Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer Book Reviews: Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down

Two girlfriends and I were gabbing in my bedroom after a successful morning of garage saling on Saturday. K. looked at the mile-high stack of books on my nightstand and commented, “that looks like my stack!”

I’m really reading them all. Honest. I wish I could talk a week off of everything else and  simply read all day long on my backyard swing…with my dog bringing me glasses of iced tea and lemonade…(okay, coming out of daydream).
Here are reviews for a couple books from my stack. One I enjoyed…the other not so much. Bad news first, shall we?
Sisters of the Quilt, by Cindy Woodsmall
I just couldn't get into this one. Normally I'm a fan of Amish fiction. I love their simple lifestyles, and the descriptions of the beautiful scenery as well as their home-making activities of canning, baking, and such. This book was a trilogy of three books, chronicling the journey of Hannah Lapp, an Amish teenager, after an unexpected pregnancy, shunning, and leaving the Amish faith. I'm not one to sugar-coat life or ignore the traumatic realities that occur so often in a broken world...but neither do I care to read about them in a fiction book, Christian or otherwise. I realize it can be a beautiful thing to read about the redemption of suffering in fiction, but this one just had too much of a negative slant to draw me in. The heavy topics of rape, an unexpected pregnancy, and the negative responses from the Amish community really turned me off from this book. Truthfully, I didn't even finish it. Sadly, I don't recommend this one.
On to a brighter review...
Blue Moon Bay, by Lisa Wingate
This was a cozy mystery with a hint of romance. Strong heroine, character growth, beautiful scenery descriptions, and an interesting plot— it contained all the ingredients for a book that captures my attention. It had been awhile since I’d read fiction, so I really enjoyed being swept into a story as well as the mind and heart of the main character, Heather. It’s somewhat of a predictable plot— a city girl going home to a tiny town in Texas to sell her family’s home. Upon arrival, she realizes there are not only barriers to the sale but also barriers to making peace with her eccentric family and the townspeople. Memories of her awkward and insecure time as a teenager there surface and push her to work through relationships as well as heart struggles. I love the last few sentences in the last chapter (don’t worry! No spoilers!): Our lives come as a blank canvas only because we cannot see as He sees. Before we can conceive our stories, He has watched them in His mind’s eye, and not the stroke of a pen happens at random. Above the book, the Architect watches with a broader eye, a greater plan. He knows what is to be written on every page.

[These books were provided to me at no cost in exchange for a review. These are my original and honest comments.]


  1. I had seen these books and wondered about them. Thanks for your thoughts and the reviews. Hope you have a great week! :O)

  2. Thanks, Diane! You, too! I'm glad you found the reviews useful!