Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Never Ending Spring by Darrell Case

Never Ending Spring by Darrell Case is murder mystery by Mr. Case.  Jack Johnson is a farmer in Indiana who has endured many hardships in life but Jack is a farmer like many others we all have known who lean over and pull themselves out of all problems by pulling on his boot straps and walk forward.  Jack is a good man who has endured the early death of his young son in a farming accident and is now going through the raising of his granddaughter after the senseless murder of his daughter and her pastor husband right in their own church.  Jack blames the police force who is not doing a good enough job solving the crime.  Jack blames God (maybe) since he says he doesn’t believe in Him or at least the hypocrites who go to his sin in law’s church.  Jack blames Lonnie Greggs, the local criminal who has an alibi but it all seems pretty fishy to Jack.  Then when Lonnie runs and the police refuse to go after him and bring him back to town Jack takes the law into his own hands and leaving his wife Ruth to run the farm, he decides to take onto himself this miscarriage of justice.  He looks for Lonnie and even captures him but while returning to town someone shoots and kills Lonnie and tries to kill Jack also.  Jack begins to have second thoughts about Lonnie.  Maybe Lonnie was telling the truth.  But if it wasn’t Lonnie who could it be? 
As with the other Case book that I have read I liked this mystery.  I thought he could have not tipped his hand quite so quick to show the reader who the killer was but the suspense was good and though the reader knew who the killer probably was they didn’t know how many bodies would stack up before he would be arrested.  Mr. Case also does an excellent job of telling the story of Jack’s being saved by Jesus Christ.  Life does not become perfect after accepting Christ in his life but just more manageable.  I like Mr. Case’s style of writing and look forward to reading more of his work.
As an aside I wish the back of the book would have been writing in a different fashion.  I am afraid that the way it is written that only Christians will read the book.  I feel that with Mr. Case’s background in mission he would like to also reach the unchurched and I feel that  it could be written less heavy handed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is the sad /happy story of life in California in the 1850s during the gold rush days.  Angel could barely remember her childhood with her mother.  She was poor but her mother loved her and no one else did.  Her childhood ended at the age of 8 when her mother died and she was sold into prostitution.  She learns to never trust men as she can only expect betrayal from them.  When she grew too old for the men who only desired little girls she made her way to California and into the brothels for the gold rush men.  She meets Michael Hosea who only loves and treats her with respect.  He marries her and takes her home to his farm.  Michael also introduces her to his faith in God but her trust has already been destroyed and cannot be redeemed by even the love of Michael.  Michael finally breaks down some of her barriers and Angel, who Michael calls Amanda, learns to love him.  One of the ways that Angel’s body was ruined for her was by surgery so that she can never have a child.  Angel knows that Michael wants a child and that because of his great love for her will not leave her.  Angel leaves him again and again because she believes that she is not worthy of his love and that she can never give him the children he wants.  This is the story of Angel learning to trust both God and man and becoming a woman of self respect.
This story is difficult to read.  I had to set it aside numerous times because of the difficult subject matter.  I think that this is a story that needed to be told and is a powerful message for all who are victims of people who have power over them and develop feelings of unworthiness.  This story tells all of us that we are unworthy and can never be worthy of the love of God but that we must accept it anyway.  This story needs to be read by all women whether victims of violence or not so that we can remember that we never have any more right to the love that God gives to each of us than anyone else.  We all have sinned and are unworthy and He loves us all.  One of the best books I have read lately.  5 stars.
This book was provided by WaterbrookMultnomah for this review.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Gunpowder Tea

Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley has an 18th century setting for this Christian novel.  Miranda Hunt works for the Pinkerton Detective Agency and she has been given some minor crimes to go undercover to solve but she has never been given that big crime case.  Finally one has come along that requires a female crime fighter and she is given her big chance.  She has assumed the identity of Annie Beckman and is working undercover as the new heiress that the owner of the Last Chance Ranch has advertised.  Annie/Miranda is to solve the case of who is robbing the banks and trains in the area and the latest clues point to the robber being a worker at the Last Chance Ranch.  On the train ride out to the ranch several of the other riders turn out to be robbers of the Phantom Gang and Miranda finds herself one of the victims.  She arrives and works herself out to the Last Chance only to find that the cantankerous owner, Eleanor Walker, is not at home and since she really needs to answer nature’s call.   Annie walks on in the house and uses the bathroom.  Unfortunately afterwards when she is leaving she finds out that Eunice is at home startles the elderly lady and Mrs. Walker falls down the stairs breaking her leg.  Miranda, aka Annie, finds herself Eunice’s nursemaid as well as learns about how to run a ranch.  Annie and Eunice learn how to work together after a fashion while Annie works the case.  Annie finds that one of the robbers is a worker on the ranch and works to find clues who the leader of the gang is as she finds herself drawn to the robber, Jeremy Taggart.  He says that he is working undercover also but Annie isn’t so sure.
I liked this book.  It is a story of a strong Christian woman working to find a way of life on her own especially 100 years ago.  This novel shows that with tenacity working in a so called man’s field is possible even without giving up feminity.  Anna is a pure woman but she has a tough side that works in her chosen field.  She learns to trust in God’s choices for her as she also learns to trust her own choices.  One of the comments I had on this book is that it states that you can tell what God’s wishes are for you by the pure joy you have when doing it.  I like that.  I like that this book expresses that God wants us to have joy in our life when we make good choices.  God the father wants happiness and joy for His children and we only have to desire His wishes in order to have that joy.  We serve a mighty and loving God, do we not?
This book was provided by Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn

Sisterchicks Do the Hula by Robin Jones Gunn is the story of best friends since college roommate years, Hope and Laurie going off on a trip to Hawaii vacation.  They want to celebrate their 40th birthdays together in style.  They had planned a trip when in college but Laurie had fallen for her now husband and the trip had never happened.  This time Laurie gets a surprise pregnancy and Hope says lets go anyway.  There were a few places of stepping back for Laurie because of Emilee (the new baby soon to be born) such as no surfing—Hope took the surfing lesson for both of them.  They sailed, ate sushi, snorkeled, and ate chocolate and macadamia nuts but most of all they talked and experienced everything that is important to them.  They enjoy the paradise and revel in the beauty that God has placed there for them to see and experience.
Boy oh boy did I love this book.  I wished that I could have read it in one setting and I almost did.  This is definitely a girly book though and don’t sugar coat it.  I can’t imagine a guy liking this book.  It is all on things that women are interested in and things that women think and talk about.   They go shopping, they talk about hormones and pregnancy and they cry.  Though they do live in God’s universe and discuss it and enjoy it—the book is not deep thinking.  It is a pure joy to read and don’t start it just before bed thinking it will relax you to sleep.  You’ll just stay up late reading it.
I received this book from Multnomah for this review.