretty interesting look into the mind of a very bad man. The chapters weave in between the early 1940s and the early 1960s slowly revealing things for the reader in a very gripping way. I was somewhat confused about things which either says something about me being a sort of distracted reader, OR perhaps about the switching of dates or names. Also, I feel like I didn't know ANYTHING about the Soviet and/or Nazi occupation of Estonia and perhaps if I had understood the background a little bit more it might have helped. But anyway, I think it was good. There were a few of "those scenes" for you conservative readers. There is sort of a subplot that maybe Edgar is a homosexual. Certainly his marriage was sexless, so with things like that going on, you will definitely run into some things you might not want to read, but I think overall it was a very good book. The construction is interesting and Edgar is a very well drawn character. It is up for another giveaway right now, and I'd recommend signing up. ...more