Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Heaven changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo

Heaven Changes Everything Living Everyday with Eternity in Mind by Todd and Sonja Burpo is a book to be read after the Heaven is for Real book by the same authors.  This book which is said to be a devotional reader tells of some of the changes since the 1st book in their family and how the book was received.  The children have grown into teens but are not dating yet.  The format is a little different in that it also is written by Sonja and therefore gives some Mom details.  This story brings in the rest of the children and how they dealt with it which is nice.
I liked this book but not as well as the first.  One would have had to read the first book to enjoy this one.  It is called a devotional reader but it is mostly a catch up on the family workings and can be read in one setting as a story.  It is a quick read containing only 221 pages.  Any ages can read this book though the couple has also written a children’s version of Heaven is for Real. 
I received this book from Booksneeze  for this review.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

Fever by Mary Beth Keane is the story of Mary Mallon better known as Typhoid Mary.  This story picks up her life after she has immigrated to the United States from Ireland a while and is working in the upper class homes of people who have many servants.  At the time she is working as a cook having worked her way up from the lowest of the servants, the laundress.  This is quite a step up both in prestige as well as income.  She can now afford to eat regularly and have a few more clothes.  She can now rent a tiny apartment instead of a bed in a room full of beds. 
The Department of Health of New York has proposed that there may be “asymptomatic carrier” and has set out on a crusade to find the carrier and protect the citizens.  The plan is to isolate this person from the populous in order to keep the citizens safe from this carrier.  The papers had begun calling her the Germ Woman.  This is the beginning of knowing that germs cause diseases and that cleanliness is helpful in prevention.  There was not many ways of curing illness once they occurred however so once it was known that the Germ Woman was exposing the population to Typhoid Fever great fear spread throughout the state.  Mary did not believe it at first.  Most people that she cooked for and lived with did not become ill—just a few in fact.  When caught Mary was sent to live in seclusion in a 10x12 hut on North Brother Island.  On this island was also housed a tuberculosis sanitarium.  Mary worked for the groundskeeper and finally in the lab.  This is her story.
I enjoyed reading of Mary and her story.  This story is one that should be read by most.  It tells of just how far our world has come in just one century.  Many of the people alive today cannot remember having fear of dying from many diseases.  100 years ago it was quite common to have a sibling or more dye during their childhood.  It was common to isolate illnesses to keep the majority of the area disease free.  It was unknown to be able to get antibiotics to cure diseases.  This story will remind us of how lucky and blessed that we are today.
This book was provided for this review from Simon and Shuster for this review.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson

Twice a Bride by Mona Hodgson is the 4th installment in the Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series.  I say the 4th not the last as I hope that the series can continue on.  The Sinclair sisters are still in Cripple Creek, Colorado and are joined by their honorary sister Willow Peterson.  She has recently been dismissed from a long stay the sanatorium where her father sent her for recovery from the melancholy after the death of her husband, Sam.   The only member of her family to visit her in the sanatorium had been her brother Tucker.  Her father, who had been sick, suddenly died and this installment opens at his funeral.  Everyone was afraid that this would send Willow back into a melancholy state.  Willow though grieving the loss of her father decides to stay in Cripple Creek with her brother, Tucker and not return home with her mother to Colorado Springs.  Willow has decided it is time to get on with her life and pursue her dream of painting portraits.  Life is looking up for Willow when she lands a job with Trenton Van Der Veer the owner of the Photography Studio painting portraits and colorizing photographs.  The Sinclair sisters are also surprised by a visit from their widowed father who arrives by way of train wreck bringing along an 8 year old orphaned girl from Paris. 
I like this series so of course I liked this installment from the Sinclair Sister series.  Topics move along in a steady pace and easily hold the interest.  It is a quick read containing 291 pages.  Any age can read the book but probably the subject would interest at least middle school age girls and older for topic.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Interrupted by Rachel Coker

Interrupted by Rachel Coker is a book about growing up. It is 1939 and Alcyone Everly is a girl ready to turn 14 tomorrow.  Her friend Sam Carroll is steady and stands beside her no matter what but he is always so friendly no matter what and it bugs her.  Alcyone, Ally to her friends, has a hard life.  Her mother is different from most people for goodness sake she named Alcyone after a star.  Now she is forgetting things and sees things that aren’t there and she is so tired now sleeping all the time.  Last year the Dr Murphy diagnosed brain cancer but her mother refused to seek treatment.  Ally has been taking care of her mother for quite a while now and Ally is so afraid that she will die.  Her mother is all that she has since her father left the family 6 years ago.  Then the unspeakable happens—her mother dies.  Right after the funeral the social worker the social worker allows Ally to pack a few things and states that the rest is to be sold to pay for the funeral even her beloved piano.  Ally is taken to live in Maine with Beatrice Lovell who wants to adopt her and become her mother.  Ally refuses to let anyone in to be close except Charlotte (Charlie to her friends) and Irene her new sister.  Beatrice never gives up and continues to pray for her and love her and try to accept Ally’s rejection of her.  Can Ally grow to reach out and let others and God into her life?  How can she deal with the men, boys really, going off to war, maybe never to return?  This is her story and how she faces life.
I liked this story.  Ally has many of the same qualities and problems that many girls face growing up no matter the times.  In that respect this book is timeless.  Ally also has the problems of loving people and knowing that they may leave her—some through death, some through walking away—and she must learn to love and trust anyway.  It is a story of growing up in uncertain times.  In this particular story is during times of the loss of a parent and wartime but all of history has its uncertainty and as humans we must as we grow learn to love and trust or we become people who never know the joys that God means for us to have in this life.  This book can be read and enjoyed by all but it feels made most especially for women of the ages of high school and older though can safely be read but though much younger.
This book was provided for this review by Zondervan.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin

Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus by Joyce Magnin is just a delightful book.  Harriet has had some difficult times lately.  Her husband, Max, of 28 years has died and her son, Henry and his wife Prudence (of whom she is not close) want her to move to California to life with them.  Harriet and her dog are getting along fine living in the same neighborhood that she has lived for her entire married life with the support of her church and close neighbors.  On this day of Henry and Prudence’s visit, Harriet falls off a chair and hurts her ankle.  Prudence engages her in a bet that if her ankle is broke she will come live with them and if it is not then she will be able to stay in her home.  Harriet’s ankle is broken.  Harriet agrees to come but on her own rules.  She will come on several local buses stopping along the way to see what she wants taking as long as she wants and she will come by herself.  This book is about the cross country trip that Harriet, who has never taken long distance vacations before let alone by herself, takes. 
I liked this book so much better than I expected.  Harriet not only sees the USA on her trip but begins to see herself and understand her son and wife’s opinion also.  She finds that she is blessed in so many ways as she enjoys seeing the sights and buying salt and pepper shakers for her collection.  I found this book well written and entertaining.  Thank you for this book.
This book was provided for this review by Zondervan.