Mary Lynn and Jackson Scoville have worked hard to make their way into the company and approval of Charleston's elite, as well as give their three a gMary Lynn and Jackson Scoville have worked hard to make their way into the company and approval of Charleston's elite, as well as give their three a girls a life filled with opportunities and privilege. Mary Lynn has recently returned to the faith of her childhood, and she now longs for her husband to know God. When she asks for prayer for her husband during a church service, she has no idea that her hard-work towards social status is about to get rearranged! When Jackson embraces his new found faith, he's ready to go all out! He starts befriending the homeless who wander the streets in Charleston, and begins to evangelize to the town, embarrassing Mary Lynn and their girls. Will Mary Lynn be able to handle her husband's radical faith, or is this just a glimpse of the rocky lifetime ahead of her?
I have to say that I loved this book for so many reasons. First, it introduces my beautiful Charleston and paints a perfect picture of the city's very southern and very elegant traditional lifestyle.
Second, the author presents the purpose of every Christian in a way that shows the radical faith we should have, while doing it in an almost humorous and ironic manner.
As a Charleston native, I actually cracked up when I read the premise of this book. Why? Because the very conflict let me know I'd be in for a ride!
The first portion of the book does seem to be a bit slow as it fills with more back-story, narration and description than any immediate scenes. None of these bog the story down or make it boring, though. In fact, I feel like these elements are important to help build up to the coming conflict in the story.
You see, Charleston is a unique culture in itself, but the elite and current high-society who reside in Charleston is another sub-culture entirely. Beth Webb Hart has done an excellent job in giving readers an intriguing first-hand look at the exclusive culture that belongs to Charleston's high-society. I've strolled down the Battery many-a-time and stared at the houses, knowing their lifestyles of the owners were very different than mine.
The Christmas scene at St. Phillip's Church, is in my opinion, filled with exquisite description and detail of how we decorate for the season. I absolutely loved this scene!
Again, I have to say I love the premise of this story. The faith element is so strong and wonderful--especially since these are the subjects I've been studying myself . . .and even wondering for months now what I can do to impact my beautiful Charleston for Christ.
For those who enjoy studying the Radical series by David Platt, you will love this book. For those who enjoy reading about Charleston, you too, will love this book. And for those who enjoy both, you will devour this charming tale!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Thomas Nelson, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Susannah leaves her home in Detroit to head to the Dakota territory as a mail-order bride for her minister's brother, Jesse Mason. Upon her arrival, DSusannah leaves her home in Detroit to head to the Dakota territory as a mail-order bride for her minister's brother, Jesse Mason. Upon her arrival, Dakota is nothing like she expects. Even worse, marriage demands far more than she expected. Shy and wounded, she believes Jesse could never lover her.
Jesse is patient with Susannah, waiting until she learns to love him. They grow to love each other. Then a locust plague wipes out their crop. With few options left, Jesse leaves to find work in the growing towns. Somehow he ends up in Fort Lincoln, and things continue to get worse. Will Susannah and Jesse ever be able to rekindle their new found love?
I initially found myself excited about this book. My excitement, however, soon diminished as I began to read the book. I'm not sure if it's the author's voice or the writing itself, but I found this book a very hard read. It became entirely too confusing at times. The proportion in this novel proved to be an issue. Some scenes were so fast-paced, jumping from one location to the next--or from one action to the next--that it became near impossible to discern what was taking place or even form a solid idea of the story itself. Some events needed to be slow-placed to build important tension, yet they were glossed over some much so that one had to wonder what just took place.
The dialogue lent much confusion as well. At times it became difficult to know who was speaking as character reactions and actions had been placed with the wrong dialogue.
The conflict itself seemed too devised and unnatural, almost forced. Arguments often sprung out of nowhere, the heroine's past hurt didn't seem to justify her current state of mind, and it seemed like the stakes were never high enough to make me understand the true conflict.
I wish I could have enjoyed this story, but overall, I found it very difficult to do so.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, through Bookneeze, for the purpose of providing an honest review of the material. ...more
Siri Mitchell's newest novel, She Walks in Beauty, is another fabulous read.
In 1891, during the Gilded Age of New York City, Clara Carter's strict aunSiri Mitchell's newest novel, She Walks in Beauty, is another fabulous read.
In 1891, during the Gilded Age of New York City, Clara Carter's strict aunt moves into the Carter home to train her for her upcoming debut. Clara is thrown into a world of strict etiquette and constant devotion to appearance. Her aunt and father expect her to capture the hand of the heir to the De Vries, a family of wealthy Knickerbockers, in order to regain their long lost fortune--even if it means becoming rivals with her best friend. When family secrets begin to unravel, Clara will have to decide if the social expectations placed upon her is worth the cost of relinquishing her own desires.
As with her other historical novels, Siri Mitchell does another fabulous job of bringing to light the less appealing aspects of the era that are so often over looked. The reader can see the role placed upon women in the wealthy Victorian society and feel a certain kinship as the rigorous expectations draw a contemporary parallel to the albatross placed upon women in today's world.
Siri Mitchell immerses her readers into the Gilded Age with her outstanding skill for capturing detail. Her ability to awaken the reader's senses allows a rare experience that will leave the reader hearing the ball music and seeing the splendor displayed in the era.
She Walks in Beauty is a rare novel that brings the Gilded Age to a whole new level in the reader's mind....more
In 1872, in a country attempting to restore their lives devestated by the Civil War, sixteen widows join the Ladies Emigration Society with the promisIn 1872, in a country attempting to restore their lives devestated by the Civil War, sixteen widows join the Ladies Emigration Society with the promise of obtaining free land in the Nebraksan territory. Upon their arrival, the women learn the true purpose of the Society--a money-hungry man established it to bring them to the territory as brides. Five of these widows refuse to become brides and choose to forge their own way in the harsh Nebraskan land. What unfolds is a story of new beginnings, new friendships, and new battles that will force the women to confront areas in their lives they would rather not face.
Sixteen Brides is an outstanding read. Stephanie Grace Whitson does an amazing job of authoring a five-protagonists story. She weaves their lives together, and creates such a strong bond of friendship among these very different women that the reader feels included among this group of ladies who chose independence and hard work to obtain their dream.
Whitson not only creates vibrant characters, but she brings the Nebraskan territory to life, as well. Her description of the land, and knowledge of frontier homesteading meshes together to endear the land to the reader.
Sixteen Brides is a book you will not want to skip....more
Whenever I read any of Tamera Alexander's novels, I always know that I can expect an amazing story. Her newest novel, Within My Heart, exceeded thoseWhenever I read any of Tamera Alexander's novels, I always know that I can expect an amazing story. Her newest novel, Within My Heart, exceeded those expectations in so many ways.
Rachel Boyd, a young widow, has tried to avoid the town physician for the last two years. Her father had been a physician, and she's seen the arrogance of his kind. Dr. Rand Brookston has spent the last two years trying to get the people of Timber Ridge to trust him--especially Rachel Boyd. When an unexpected event thrusts them together, will he be able to penetrate through her barriers?
Within My Heart is not like any of Mrs. Alexander's previous novels, as its pace is a little slower. Yet, every word in this story is worth it. What makes this novel stand above any of her others, is the deep, complex emotions that run through the story. In fact, this novel has thought-provoking issues that will tug at your heart long after you've placed this book back on the shelf.
Mrs. Alexander does a masterful job in wrapping up the conflict presented throughout the entire Timber Ridge Reflections series. She has created conflict, not just with major characters throughout the series, but minor ones, as well. By the time you reach the last page, no question is left unanswered.
This book is a must-read. Its deep content offers spiritual insights to answers every person has sought after, at one point or another, in their own life. As human beings who have been touched by the Fall, we mourn. But the story Mrs. Alexander pens is one of hope, that helps us focus on what lies beyond, not just in this life, but in the next.
This story is one you will not want to skip. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel your heart pounding against your chest, and you will hope, in this unforgettable story....more