Friday, October 28, 2011

Out of a Far Country by Christopher and Angela Yuan

Out of a Far Country is a beautifully written story of a modern day prodical son and his family.  Chris is the youngest son and the most understood by Angela, his mother.  Angela has married her true love but before the first month is even over her in-laws decide that they don't like her and so the dutiful son that is her husband following Chinese custom supports his mother over his wife.  She had a very lonely childhood and had decided before marrage that she would be always home for her children of which she has 2 sons.  The eldest is rebellious and she never sees eye to eye with him but Chris is very loving and caring.  Chris continues this way until he goes to college and she can no longer deny that Chris is homosexual.  She decides that she will make one last trip to see her son before she commits suicide and on the way meets God.  When she goes home after that disaster trip she and her husband make some major changes.  They start praying, attending Bible lessons and turning their life and that of Chris over to God.  This story tells simultaneously of her transformation into Chritianity and of Chris's downward spiral into sex parties influenced by multiple drugs.  With her husband she discovers hope in God.  They get their friends to pray along with them for Chris.
I liked the way that this book compares our modern day problems with those of Biblical days and how we have different problems but that until we turn them over to God we continue to have crisis after crisis.  I do however think that this book should be read by older children because of the subject content--maybe high school or even middle school depending on the child.  The book discusses multiple sex partners as well as various drugs and how to use them.
I recieved this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for this review.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Encounter by Stephen Arterburn

Jonathan Rush, business tycoon is told by his pastor counselor that he needs to research his birth mother to find out why he has so much anger in his heart.  Jonathan is going through his 3rd divorce and numerous business associates because of his anger but still feels that finding out about his life won't cure it.  He was abandoned to a children's home in Fairbanks, Alaska at the age of 4 years.  Back to Alaska he goes to find out the mysteries of his childhood and his anger and in the winter no less.  Jonathan quickly is met by a reporter who wants an interview from their hometown hero.  Jonathan who usually quickly can dodge the press finds himself working with her to find out his story.  The book takes the reader simultaneously through Jonathan's and his mother, Ada's emotions of their life--Jonathan's feelings of anger and abandonment at the children's home and Ada's feeling of shame and inadequacy to be a mother. 
I really liked how the book intertwines the story of mother and son with how God loves and accepts us as we are in the moment that we are in.  I read this book in just a few hours and couldn't put it down.  Anyone who does not have a perfect life will like it.
I recieved this book from Booksneeze free for this review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Softly and Tenderly by Sara Evans with Rachel Hauck

Jade's perfect life is falling apart and not just the fact that she can't get pregnant.  Her perfect lawyer husband, max has serious flaws.  He is self-centered and self-involved.  If that were not enough to cap all that off Jade discovers his infidelifty has produced a son and that son is now 19 monthes old.  Her husband has been secretly financially supporting him but physically and emotionally ignoring him until his mother dies.  Now Max has decided that he wants to raise the boy with Jade.  Jade is disallussioned to say the least.  As if that were not enough Jade's free spirit mother is dying.
This is a great woman's book for any married woman or woman thinking of getting married.  Jade is facing life's turns and having to deal with them as they too quickly happen all at once.  I liked the way that this book looked at marrage straight in the eye and didn't pull punches.  Sometimes life just isn't fair and the only way to get through too many problems to to drop out of life and slow down and only handle one problem at a time.  This is what Jade is doing by dealing with the one problem that can't be delayed--her mother's death.  This is a good book and I recommend reading it to anyone dealing with life and marrage.
This book was provided free for this review by

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Scroll by Grant Jeffrey and Alton L. Gansky

The Scroll is about a group of archaeologists gathered together in Jeruselem by trusted Professor Ben-Judah and a well known billionaire without regard for anything but trustworthiness and their individual abilities.  Their abilities on archeology that is.  They have reasons to both hate and love each other but they all agree that for talent there is none better than Dr. David Chambers, Dr Amber Rogers and Dr Nuri Aumann. Especially if one combines their talent with that of Dr. Ben-Judah and the ability to work with money never being a concern and all the newest scientific inventions at their disposal.  The goal of this group is to find the Copper Scroll's list of temple artifacts which has an Indian Jones sound but follows a scientific-Biblical archaeology storyline rather than the blood and snakes of the movie.  This story has a love interest but the business of the story is the archaelogy digging and proving the Bible history in acuracy.  It lets the reader in on the politics of the day and some of the reasons for the customs.
I loved the book and couldn't put it down.  It realistically takes the reader into Isreal and the mysteries of the land and the Bible.  I was on the edge of my chair many times not being able to turn the pages quickly enough.  The twists and turns of the storyline holds the readers interest in a way that just a mystery cannot.  It lets the reader know the importance of having a strong Christian faith in times of the difficulties of life.  It lets the reader know that God loves  us when we are trying our best and when we are not.  You just have to read this book.
This book was provided for this review by WaterbrookMultnomah Publishing Group.

Wings of a Dream

Rebekah is a young 19 year old women living during World War 1.  This is a time of great conflict in our country as well as a time of great hardship as they are going through the Spanish Influenza outbreak.  This great pandemic was sweeping the country and killing young and old alike.  Rebekah had been yearning for some excitement in her life to take her away from the hum drum of everyday life she lived in with her family.  Rebekah had just fallen in love with an aviator but he was gone now to Texas to train for war.  He was everything exciting that she wanted in her life--handsome and  a world traveler. Rebekah's aunt had written a letter asking for help and Rebekah had been sent by her mother to a small farm just outside of a small town in Texas to care for her.  Rebekah gets excited to be sent to Texas, a place that she has not ever been to but also closer to the base that her sweetheart has been sent.  What she  finds however when she gets there is her aunt near death's door from the Spanish Influenza and needing help not only for herself but the 4 small children under her care.  When her aunt dies the next day Rebekah finds herself growing up quickly as she learns to care for the farm and the 4 children now under her care.
I loved this book.  It appealed to me in so many ways from the historical aspect of the war taking place in our country to the difficulties of living with so much death all around from illness that could not be conquered by medication.  The stresses of everyday life in the early 1900's required one to rely on your neighbors and God as the only help in time of need.  The only part that was not time acurate was when the child fell down the well and did not go all the way to the water.  Wells in that time would have all been hand dug and therefore much too wide for a child to have been stuck in but other than that seemed good to detail.
This book was provided for this review by Bethany House Publishing.