"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Books

Beloved Hope by Tracie Peterson -- second book in the Heart of the Frontier series; a book about Grace, Hope, and Faith, sisters who traveled west.   In this book Hope deals with the trial of the Indians who attacked the mission.  Since I saw this on the new books shelf, I figured I'd read it since I read book one earlier this year 

Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini -- I must be on a historical novel kick lately.  This book is about the formerly enslaved woman Elizabeth Keckley who paid for her emancipation - and her son's - by her lovely work as a seamstress.  Later she made dresses for several prominent women among them Mrs. Abraham Lincoln!

An Appetite for Violets by Martine Bailey -- I saw this book while looking for a Jo Baker book in the library. It's the story of an under cook named Biddy Leigh. Biddy being short for Obedience...her dad liked odd names.  The book begins with the master's new bride arriving, and later the mistress selects Biddy to accompany her to various cities in England, France, and Italy.  There Biddy finds out why she was chosen, and it becomes much more interesting during that part of the book so I won't spoil it.  At first I wasn't sure if I liked this book as it took some time for me to get interested, but it turned out pretty good so I'm glad I stuck with it. 

Paper Roses by Amanda Cabot -- first in the Texas Dreams series; Sarah and her little sister Thea leave Philadelphia to make a new home in Texas. There they live in a town made of German and French settlers.  Pretty good story.

Scattered Petals by Amanda Cabot -- second in the Texas Dreams series; Sarah's fiancé's former inlaws travel from Boston to take part in Clay's wedding, but a stagecoach robbery upends those plans.  Patience settles in Ladreville, Texas, and faces challenges connected to this trip from the East to Texas.

Tomorrow's Garden by Amanda Cabot -- final book in the Texas Dreams series; Harriet and her five siblings travel to Ladreville in order for Harriet to become the new school teacher.  This book also continues the story of Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood who was introduced in book 2 of this series. 

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash -- Easter and Ruby are taken from foster care by their father, and they begin a road trip where the girls and their father are hiding from Pruitt who was hired to track them down.  A pretty good book.

A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer -- I found this "1997 Newberry Honor Book" at a free little library, and enjoyed reading the story of Nhamo, a young lady from an unknown village in Mozambique, as she makes her way by boat to Zimbabwe in order to escape a bad marriage.  This was a fascinating tale of adventure and at times I felt I was with her on the island as she watched the baboons or prepared her next meal. 

I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend by Cora Harrison -- a story about Jane's family and the pupils who stayed at her house as told through a journal by her best friend and cousin, Jenny Cooper ; cute story

Miss Match by Erynn Mangum -- My mom read this so I decided to read it before returning it to the library. It's a Lauren Holbrook novel, and Lauren is a pretty silly girl.  But the story was rather lighthearted and an easy read so I finished it. 

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle -- I read another book by this author which I liked so I decided to get this one. It's YA unlike the other.  It starts off with Miranda in a present day community play and soon she is forced by Stephen to go back to Shakespeare's time where Stephen is from.  Miranda, now taking the role of Stephen's sister Olivia, is playing the biggest role of her life - and she's trying to save Shakespeare from becoming a Jesuit so the world can have his literary works!

The Mysterious Death of Miss Jane Austen by Lindsay Ashford -- A novel written as if Jane's former friend Miss Anne Sharp were recalling her life experiences with Jane and the Austen family.  A very interesting way to learn more about this intriguing author and her family.

The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier -- I really liked this book! It was a good way to learn more about the Underground Railroad and Ohio. I like the character of Belle a lot.  I am going to look for more books from this author.

The Lover's Knot by Clare O'Donohue -- A Someday Quilts Mystery -- I was looking for a small book to carry around easily while out with the kids and later at the beach.  Not the most exciting or interesting book I've ever read, but good enough.  After her fiancé asks to postpone their wedding, Nell visits her grandmother and gets involved with the quilt club and the people in Archers Rest.  Eventually, she tries to solve a murder!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr -- I was reading this book more in the car to and from the beach as it was too big to read on the beach or out by the pool.  I was amazed that I was reading two books that had (minor) characters named Susanne. What are the odds?   I'd seen this book mentioned many times, and finally reserved a copy at the library and read it.  A pretty good story switching from a blind French girl to a terribly smart, small German boy - and how eventually their paths crossed near the end of World War II. 

Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg -- a preteen talks about life with her military dad, about moving, losing her mother, dealing with friends

Sick of Shadows by Marion Chesney -- this "Edwardian Murder Mystery" introduced me to Lady Rose Summer and a rather funny cast of characters. This was a light, amusing read.

Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier -- a lovely novel about Griet, maid to the Johannes Vermeer family; this made me look up some of his fascinating paintings; I enjoyed this story

The House Girl by Tara Conklin -- a novel involving a modern-day reparations case, and a lawyer, Lina Sparrow, unraveling the story of an enslaved girl, Josephine, who may have been the true artist behind paintings attributed to Lu Anne Bell,  Josephine's mistress. A good read, and an NPR story if you are interested.


Twenty years ago, Princess Diana died - wow! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Books

Dear John by Kim Vogel Sawyer -- After an accident claims their parents' lives, Marin struggles to care for her mentally-challenged brother, John.

Love's Pursuit by Siri Mitchell -- a tale from the Puritan era; the story of Susannah Phillips with a bit of Small Hope's (that's the name her awful father gave her) thoughts and actions interwoven.  This book disturbed me for some reason, but I really appreciated the message of God's grace instead of our having to work for salvation and measure up to some outrageous religious ideal in order to merit God's favor. 

No One You Know by Michelle Richmond -- While in Nicaragua for work (in coffee), Ellie Enderlin crosses paths with the man accused of murdering her sister twenty years prior.  Though the evidence was flimsy, Peter McConnell was accused by a man on a mission to publish his first book. Which was a great success!  After speaking to Peter, Ellie questions her assumption of his guilt.

The Pursuit of Mary Bennett: a Pride & Prejudice Novel by Pamela Mingle -- A rather fun read focusing on Mary, but quite a bit still about her four sisters - Jane, Elizabeth, Lydia, and Kitty.   More from Goodreads. 

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell -- When her twin brother leaves his Quaker faith to join the rebel cause (fighting for the colonials against Britain) and gets thrown into jail, Hannah has to decide whether or not she'll defy her religion's orders and ignore her brother or find someway to bring relief to him.  Jeremiah is looking for a way to pass messages to a prisoner inside the jail.  Will this Quaker girl do it for him?

A Walk for Sunshine by Jeff Alt -- "a 2,160-mile expedition for charity on the Appalachian Trail" ; we bought this book at the visitor's center at Clingman's Dome about a month ago since we enjoy reading accounts of people walking the AT.

The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell --  a fun follow-up book of the Gresham gang about 8 or so years after the last in the earlier series; Of course it introduces new characters such as Jewel and her four-year-old daughter, Becky, and the squire's nephew, Donald, who is just waiting for his uncle to die so he can inherit the family fortune! 

A Stolen Heart by Amanda Cabot -- book one in the Cimarron Creek Trilogy; Lydia travels from Syracuse, New York, to join her friend Edgar whom she'd promised to marry. But he's no where to be found, and she discovers some secrets about Edgar and this new town in Texas.  A good if predictable story with a hint of mystery to it. 

The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us by Bruce Feiler -- I saw this book on the new books shelf at the local library. I have enjoyed Feiler's book over the years, and this one was good though it wasn't my favorite.  The author speaks of "why Adam and Eve still matter," how they "invented love," creation, being parents, and so forth.  

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick -- When Arcie's parents die in a car crash when she was 11 years old, she went to live with her grandfather, Sam.  This book skips through much of her years with him until she is a young adult having issues with rejection and competition especially as it relates to her older cousin Quinn and Aunt Tiffany.  A rather mediocre book, but an easy read for a drive to the mountains. 

Mrs. Lee & Mrs. Gray by Dorothy Love -- a fictional biography about the wife of Robert E. Lee and an enslaved woman, Selina Norris Gray.  Such an interesting book!  I was constantly googling people mentioned in order to see pictures and read more about their histories. 

Passing Strangers by Angela Hunt -- three people from various walks of life book train tickets to take the Southern Tour, and end up becoming friends.  Andie is on a forced vacation, and is determined to keep her famous past in the past.  Matthew is recently-widowed (well, one year ago), and taking his young children on the trip - with hopes that his mother in Savannah will agree to keep the children until he can figure out how to balance his demanding career as a D.C. lawyer with fatherhood, and Janette is escaping home life in Arkansas. 

Monticello: A Daughter and Her Father by Sally Cabot Gunning -- a novel about Martha Jefferson Randolph, daughter of Thomas Jefferson; I enjoyed this, and again I was googling people and places!

Hot Tropics & Cold Feet by Diann Hunt -- a rather silly, light book that was an easy read for me while we were at the beach this weekend.  Maggie and her Latte Club friends - Lily, Jill, and Louise - leave their families in Indiana for two weeks in Florida.  Not bad; friendly characters. 

Emma Brown: A novel from the unfinished manuscript by Charlotte Brontë by Clare Boylan -- This is the story about Matilda who was dropped off for school by a gentleman who never came back to pay her fees or answer regarding Christmas vacation.  Is Matilda an heiress as the Wilcox sisters were lead to believe upon accepting her into their school?  This is also the story about Isabel Chalfont and her friend Mr. Ellin. A rather nice story overall.

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall -- after running away with her husband's slaves to escape her increasingly-abusive husband, Iris is declared legally insane and shipped to a remote Florida island where Dr. Cowell works at an insane asylum.  Iris meets an assortment of people, and this book is rather different, but pretty good. 

The Queen of Subtleties: A Novel of Anne Boleyn by Suzannah Dunn -- Chapters told from the perspective of Anne Boleyn as she writes a letter to her daughter prior to Anne's death; every other chapter tells the story of Mrs. Lucy Cornwallis, King Henry's confectioner.  An interesting way to learn more about this story. I was googling people again while reading this. 

Longbourn by Jo Baker -- ever wondered about some of the servants mentioned in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? The author used these characters to create a story about what goes on below-stairs.  A fairly good book, but I had trouble following some aspects of the story so it wasn't a favorite.

Unrivaled by Siri Mitchell -- I'd read most other books that our libraries have from this author so I read this one as well. It's about Lucy and Charlie, and their fathers' respective candy factories - and the competition between the two.   This was an easy read, but became a bit tiresome about midway through because it just wasn't that interesting. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Books

First Dawn by Judith Miller -- the first in the Freedom's Path series; this book starts with a group of "coloreds" from Kentucky heading towards Nicodemus, Kansas, which hopes to be the first black settlement in the west.   Unfortunately, Nicodemus isn't the small town they were promised, but just a prairie with no shelter.  What will the people do to survive in this unfamiliar territory?

The Homeplace by Gilbert Morris -- book one in the Singing River series; Life was going along pretty well when tragedy struck the Freeman household not once, but twice.  Lanie, the oldest of five, seeks to keep the family together and not lose the family home.  This book was just ok. Maybe even OK minus. 

A Life Intercepted by Charles Martin -- I think some people would not enjoy all the football this book contains, but I really enjoyed the story, and didn't mind all the football talk.  Such a decent book, too!

A Heart Most Worthy by Siri Mitchell -- Three young Italian immigrants work together in a dress shop in Boston.  The stories of Julietta, Annamaria, and Luciana.  A nice book; I'd read more from this author. 

The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger -- A separated couple writes letters to each other as each deals with the loss of their son.  Sam goes to Alaska to see where the plane crashed while Hadley paints from an island in Maine.

Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt -- I found this paperback at a free little library, and read the story of Izzy who went out with a high school senior and her life was forever changed. He drove drunk and she lost half her leg.  This book deals with her time in the hospital, dealing with her doctors and therapists, her family members, friends and so forth. 

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie Klassen -- book one in Tales from Ivy Hill, her first ever series!  I discovered her books a few months ago, and they are so good!  I had this book on hold for weeks, and finally had a chance to read it.  Reminds me quite a bit of the Gresham Chronicles which I loved. This is the story of a widow, Jane, who was left her husband's coaching inn.  Her mother in law, Thora, and brother in law, Patrick, are there to help run it although it's not turning a profit and in danger of being foreclosed upon!  I enjoyed the characters, humor, the story.  Great book! 

Morning Sky by Judith Miller -- more in the Freedom's Path series: this book has Nicodemus and Hill City a few years down the road and bigger and more prosperous.  Jarena's Aunt Lilly visits from New Orleans, and adds quite a bit of excitement to the family's lives.  Truth heads to New York to assist Macia Boyle back home after Macia's extended illness at school.  

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck -- A great book about three very different German women who meet up after World War II:  Marianne, Benita, and Ania and their children.  I'd heard this book mentioned on NPR, and had it on reserve at the library.  

In the Company of Secrets by Judith Miller -- book one in Postcards from Pullman series; This book begins with Olivia and Lady Charlotte fleeing their home in England for Illinois, each escaping and hoping to begin new lives.  Due to the circumstances of Charlotte's departure, they weave a story of Charlotte's widowhood and so forth.  A pretty good story.

Bears In the Streets: Three Journeys Across a Changing Russia by Lisa Dickey -- The author describes her times in several Russian cities during trips in 1995, 2005, and 2015.  She does her best to meet up with people she met in that initial trip. I so enjoy books like this, and it did not disappoint!  I especially enjoyed the political talk - their (mostly) love for Putin, Russians who spoke up about the US.  Not that it was flattering or pleasant (not at all), but it was interesting to me. 

Whispers Along the Rail by Judith Miller -- book two in Postcards from Pullman series; this continues the stories of Olivia and Charlotte and their acquaintances whom we met in the first book. Olivia is pressured to ride the rails to spy for the Pullman company whereas Charlotte is found in Chicago living in a house for women who have fallen upon hard times

The Lemon Orchard by Luanne Rice -- a good story about Julia and Roberto who meet when Julia travels to Malibu to house sit for her uncle.  Roberto oversees the lemon orchard, and the two quickly realize they have a tragedy in common: both lost daughters five years ago.  A good look at Mexican immigrants coming across the border.

The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck -- Haley and Cole; Cora and Birch and how an old run-down wedding shop ties the generations together

A Table By the Window by Lawana Blackwell -- This book begins with Carley teaching in a rich-kid prep school in California, but soon Carley travels to Mississippi where she cleans out her grandmother's house and prepares to put it on the market.  After going back to California, she realizes she wants the chance to start a new life in a small town -- of course she has to adjust to Southernisms, bless her heart.   I enjoyed this book so much! 

An Uncertain Dream by Judith Miller -- book three in Postcards from Pullman series; This was probably my least favorite book in this trilogy.  I just started getting bored with the subject of unions, and capitalists, but I wanted to finish the story of Olivia and Charlotte, and the strike and boycott of Pullman train cars. 

Daylight Comes by Judith Miller -- the final book in the Freedom's Path series; this follows-up on the families in Nicodemus and Hill City, Kansas

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell -- a fun read, not sure why since it's basically about a young lady who is making her debut into society in order to marry the heir, but it was told in an interesting way so I liked this story about Clara Carter and her best friend Lizzie Barnes as they competed for the affections of Franklin De Vries.

Schadenfreude, A Love Story by Rebecca Schuman -- "Me, the Germans and 20 years of attempted transformations, unfortunate miscommunications, and humiliating situations that only they have words for" ; eh, just not my style  (TMI at points)

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller -- Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace -- I saw this book listed on the library website in their new books so I put it on hold.  Nothing spectacular, but decent enough for a few hours of light reading about Lavinia and the Earl of Hawkesbury. 

Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love -- a Hickory Ridge Romance; Ada leaves Boston after the death of her father and takes a position as a lady's companion in Tennessee not too long after the War Between the States. This book tells about her time there with Lillian, Wyatt, and other folks in the community. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sophie's 1st Haircut

Sophie got her first haircut today.  I think maybe she had 2 inches off. I am curious if it will curl up more once it's washed.  She looks to have survived her first cut MUCH better than her brother Zach did. Granted, he was younger when he had his first haircut, but he struggled with haircuts for a while. He never cared for things buzzing around his head.  Sophie probably only had to deal with scissors. 

Zach happy it's not his turn for a haircut

Telling the lady about her trip to Disney

These are pictures my brother posted on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Books

The Geometry of Sisters by Luanne Rice -- a new author for me; a story about a widow traveling from Ohio to Rhode Island to begin a new job, and have a new start after her husband drowned and her oldest child ran away. The story of Maura, Travis, Carrie, and Beck.  And people they meet in Rhode Island - J.D., Pell, Lucy and so forth.  Good book

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson -- another new author for me; An English woman studying art in Paris takes a job as a companion for a man and his young sister.  But things aren't quite as first told, and Maud finds herself accused of theft, opium addiction, and is nearly drowned! 

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist -- Texas Ranger Lucious Landrum goes undercover as a telephone troubleman in order to bring down Frank Comer's train-robbing gang.  He meets and works with a rural switchboard operator, Georgie Gail, and this book is about their time in a small Texas town.

No Place for a Lady by Gill Paul -- I got this book at a little free library while at the beach recently. Two English sisters end up in Crimea when their country sends troops to help the Turks during the Crimean War.  Lucy heads there as an officer's wife, while Dorothea is a nurse.

Minding Molly by Leslie Gould  -- book three in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; This one finds us going on a camping trip with the ever-organized Molly

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould -- the final book it Courtships series; this one about Molly's younger sister Bea who helps as a mother's helper to a lady with triplets (whew!)

The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter by Lawana Blackwell -- this is book two in The Gresham Chronicles. I read the first one early last month, but waited until the kids' visit was over to start book 2.  It took a bit longer as well because someone else had this book checked out of the library.  That someone else being my mom since I recommended the series to her.  Anyway, I finally got it from her when I returned my dad's truck on Saturday, and, oh, it was a good book indeed.  Just something about it, I really enjoyed. It's about so much more than the title, too. So many fun, interesting, colorful characters there in Gresham!

 A Framework for Understanding Poverty - by Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D.  -- a few weeks ago, I was discussing Hillbilly Elegy with a teacher friend from Ohio who had lived a few years in the North Carolina mountains.  She mentioned this book by Dr. Payne, and I told her I would put it on my Amazon Wishlist.  I received it for my birthday, and read through it in a few days.  The author compiled her research into this book after being asked several times to present her knowledge on the subject of "the mindsets of poverty, middle class, and wealth."  I found much of it interesting especially dealing with the matriarchal power in households of poverty, and the different forms and roles of language (formal, casual register, frozen, and so forth) and story.  The chapter on Discipline and the parent/child/adult voices.  I told my friend that the book made me sad, though. I found it interesting later when I read the conclusion and it mentioned grieving. 

The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark by Lawana Blackwell -- book three in The Gresham Chronicles; I enjoyed this series and the cast of characters! 

The Amish Blacksmith by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner -- book two in The Men of Lancaster County series; I read book one awhile back, and had to wait and wait for book two to be available.  This is the story of Jake, the few-months-older uncle of Tyler (the main character in book 1).  Jake returned from blacksmithing and farrier school, and is completing an internship with his friend, Amos.  I enjoyed learning more about horses while reading this book. Made me consider FIL's horse, Flash, a bit as I can see her from my backyard while reading.  

The Amish Clockmaker by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner -- book three in The Men of Lancaster County series -- a good book about Matthew Zook's search for the man who lived in his room as a boy.  Clayton Raber left town in shame decades earlier after being accused of murdering his wife.  Matthew needs to find Clayton about a property dispute, but who knows where this excommunicated Amish man lives - or if he's even still alive!  I enjoyed learning about Clayton and Miriam's story - the middle part of this book.

The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen  -- I read this years ago, but it was worth a re-read.  A great book about Lilly and her season in London and then her return to her small village to help her dad's apothecary shop.

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth -- a novel about Anna, a thirty-eight year old who has early-onset Alzheimer's.  Anna is put into a residential treatment center where she meets Luke who also has some form of early dementia.  A good story!

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy -- After a pastor is forced to leave his church, his family runs a bakery. One foggy morning, the baker's wife, Audrey, hits a scooter and is soon blamed for the disappearance of a police detective's wife.  Kind of a weird story, but it did teach some good lessons about involving yourself in others' lives and reaching out with compassion.

Mothers & Daughters by Rae Meadows -- the stories of Violet, Iris, and Sam, three generations with glimpses of Violet's life in New York City with a mom addicted to opium, Iris' plan to take her own life on her seventy-second birthday, and Samantha juggling motherhood and her memories of her mom and grandmother

Treasured Grace by Tracie Peterson -- first book in the Heart of the Frontier series; a book about Grace, Hope, and Faith, sisters who traveled west to the Whitman Mission; an ok book

Legacy of Love by Joanna Trollope writing as Caroline Harvey -- this is what the cover says anyway.  I got this book in Wrightsville Beach at one of those little free libraries.  I am out of library books presently so I'm reading a few books I keep on hand for when I run out of library books.  This one is about three generations (or more) of women: Charlotte and Emily who follow Charlotte's soldier husband on an adventure in Afghanistan;  Alexandra, Charlotte's granddaughter, who finally leaves her rural home in Scotland for her Great-aunt's home where Emily tries to make Alexandra into a proper lady; and Cara, Charlotte's namesake and Alexandra's daughter, as she deals with staying home to care for the family and farm instead of being able to go on an adventure when England fights Hitler. 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi  --   a friend sent this to me for my birthday; She had read it, and thought I'd enjoy it too. I read most of it last evening. Paul was a young neurosurgeon completing his training when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 35. You read this book knowing he died while writing it, but are still amazed at the way he processes things, how he sees now what it's like to be on the other side: the patient with a scary illness.  What an amazing man, and a great book that he left for us to ponder. 

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton -- Fiona, a librarian in New York, answers a newspaper ad about traveling with a bookmobile to semi-nomadic peoples in Kenya.  This novel gives perspectives from a local teacher, his wife, the American, and several others. Some are in favor of these books while others denounce them as intruding on the old ways. 

The Pleasure Was Mine by Tommy Hays -- just like the book above, I got this one recently at a free little library. I realized soon that I'd read this one before, but it had been long enough that I enjoyed it again. This is the account of Prate Marshbanks, a 70-something, who had to put his wife into a nursing home after she lost her memory.  Prate visits Irene with their grandson Jackson who is staying with Prate for a few weeks while the boy's dad paints. 

Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring by Bassem Youssef -- I remember seeing articles about this Egyptian comedian/satirist a few years ago; he's the "Jon Stewart of Egypt" apparently.  A friend sent this book for my birthday, and I enjoyed reading about the revolution and coup in Egypt's more recent years.  He confirmed things I had heard about the Muslim Brotherhood and the military rulers. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sophie and Zach at Disney!

Zach and Sophie are at Disney World in Florida right now with their grandparents.  I enjoyed these pictures their Nana shared on Facebook.

They were really more thrilled than Sophie appears here.   Linda said they hardly ate anything at brunch because they were looking around for Mickey and Minnie.  Also, she said Sophie kept on giggling.  Awwww.

I love her watching Goofy here.

And hugging Mickey.


Linda said Zach wore these Mickey hands about all day.  Good thing the weather is a cool 97 degrees, eh? 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

April Books

The Widow of Larkspur Inn by Lawana Blackwell -- The first book in the Gresham Chronicles; a nice tale of Julia Hollis and her children who leave London after the death of their husband/father who left them in debt.  Julia opens an inn in the country - a place for lodgers to stay and rest in a peaceful place.  The story describes life there with the villagers and the lodgers.  

Elementary, My Dear Watkins by Mindy Starns Clark -- another book about Jo Tulip and her friend Danny.  In this book Jo's life is in danger, and they have to find out why.  Also, Danny is in Paris for a photo shoot as he follows his dreams.

The Amish Nanny by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould -- book two in The Women of Lancaster County series; This one follows the story of Ada who found out her parentage is not as she grew up thinking.  In this story, Ada gets the chance to travel to Switzerland to see places important to her Amish/Anabaptist faith.

The Amish Bride by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould  -- book three follows the story of Ella as she leaves Lancaster County to learn baking in Indiana; also she tries to help her grandmother solve a mystery in a book their ancestor left 

The Amish Seamstress by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould  -- the final book in this series, this one is about Izzy, the young Amish caretaker and seamstress, and about Zed, Ella's film-making brother; a pretty good series over all

Bryson City Secrets by Walt Larimore, M.D. -- a follow-up book to an earlier book I read about this young doctor living in a small town in western NC; he reveals why his family left this charming mountain town

Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould -- book two in The Courtships of Lancaster County series; This follows Cate's cousin Addie's story - the only girl in a houseful of brothers.  Pretty good, but I liked Cate's story much more.

The Amish Groom by Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner -- part of The Men of Lancaster County series. I figured since I read the Women series, I'd give this a try.  Tyler's mother was raised Amish, but left her faith community to marry a career military man. When she died suddenly, Tyler, age 6,  went to live with his Amish grandparents while his dad went overseas.  In this book Tyler, now 23, feels a restlessness. He's not sure if he should join the Amish church or join the "Englisch" world where he started life and where his father, stepmother, and brother live.

A Daughter's Inheritance by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller -- book one in The Broadmoor Legacy; three cousins, this book focused on Fanny, who was orphaned when her mother died in childbirth and her father took his life.  I wasn't sure if I'd like this book, but enjoyed it better than I thought.  When Fanny was named in her grandfather's will, her greedy Uncle Jonas does his best to make her inheritance his own.  

Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay  -- a great way to learn more about the rounding up of mostly women and children in July 1942; this story follows the stories of Sarah, the ten year old Jewish girl, who was taken by the French police, and Julia, a journalist in 2002 trying to find out more about this terrible moment in history

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kids by Bill Bryson -- a memoir about his life in Des Moines, Iowa 

An Unexpected Love by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller -- book two in The Broadmoor Legacy; this book focused more on Sophie although the other cousins were mentioned; good story

A Surrendered Heart by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller -- book three in The Broadmoor Legacy;  this book focused more on Amanda as she had to make a choice about saving the family fortune and so forth

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis -- an Amish lady goes to Cape May, New Jersey, for eight weeks one summer as a nanny for an English family.  Will she go back to her Old Order Amish ways or follow the freedom of the non-Amish world?