I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: The Secret of Pembrooke Park

I loved this book. Loved it! I sometimes feel that Christian fiction is heavy handed with trying to show the daily lives of Christians and keep a plot moving without being bogged down by religious lingo. Not so with this book. The characters who know the Lord prove so by their actions, not by spouting religious verbiage constantly.

I liked the main character immensely. I think every woman has felt like Abigail. Perhaps not sharing partial responsibility for their family losing most of its fortune, but by having a prettier, smarter, more charismatic, or more something sibling and noticing parental support and doting on said sibling. Abigail handles it with grace and humility.

I did find it odd that she went from someone who never attends church, to someone who would understand about the sacrifice of Christ without making that commitment herself. Perhaps I overlooked that part of the story. But twice she shares the Gospel with other characters and I don't recall an impassioned embracing of the cross herself.

I liked the way the mystery was revealed, little by little. Usually when they climax of a story is completed, I rush through the end because whatever else is written doesn't matter, and is just fluff. Not so with this book. There were still some issues left to be sorted, even after the main mystery was finished, and it didn't drag at all. I enjoyed this book all the way to the end.

I highly recommend this book for young adults, and adults alike.

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Book Review: Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death, Mark Reutlinger

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death Review

Where to begin? The premise of the book was interesting- possible murder in an old folk's home; not something you hear of every day. And who doesn't love a good yenta now and again? I mean, in Fiddler on the Roof, yenta is an annoyingly endearing character. This has promise, right? Of course right!

However, the execution was lacking. The two main characters spoke like the gamblers in the original Guys and Dolls movie with Brando and Sinatra. Stilted speech with awkward, overly-proper grammar. Yes these are older Jewish women, and some of them were born outside the US, but the ones we get to know have been in the States for at least 50 years. Their lack of knowledge of the simplest things of modern technology was unbelievable to me. If they had been living in a little village in Israel, and then come to the US recently I could understand. But to have lived here 50 years or more...far-fetched.

And I'm sorry to say the mystery plodded along. I found myself skimming just to get through the rest of the book. There were times when the phraseology of the characters made me chuckle, but most of the time I was trying to avoid reading the name of the retirement home over and over.

I felt like some characters were just thrown in to flesh out the book a bit, but really added nothing to the story. The whole involvement of Florence seemed to be thrown in for no apparent reason. The law officials were inept and didn't take into account important information that could have solved the mystery in much less time.

I did find the usage of all the Yiddish phrases cumbersome. This is definitely a book written for someone who is interested in all things Jewish, or has that as a cultural background. I am all for ethnic characters, but the story has to be able to support the effort of wading through unfamiliar words. Unfortunately in this book it was not.

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The After House, Michael Phillip Cash

There are so many high marks for this book on Amazon that I was really anticipating reading it. However, I am not sure why it was rated so highly. I found the characters to be shallow, two of them jumping in the sack quite quickly after meeting- even after one of them is still recovering from a bad relationship.

The character of Captain Eli is an enigma. When the book flashes back to the 1800s there is no accent to speak of. However, several times later in the book when he addresses the people in his former residence, he is full of either a Scottish or Irish brogue in his voice. I found that distracting and odd.

I also thought it strange that he was the son of farmers, yet he went to the same school as the daughter of a well-known lawyer, and was allowed to marry her, even though he had no means of supporting her. That seemed very out of sync with real history.

Remy's daughter Olivia is also strangely portrayed. The age of six is briefly stated in one sentence, and you assume that is her age. However, when her thoughts are being described, there is no effort to make it sound like a six year old. It sounds like the author in a six year old's mind. Very difficult to decipher. Also her conversations with her other "small faced' friend are not like real children's conversations.

I did not feel sympathy for the protagonist, as I felt she was wimpy and immature. She lets anyone and everyone tell her what to do, and allows a man who she doesn't even know to spend the day/evening in her home after she's been knocked unconscious in an accident.

Also, the relationship with the ex-husband just seemed strange. The custody agreement was really odd, every second weekend and a day during the week? Weird. I was not sure how he was going to play into the story, and found his part contrived and really poorly thought out.

I just did not enjoy this book at all, and found myself rushing through the story just to get to the end. It is in no way a mystery or scary story at all. The cover is very misleading, and I was definitely disappointed. Won't be looking for other books by this author.

Other readers may want to be aware of sexual situations, and swearing. (Which, had I known prior to reading, would not have read!)

I received this book free from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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