Saturday, May 26, 2012

Heaven in Her Arms by Catherine Hickem

Heaven in Her Arms by Catherine Hickem offers a reflection on Mary's story and offers practical applications from the Bible for the contemporary woman.  This story offers Ms Hickem's views on the Virgin Mary and why she was chosen by God to carry His son and raise him with the help of Joseph.  She says that God chose her for her heart and her steadfast faithfulness.  She also offers a 6 week Bible study for groups or individuals wishing to study the book in a more in-depth manner.  This book takes the reader from Jesus birth through His resurrection.  This book remains true to the scriptures yet offering Ms Hickems views on the story.
I thought this book was a good book but it could have been so much more.  I agree with Ms Hickem that not many books are written on women in the Bible let alone Mary's Jesus' mother.  I just think that a woman who has spent her lifetime thinking and studying the life of Mary could have made the book much deeper and provided more information.  I think that any woman wishing to study the life of Mary would like this book but I feel that Ms Hickem could have done so much more with this subject.
I received this book from Booksneeze for this review.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beloved Enemy by Al Lacy

Beloved Enemy by Al Lacy is a fictional account of the spying carried on during the War Between the States.  Jenny Jordan is the daughter of well known Colonel Jeffery Jordan, who made a name for himself during the Mexican War.  Colonel Jordan was so well thought of by President Lincoln that even though he was from Virginia the President  named him to the Senate Military Committee as the military advisor.  The Colonel has pledged his allegence to the United States and the President has complete trust in him.  Mr. Lincoln also hired Jenny as his receptionist for the Senate Chamber at the Capitol.  Colonel Jordan knows that with the Civil War heating up that it would be favorable to the south for a inside member of the committee to be funneling information to them and devises the idea of a spy ring right within the very committe planning the war effort.  His plan is to use women for the information runners. 

Jenny, much to her father's dismay, falls in love with Buck who is an up and coming soldier in the Federal army.  Jenny is pulled between feeling devotion to the south and feeling the increasing love that she has for Buck.  Jenny is aware that if she told that her father was the leader of a spy ring that he would be killed by firing squad.  In addition to all that, the Colonel is pressuring her to assist the south by becoming a spy herself and carry information for him over the enemy lines.

I liked Beloved Enemy though the story lags occassionally with the details of war.  It is a story of war and Mr. Lacy does  a good job of telling both sides of the story so that the reader is aware that both south and north are good loving Christian people who are sure that God is on their side.  One of the saddest parts of the story is the story of the deaths of Private Mike Durbin and Pal, his dog.  I think that anyone would like reading Beloved Enemy, though it is story of love during war it is also a story of the Civil War and the pain that it caused between and within families.  Well worth the time to read.
I recieved this book from Multnomah Publishers for this review.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Momaholic by Dena Higley

Momaholic, Crazy Confessions of a Helicopter Parent by Dena Higley is about the writer's life.  Ms. Higley is a head writer for a soap opera, mother of 4, and wife of 1.  She was all things to all people.  In order to make the life of all around her perfect she did  and was responsible for everything they were involved in.  This book is a story of how her life spiraled out of control and how she owned it and changed for the better of herself and her family.  She tells a very honest story of her life. 
As a person who is a few years ahead of Ms Higley in the parenting game I could truly read this book and laugh and cry; sometimes at the same time.  I do hope that parents don't however learn it all and achieve perfection in the parenting game as the stories told around the Thanksgiving dinner table by their children will not be nearly as funny.  Ms Higley deals with the grief of raising average so-called normal children better than most and she should feel proud of herself.  All of us parents if we're willing to admit it (and we might just as well) have had our crazy times when we spin out of control and have to be reeled back in even without trying to raise children in the "Hollywood scene".  I just can't even imagine how that would be.  I recommend reading this to any parent but most especially any grandparent because we can look back and laugh.
I recieved this book free for this review.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert

Wildflowers from Winter by Katie Ganshert is a novel about Bethany, an archetect from big city Chicago who returns to the Iowa farm from which she felt she had escaped for a short visit when her beloved grandfather falls ill.  She quickly returns to Chicago only to find that she had been "let go" by both her firm and her boyfriend.  Soon she finds though another phone call that she needs to return to the farm because her grandfather had died.  Bethany works through her grief along with her family and her former best friend.

This novel is a very true to life story reflecting much of how life turns.  Bethany and her friend from the past, Robin work through their grief together.  Bethany grieves the multiple losses of her grandfather, her job and her home in Chicago while Robin grieves the loss of her husband while coping with her newly discovered pregnancy.  Robin relies on her friends, family and God for her support and Bethany relies on herself constantly questioning God and faith.  Both of the women work to live a life of unfairness. 
This is a very good book for any woman to read especially one who is helping someone cope with grief.  I enjoyed it though I had to stop to cry many times thoughout it.  I found myself thinking back through the questioning that I myself put God through as I went through my own trials.  Luckily I had no one who was questioning my faith as I asked my questions.
I was provided this book for this review by Waterbrook Press.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell

The Messenger by Siri Mitchell is a novel of a time during the Revolutionary War.  She tells  of Hannah Sutherland who was a Quaker perfectly content in her life until her twin brother, Robert, joins the rebel cause because of his love for a servant in the family who had been fired after being raped by a Loyalist and later becoming pregnant.  Robert was later captured and imprisoned within the city that they lived.  The Quakers being passivist have decided to have nothing to do with the war and will not allow the family to take food, clothing or to even visit the prisoners even if they are family.  Hannah feels that even if she is going against her faith she must see her brother.  Jeremiah who is a spy for the rebels asks her to carry a message into the prison in return for her getting a pass to see her brother and so begins Hannah's journey into spying for the rebel cause.
This is one of the best books that I have read.  It helps explain the extreme reasons for the ammendment forbiding a citizen to be forced to house soldiers.  It helps explain how difficult it is to remain passive when the war is in your own backyard.  It tells how difficult it is to remain true to your faith when your very church is mandating things of which you cannot believe to be true.  It tells of how difficult it is to remain a Christian when it seems that everyone is against you.  This book will remain with me for a long time to come. Thank you Ms Mitchell for writting it.
This book was provided to me for this review.