Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Angel of Forest Hill

I really loved this book! I won't rehash the story line, as you can read that on all the other reviews, but I loved the story line and loved the pace of the book. I started this and finished it in one night. A great Christmas book during a busy season was just what I needed.

I loved that the author didn't sugarcoat the Amish life. I've lived near Amish for decades and I can tell you that they don't live fairy-tale lives. Life is hard and full of hurts for the Amish, same as everyone else. They aren't perfect; and in this story, the mother-in-law's character was all too believable.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Amish fiction or who loves Cindy Woodsmall. It's a nice read!

Thank you to Blogging for Books for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Frayed at the Edge

Fraying at the Edge is the much anticipated second book in The Amish of Summer Grove series. If you haven't read the first book in the series, Ties that Bind,  I highly recommend it, as Fraying at the Edge is not a stand alone book.

We find Ariana and Skylar arriving to their "new" homes...after being switched at birth 20 years ago, they've found their lives uprooted. Ariana, who is firmly Amish; and Skylar, who is a drug addict, both find life as they've always known it spiraling in confusion and angst.

I'm a huge Cindy Woodsmall fan and I enjoyed this book, but I have to say that I found parts of it unbelievable. Ariana's Amish family let her go far too easily. The thought that Ariana's birth father would sue the Amish midwife just didn't come across as strong enough to me as the argument for Ariana's year-long leave.

Also, the author seemed to have forgotten that Ariana was Amish when she was writing the dialogue between Ari and Nicholas. Yes, Ari's theological arguments were there, but her Amish speech and speech patterns were not. She spoke like a seasoned "Englisher" which took away from the book for me.
I thought Skylar's character was well written. Her experiences seemed more true to life than Ari's.
Overall, it was a good book. Not what I anticipated in the sense that it didn't have an Amish feel to it, but I will look for book 3 to finish up the story line. 

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Hope Unfolding...A review

"Sweet" but lacking in true depth for an older mom...

I was expecting a lot from this book, I think...and I didn't get it. The positives- it's an easy read. The cover is beautiful. It's written from a Christian standpoint. I'd recommend it to a new mom. What were the negatives for me? The author sort of "floated around" in her chapters. I didn't feel the chapters were wholly cohesive.  The book lacks depth. Yes, it's encouraging. Yes, it's nice to know I'm not the only tired mom out there who leaves dirty dishes in the sink. But, haven't we read this all before?

There are questions and prayers at the end of each chapter.

I think the book is good enough to pass along to a friend who's a new mom and I pray she is blessed by it.

I received a copy of the book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

When Love Returns by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I'm a huge Kim Vogel Sawyer fan.  I'm also a fan of book series in general because books tend to end sooner than I'd like. Lol

Generally,  you can pick up a book in a series and jump right back into the story line.  For me, I wasn't able to do that with this book. It's been several months since I've read books one and 2, so I read some refreshers. That still didn't prove to be too beneficial.  I feel like I need to start over with the entire series to get the most from this book.  I would not recommend it as a stand-alone book.

Because I enjoy Ms. Sawyer 's wiring style,  I'm going to give it another go.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I loved this book (Sort of...Not Really)

"I'm Happy for You (Sort Of...Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison"

I really, truly wanted to love this book! It has a catchy title and the subject matter is fairly encompassing. I mean, who hasn't compared themselves to their best friend? Or even to a stranger on social media? But, before the end of the first chapter, I was exhausted. 

"I'm Happy for You (Sort Of...Not Really): Finding Contentment in a Culture of Comparison" by Kay Wills Wyma is a book about comparison. We compare ourselves to our friends, our family, random people on the street. We envy others' homes, cars, lives, jobs, bodies...you name it and we envy it and compare "ours" to "theirs".
I admit to having fallen in this trap before and I'm almost certain to fall into it again. But at some point in my walk with God, I learned that it's a total waste of energy to compare myself to others and it isn't pleasing to God. In one particular instance, the author wasted so much energy stressing over her refrigerator that it robbed her of the joy of simply having friends in her home. I'm not faulting her for that, but instance after instance of these comparisons and stressors and envy's totally "wore me out" and I didn't enjoy the book as much as I'd hoped. I also expected more spiritual balance.

If you struggle with comparisons, you may love this book! You may feel a kindred spirit with Ms. Wyma. There are some funny parts to the book. I was thrilled to know I'm not the only one with food wrappers in the car nor laundry in the washer that been washed...three times!

I received my copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion. I have not been compensated in any way. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

In her latest release, Woodsmall introduces readers to Ariana, a young woman of strength and conviction, who upholds the tenets of the faith and community she holds dear. She has a loving family and an adoring boyfriend. Yet the story truly begins 20 years ago, on a night filled with fear and expectation, as Ariana’s mother gives birth to her sixth child in the local Amish birthing center. On the same night, a pregnant English woman passing through the town, unexpectedly goes into labor and rushes to the birthing center to give birth to her daughter, Skylar. The birthing center catches fire...and lives are changed forever. 
What follows is an intricately woven tale of the lives of two young women, living worlds apart, yet undeniably...and unknowingly, joined by that single night. 

I have read every book Cindy Woodsmall has written and am a huge fan. For me, this story line moved too slow and the beginning of the book was a little confusing with all the various characters. I actually started the book over after I was several chapters in, hoping to grasp a better understanding of the story line and its characters. 

Without giving anything away, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending! Ariana's decision...would that truly happen in the Amish culture? It doesn't seem possible to me. 

Regardless, I will be watching for book 2 in "The Amish of Summer Grove" series to continue this journey with Ariana and Skylar. Ariana has some work to do for the Lord and Skylar has some serious healing to do. Will Skylar be able to open her heart and receive it? I'm anxious to find out!

Don’t miss this first book in the Amish of Summer Grove series! Waterbrook Press has been kind enough to offer two copies of this book...FREE...for two of my readers! To enter to win, simply comment on this post. A winner will be chosen on October 3! Good luck!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"When Grace Sings" by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I'm a huge Kim Vogel Sawyer fan, so I was excited to read her latest novel "When Grace Sings". Ms. Sawyer writes with an ease that I truly enjoy. I also love the mix of Amish, Mennonite and English characters in her stories.

"When Grace Sings"  is Book Two in the Zimmerman Restoration Trilogy. The painful secrets and confessions continue! Looks like we'll have to wait for Book 3 to see anything resolved!

The characters are very realistic...Alexa (the B & B owner) runs the gamut from naive to rude; the reporter from arrogant to vulnerable; and is Anna-Grace's fiance respectful, cowardly or both?

I'm still scratching my head, wondering how in the world Anna-Grace and her fiance could have known one another all their lives and she never knew what he truly wanted to do with his life as an adult? How does that happen? Did they not sit on a creek bank together and share their dreams through the years? If this can happen, that he couldn't tell her/didn't tell her, does that mean they aren't meant to be together? I can't wait to find out!

I'm anticipating these answers and more in Book 3! 

Thank you Blogging for Books for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I give this book 4 stars.