Friday, July 29, 2016

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble

To Love a Stranger by Colleen Coble is the newest Christian love story to be published.  In this western love story Ms Coble takes the reader back in time to pioneer Utah and Arizona territory in the days of the mail order brides.  Jasper Mendenhall desperately wants a bride to share his life with in Arizona territory and so has been corresponding with Bessie or at least he thought it was Bessie.  In reality Bessie's beautiful but spoiled little sister, Lenore who is just seeking a little excitement has been writing back and forth with him.  They have even exchanged pictures but Lenore who is already engaged to another has been corresponding with her picture and Bessie's name.  Of course as with most lies Bessie finds out.  Bessie is mortified but somehow Lenore convinces her to marry him and then afterwards to go out to the post and meet him and live with him.  Lenore of course doesn't tell Bessie about the picture exchange and she doesn't tell Jasper about the sister exchange.  Jasper of course is shocked when the very plain Bessie is who arrives on the train from Boston as is the rest of his family. Bessie agrees to go with Jasper from Utah to settle in Arizona at the new fort.  This is the story of how Bessie and Jasper not only learn to live together but fall in love with each other.

I loved this story.  It proves that though the looks of the person does matter it is also possible to love the looks of a person because you love them.  This book tells of the hardships of settling the west but that many loved the life and stayed to settle the new country.  This tells of the importance of faith when the hardships close in on you.  And the importance of honesty when you think that the other person will never except the reality of what really is. 
This book was provided by Booksneeze for this review.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall is the second installment of the Amish of Summer Grove series.  This installment follows Ariana and Skylar as they now are required by Nicholas the biological father of Ariana and the father who helped raise Skylar to switch lives. Ariana follows his edict because she wants to make sure that the midwife who brought her into this world does not get sued and Skylar because she was given the choice of go into drug rehab or go into the Amish family in which she was supposed to belong before being switched at birth.  Ariana is as completely lost in the English world of cell phones, electricity and cars as Skylar is with living the Amish lifestyle of hard work and living with her new sisters all in the same bedroom.  Both girls must dig deep into their own strengths in order to survive in their new surroundings.  Ariana is no longer living the deeply religious family centered life and now is expected to learn new skills such as driving a car with her atheist father while at the same time Skylar is being expected to help with gardening, the closeness of a large family, and helping out in the family cafĂ© while detoxing from her old drug filled lifestyle.  Skylar has attempted to keep in contact with her boyfriend who occasionally brings her the drugs she needs as well as stealing from the cash drawer and the medicine cabinets of family members.  Ariana even though missing her family and her boyfriend learns to accept and even enjoy some of the new opportunities offered by her new family as well as reconnecting with her old friends Quill and Frieda.  Skylar learns to love herself and the closeness of a loving family while dealing with her feelings of rejection from the family that she had always known. 

I loved this installment from this series and I am so anxiously awaiting the next installment.  This one was quite possibly better than the Ties that Bind 1st book of the series.  This book deepens the development of all the characters in the 1st as well as deepening the reader's understanding of the characters complex personalities.  As in real  life each one has a reason for being the way that they are.  This is quite possibly Ms. Woodsmall best book and that is saying a lot because I have loved them all.  Hurry and write the next one.  I am so excited to read it.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Vegangelical by Sarah Withrow King

Vegangelical by Sarah Withrow King is a book with the premise that Christians should not or at least consider not eating meat or meat product and points to Biblical references to back up her premise.  To further back up her claims she also points out the many reviews on factory farm operation practices as well as some of the well publicized dubious practices of factory meat processing plants.  She proclaims that if we as humans are to have dominion over the animals then we should be taking the best care of them and not killing them for food or really any other reason.  She states that the original purpose that God had for humans was to care for the animals and not eat them as originally Adam and Eve were vegetarians.  She admits that she used to eat meat, eggs and milk without thinking anything of it but that upon reflection she feels that now she would be not doing her Christian duty if she were not vegan.  She states that if we cared for animals and did not kill them for food or anything else then our Earth would flourish as God intended because less land would be required for food.

This book was an interesting read but I felt it was a little far fetched in some of her ideas as expressed in the book.  As a rural person I feel that not eating meat because of a few poorly managed factory farms and processing plants is short sided.  I feel that on our farm we treat our animals in a way in which the animals are treated as animal were intended-cattle graze on pasture rather than fed in a feed lot, our chickens roam the yard and pasture and are only in the chicken house at night or as they get hungry to eat something other than bugs, weeds, or an occasional tomato out of my garden.  We also eat our excess roosters and share a calf and a pig a year with 3 families.  Having been raised on the Bible my whole life and whereas I thought this book sometimes interesting, I don't think the Bible tells us to be vegan.  If I used some of the thoughts expressed in this books I would quit eating fruit--after all God's first punishment for humans was for eating fruit from the tree of knowledge. 
I received this book from BookLook for this review.