I am so pleased that you have stopped by for a visit. I hope you will enjoy reading my book reviews. If you would be interested in reviewing books on your own blog, check out the links for litfuse and Booksneeze.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

HOW HUGE THE NIGHT by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn - Book Review

About the Munns:

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.

Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.

About How Huge the Night:

Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens. Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.

Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.

Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

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My review:
This story is based on actual events which occurred during WWII. Clearly, the Munns are familiar with the historical background as well as the setting. The story is told from the point of view of the teenagers involved, and gives insights into their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual condition. I found the story to be slow in getting off the ground, and felt that there were too many characters, making it confusing and difficult to follow. The authors are fluent in French, and use a lot of that language throughout the story. I couldn't always grasp the meaning.
I liked how the Munns gave accurate historical details, even including a translation of actual speeches. The events were realistically portrayed. Since I am writing a story based on somewhat similar circumstances, I was looking for more depth and action. Since this is billed as being for teens and young adults, I wonder if it would capture their attention. There is a lot of competition these days from sci-fi, suspense, and thriller novels, but one can only hope that some will gravitate to this book and learn how it was to be a teen in the midst of war, in the 1940's. I didn't find this book a 'page turner', but it was good to read, since we worked with the same mission as the Munns in another part of the world.
This book may be purchased from http://www.amazon.com/ and other retailers. The book is published by Kregel Publishers.
I wish to thank www.litfusegroup.com for providing a copy of the book in return for my honest review.

Monday, May 9, 2011


In a world of upheaval and chaos, we long for peace. But the reality is that there will be no lasting peace on earth until our Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, returns. We are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6),  ever with uplifted heads, full of expectation, for our redemption is drawing near. (Luke 21:28)

The great news is that we as Christians can experience personal peace, here and now.

We can have peace with God. "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)

We can also know the peace of God. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6,7) Being a visual person, here is how I picture this. I come to God with my anxious thoughts, worries, burdens, and concerns, holding them in tightly clenched hands. In prayer I open those hands, raising them to my heavenly Father. He takes the anxious thoughts away, leaving my hands empty. I then lift up those empty hands and receive His gracious gift of peace. That incredible, utterly amazing peace then comes to settle my heart (emotions) and my mind (thoughts). My focus is now on my Lord, rather than on the troubling thoughts. Wonderful!

We can also know something else. What more could there be in addition to peace with God, and the peace of God? Knowing the God of peace, resting our hearts in Who He IS, and not only in what He DOES! "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through..." (1 Thess. 5:23) "Now may the Lord of peace
Himself give you peace at all times and in every way." (2 Thess. 3:16)

There are many other references for all the above, so why not check your Bible's concordance and go deeper in the Word? You will have JOY in discovering truth for yourself.

For a wonderful article, "The Blessing of Shalom", be sure to check out the article from Meet Me in the Meadow by Roy Lessin of Dayspring. Subscribe to the RSS feed for more great writing that will bless your heart.

Monday, May 2, 2011

LADY in the MIST by Laurie Alice Eakes - Book Review

Taken from back cover:

By virtue of her profession as a midwife, Tabitha Eckles is the keeper of many secrets. Dominick Cherrett is a man with his own secret to keep: namely, why he, a British aristocrat, is on American soil working as an indentured servant.

In a time when relations between America and England rest on the edge of a knife, Tabitha and Dominick cross paths, leading them on a journey of intrigue, threats, public disgrace, and . . . love. But can Tabitha trust Dominick? Finding true love seems impossible in a world set against them.
With stirring writing that draws you directly into the story, Lady in the Mist takes you on the thrilling ride of love's discovery.

My review:The first in a new series, The Midwives, Lady in the Mist is set in Seabourne, Virginia, in 1809.The story centres on Tabitha Eckles, a young single midwife following in the steps of generations of midwives. The story is full of romance, secrets, and doubts. Two men vie for her affections, but can she trust either one?
I found it difficult to become immersed in the story until over half way through the book. There were a number of suspense-filled scenes, but just when a chapter ends with a 'cliff hanger', the following chapter follows another line and goes in another direction. I also found it difficult to follow the historical events, but that is perhaps due to an unfamiliarity with the time period, and possibly my background. I am Canadian, with strong British roots.
I was expecting to learn more about the midwives of that period, but the facts that are given were interesting and informative. Perhaps Ms. Eakes will develop this theme in her subsequent novels in the series.
I did enjoy the writing and the descriptions. This was a strong point. I also appreciated how the themes of feeling far from God, undeserving of His forgiveness and redemption, flowed throughout the story without being 'preachy'.
I would recommend this book for historical fiction lovers, especially of the Regency period in America. Although this is not my favourite genre, I did appreciate the opportunity to read and review the book.
About the author:
The role of midwives in history began to fascinate Laurie Alice Eakes in graduate school, and she knew that someday she wanted to write novels with midwife heroines. Ten years later, after several published novels and a National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency, the midwives idea returned, and Lady in the Mist was born. Now Laurie Alice writes full time from her home in Texas.
To find out more about the author, go to http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com/.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".