Review: Tree

Tree

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Tree is a novel about a tree written from a unique point of view: the chief narrator is a tree. Tree uses magical realism as a key to access the interrelated emotional realities of the many species that share one pristine valley in Topanga, California. Grass, birds, other trees and animals come to life on the pages, while one 19th century Mexican woman and one 20th century school boy, hearts opened by grief and loneliness, come to know one California live oak whose 229 years span the evolution of four human civilizations, Chumash, Spanish/Mexican, Yankee and new money Hollywood, which each leave their mark upon the landscape and upon Tree. The author’s obsessive botanical, scientific and historical research give substance to a world that feels both as real as last weekend’s dust on hiking boots and as mind altering as a fully fledged mystical experience. Take a journey into the heart of the woods where every plant shines: Tree will change how you see nature.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

I have never found a novel that brought to life the world of nature. In this case, Tree, is a journey in which it tells us what happened to life around it. Everything comes, goes, or changes around Tree. Tree gives us a deeper more realistic feeling of being there experiencing all the life, loss, and change as it happened. I absolutely loved the perspectives that the writer,  Melina Sempill Watts gave. Each non-person thing came to life. Giving this book more depth and character. It was hard not to become emotionally attached while reading through the pages. I loved this book, and the ending had me not wanting to let it go. The raw emotion and new look into plants like Tree, had me hooked. Overall, I recommend this wonderful story to all.

 

Review: The Distant Sound of Thunder

The Sound of Distant Thunder (The Amish of Weaver's Creek #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katie Stuckey and Jonas Weaver are both romantics. Seventeen-year-old Katie is starry-eyed, in love with the idea of being in love, and does not want to wait to marry Jonas until she is eighteen, despite her parents’ insistence. So much can happen in a year. Twenty-year-old Jonas is taken in by the romance of soldiering, especially in defense of anti-slavery, even though he knows war is at odds with the teachings of the church. When his married brother’s name comes up in the draft list, he volunteers to take his brother’s place. But can the commitment Katie and Jonas have made to each other survive the separation?

From the talented pen of Jan Drexler comes this brand new Amish series set against the backdrop of the Civil War. She puts her characters to the test as they struggle to reconcile their convictions and desires while the national conflict threatens to undermine and engulf their community.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Distant Sound of Thunder by Jan Drexler gives an insider’s view to the realities of an Amish lifestyle. The people are forbidden to live like the outsiders. Violence is not their way of life. However, a young Amish man wants to serve in the military. But he has decisions to make. He has a young Amish woman waiting for his hand in marriage and he has to follow the community rules. Despite what his community says, young Jonas enlists in the army in his brother’s place. I was amazed at the young man’s courage and bravery. He steps up to serve his country and at the same time manages a way to follow his faith. Jan Drexler offers a clean Christian read full of emotions. I recommend this book to readers everywhere.

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: The Return

Synopsis:

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her. 

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an inspiring tale. It’s also full of hardships, woe, and hope. The book is based off some realistic events from the past. I enjoyed following this historical Christian piece. A group of Christians find themselves in the wilderness. A new land that is just as dangerous as it is good. Indians are nearby. In fact, one Indian will become something more to one of the protagonists. Her faith is questioned. Danger escalates and loss is felt. A massacre happens. Half Indians are slaughtered out of fear by others. Anger and fear make for trouble. One Amish man finds himself in such a predicament. Caleb is half Indian and half Mennonite. Betsy feels protective of her new friend. But Caleb is struggling with what’s happening to his kind. Betsy is hopeful thinking one day, Caleb will be ready to enter her world.  But right now he’s hurt, confused, and not ready. Understanding and relating to each character inside this book was easy. I felt their emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, love, and hope. Kindness played a role throughout the troubled and terrible times. Overall, I would recommend The Return to readers everywhere. Themes of friendship, bullying, and respect are found here. It was a well-written yet engaging read. 

Review: The Second Chance

 

Synopsis:

Award winning author, Christina Paul, presents:

A SECOND CHANCE (First in the Bradford Series)

In this historical novel, set in early 1800s England, a young widow, an enigmatic injured man, a kidnapped woman and a smart-alecky butler come together in a moving adventure full of intrigue, suspense and of course romance.

While Graydon, a lead operative for the Crown, struggles to heal and regain his memory sufficiently to rescue his kidnapped niece, Kathryn wonders whether she can possibly risk trusting again and taking a second chance at love.

Laugh and love along with the characters of A Second Chance and watch as they learn that vulnerability can be the strength, and the most perplexing problems can be overcome with the support and resourcefulness of faithful friends.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

A Second Chance by Christina Paul is by far the juiciest and most addictive historical romance that I have ever read. The leading female character will draw readers in unlike any other. I have finally found a well-rounded leading female who isn’t flawlessly unreal and one who intrigues me more by every sentence. Christina Paul has beautifully captured the historical time period down to every detail. The language and scenes are vivid. Readers will feel as though they were watching the scenes in life than just reading them off the pages. A Second Chance is so much more than just two strangers meeting and given a chance to be together…it is about more than one character, given a second chance at having the life they always wanted but didn’t think they would get. Readers will instantly be pulled into this romantic yet funny tale as it unfolds.

Inside A Second Chance, Christina Paul immediately introduces readers to how women’s lives were so easily controlled by men. In the beginning, not only was one woman forced to love a man she didn’t love but so was that one man forced to love her as well. From there they went on to make a life out of what life tossed their way. Soon, Kathyrn’s life changes once more…this time her husband is gone and she’s left to raise her two boys. Time goes by and they are grown…then life decides to toss another unexpected outcome her way. Kathryn is soon led to a man who is injured badly. Right away, she goes about saving his life. While she helps him get back to health, she finds herself attracted to the handsome stranger. Once he heals, she and her staff find out who he is and what happened. That’s when her life goes from peaceful quiet to chaotic and interesting. Can Kathryn finally find the love she always wanted and what other surprises lay in store? Readers will love this exciting read from the first page and will not part with it until they finish reading it. A hot, sexy, yet sweet story that will forever, sweep readers off their feet. Danger, adventure, and romance await…I highly recommend this fascinating novel to readers worldwide.

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