Monday, August 22, 2011

A Sound Among the Trees by Susan Meissner

A Sound Among the Trees: A Novel

A Sound Among the Trees is the second book I have read by Susan Meissner and I enjoyed it as much as the other book I read, The Shape of Mercy. This book is one that as soon as I saw it on the list of books to pick from I could not wait to read it. My expectations of the book were thoroughly met and found it to be a fast, great read and I didn't want to put it down.

A Sound Among the Trees is set in present day Fredericksburg, VA, but more importantly it is set in an old historic home (though the house house is fictional) named Holly Oak. This house is very important to the story as it is almost like a main character. The house had been around since pre-Civil War days and survived through the Civil War (unlike much of the area around it).

Besides Holly Oak, there is also Adelaide who is in her nineties and has lived in the house for most of her life. Many people from town believe the house to be haunted, but not Adelaide who actually believes that it holds a grudge towards its past. She compares the house to a needle on a record player that can't get past the scratch and move forward. The house is the needle and the scratch represents its tragic past.

Another key character is Marielle, who has just recently married Adelaide's son-in-law (his first wife died fours years ago) and has moved into the house. She also comes to believe there is something not right about the house and that women who live in it seem to come upon misfortune.

Finally the last key character is Susannah Page, who lived during the Civil war and was rumored to be a spy for the north. She is referred to as a spy, traitor and a ghost in the book. So, who is she really and what really happened to her and the house during the Civil War. Can Marielle figure out what happened without stepping on Adelaide's toes and unlock the mystery of the house?

I found this book to be very fascinating and loved the historical references and story that was weaved throughout the book, though there could have been more. Susan Meissner is a very talented writer and her details in the book make you feel like you are right there with the characters. From reading the book it made me wish that Holly Oak was a real place and that I could see it for my self. I highly recommend this book to anyone who like a good contemporary/historical christian fiction book. It will not disappoint.

I recived this book from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for books program in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Someone to Blame by C.S. Lakin

Over the last few months I have read many books and look forward to each and everyone, and every once and a while a book disappoints. This book, Someone to Blame, just did not live up to what I had expected from it. It was my first book by C.S. Lakin and I don't hesitate to read more from her one day. I found the book to be very slow moving and it took a long time for good character development. I will say the more I read it did get better but never fully drew me in.

In Someone to Blame the Moore family has seen more tragedy in a short period of time than any family needs. After the deaths, not at the same time, of their sons the family decides to move as far a way as possible. They land in the small coastal town of Breakers. They are filled with sadness, anger, guilt and blame and if they can't find a place of grace and healing they may just be torn apart. Though one obstacle may come in their journey to healing and that comes in the form of a drifter that is causing trouble for this small town.

The book begins on a sad tone, and takes awhile for the reader to even find out what exactly happened, but by the end there is a tone of grace, healing and happiness. In the end I am glad I have read the story but defiantly would recommend it to people who want to read a book with very deep stuff in it.

I received this book by the publisher, Zondervan, for my honest review.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mercy Come Mourning by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Mercy Come Morning: A Novel

Mercy Come Mourning is a book that was previously published as Christmas Every Mourning back in 2002. While it is not a new book, it is an enjoyable story but very easy to read and rather short at only 222 pages.

This is my first book I have read from Lisa Bergren and look forward to reading others by her. The imagery in this book is amazing, she puts you right in the scene. Every thing she describes in such vivid detail that you can't help but think that it is real right outside your window.

Krista is a 38 single history professor who has only seen her mother (who is suffering form Alzheimer's) twice in the last two years. When she finds that her mother is dying from heart failure she finally returns to the nursing home that her formal boyfriend Dane runs. It is here that she finds a diary that her mother wrote as a child. As she reads through it she starts to see her mother in a different light, at the same time she remembers back to different Christmas's from her own childhood.

Will Krista see her mother in a different light? What will become of her relationship with Dane, a man who still carries deep feelings for her.

This book was given to me by the publisher for review purposes in return for my honest opinion.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Muir House by Mary DeMuth

Click to see a larger image of The Muir House by Mary E. DeMuth

The Muir House is the first book I have read from Mary DeMuth and I found it very enjoyable and had a hard time putting it down. This is a page turner from page one and I couldn't wait to find out what happens. This book is considered a romance, but I found it to be so much more. It deals with healing, relationships, and moving forward.

Willa Muir is constantly haunted by the words "You'll find home one day. Sure as sweet teas on a hot afternoon."

Willa ran from home to Seattle the first chance she got, but has been desperately searching for a missing memory, a missing year of her life. She just can't seem to connect the dots and is haunted by the same dreams from a time when she was four years old. She starts to think she has found a home with Hale, her boyfriend, but when he proposes she runs back to Rockwall, TX her childhood home.

It is in Rockwall that she is helping convert her childhood (a funeral home) into a beautiful, eclectic in style Inn. While she is here she runs into her old boyfriend, Blake who helps her on her quest to discover the secret that her family desperately tried to hide. Will Willa find her missing memory? Will she finally find home? Will she fill the hole that is missing in her life?

This book was provided to me free from the publisher, Zondervan,in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson with Susy Flory

Thunder Dog: The true story of a blind man, his guide dog and triumph was a good book to read. Hearing personal stories form 9/11 is both heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same. It is amazing to hear the stories of how people escaped but at the same time you hear of how many lost their lives as well. This story is about Michael Hingson a man who was became blind as a baby (caused by a controversial treatment that is no longer used).

Michael Hingson grew up just like a normal boy would, he played out side, rode his bike, went to school and so much more. The only difference in him was that he was blind and he had to learn different ways of doing things. His parents raised him as if he did not have a disability. I personally think this made him stronger and more successful in life.

On 9/11 Michael is in the World Trade Center working as a regional sales manager for a large company just like he does everyday. The only difference is this day will change his life and many others forever. His story recounts every step he takes to escape the building and go down 1,463 stairs with the help of his guide dog, Roselle. Roselle is the true hero in this story.

The book is very interesting as we learn about his childhood and his journey on 9/11. I learned a lot about guide dogs and how a blind person manages everday life that I did not know. Overall I enjoyed the book, it is short and easy to read.

The publisher provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy through BookSneeze® for writing this review. I was not required to write a positive review.