Sunday, July 31, 2011

Silver Girl / Review

Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
1 edition (June 21, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 031609966X

Book Description:

Meredith Martin Delinn just lost everything: her friends, her homes, her social standing - because her husband Freddy cheated rich investors out of billions of dollars.

Desperate and facing homelessness, Meredith receives a call from her old best friend, Constance Flute. Connie's had recent worries of her own, and the two depart for a summer on Nantucket in an attempt to heal. But the island can't offer complete escape, and they're plagued by new and old troubles alike. When Connie's brother Toby - Meredith's high school boyfriend - arrives, Meredith must reconcile the differences between the life she is leading and the life she could have had.

Set against the backdrop of a Nantucket summer, Elin Hilderbrand delivers a suspenseful story of the power of friendship, the pull of love, and the beauty of forgiveness.

My thoughts:

Meredith seemingly had it all, but life has a way of running amuck when you least expect it. Now, because of her husband, she has lost it all and must find a way to rebuild her life. Enter Connie, an old friend who has a world of problems of her own. Meredith decides to spend the summer with Connie in Nantucket and together they begin to find answers to the tragedies they face.

This is the perfect summer beach read; it explores female friendship; misery; true happiness; love and forgiveness.  It was a pleasure to read Elin Hilderbrand's latest novel. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One Summer by David Baldacci

Author: Davis Baldacci
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
(June 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446583146

Book Description:

It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.

My thoughts:

When things can't get much worse, they do. Jack is terminally ill with cancer when his wife, Lizzy, is suddenly killed in a car accident. But miracles do happen and Jack takes a turn for the better. Can Jack rebuild his life without Lizzie? Can he find love again? Can he put his family back together?

Davis Baldacci tells Jack's story with beautiful sensitivity and the skill for which he is known, primarily as a writer of suspense. This is a story of hope and the determination of the human will to survive in the worst of circumstances. It also has its share of humor. I found it to be a pleasant summer beach read. Thank you to Hachette Book Group for my review copy.

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Woman's Walk in Truth

Author: Vonette Bright
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(August 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736939296

Book Description:

Award-winning radio host Vonette Bright is the founder of Women Today ministries and co-founder with husband, Dr. Bill Bright, of Campus Crusade for Christ International. She speaks regularly to thousands of women about the importance and joy of walking in the truth of God’s Word.
In this beautiful padded hardcover filled with refreshing devotions, select verses, “This I Believe” statements, and stories of women modeling remarkable faith, Vonette encourages all women to:
  • choose God and His character as their foundation of truth
  • move forward with renewed confidence in Christ
  • demonstrate their faith convictions in their daily ways
  • make God the center of their life
  • experience God’s remarkable purpose for them
Through each meditation, Vonette leads women to give every area of their life to God’s control and experience the blessings of a daily journey lived in Christ’s love.

My thoughts:

This devotional for women is scripturally sound, easy to read, and uplifting. Each page includes a scripture, message, and affirmation. The devotions are short (will probably take no more than 5 minutes to read) and to the point--a quick way to start the day in a positive way. Topics address areas of interest to women: faith, self-confidence and insights for a Godly walk.

This is a beautiful little padded volume that would fit into a tote/purse and would also make a lovely gift. Many thanks to Harvest House Publishers for my review copy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting Back Up When Life Knocks You Down

Author: Jeremy Kingsley
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764209086

Book Description:

This uplifting book meets people when they are down, helping them to transform their lives. In each chapter the author explores a response to a crisis and shows how working through crises can lead to strength, peace, forgiveness, and hope. Kingsley offers snapshots of different people and their responses to difficult situations, including his own tough times and how he has overcome. This faith-based book will appeal to a wide range of readers, both Christians and non-Christians.

My thoughts:

Getting Back Up When Life Knocks You Down is a concise little handbook for anyone who is feeling overwhelmed by life, which is most of us! It is an excellent tool for helping one work through the crises which hit unexpectedly. Written is simple layman terms and offering practical help, it offers a blueprint for maneuvering through the maze of emotional pain and uncertainty. I am going to pass my copy around. Thank you to Bethany House for my review copy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Civilized World

Author: Susi Wyss
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks;
First Edition, Second Printing edition (March 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0805093621

Book Description:

A glorious literary debut set in Africa about five unforgettable women—two of them haunted by a shared tragedy—whose lives intersect in unexpected and sometimes explosive ways...

When Adjoa leaves Ghana to find work in the Ivory Coast, she hopes that one day she'll return home to open a beauty parlor. Her dream comes true, though not before she suffers a devastating loss—one that will haunt her for years, and one that also deeply affects Janice, an American aid worker who no longer feels she has a place to call home. But the bustling Precious Brother Salon is not just the "cleanest, friendliest, and most welcoming in the city." It's also where locals catch up on their gossip; where Comfort, an imperious busybody, can complain about her American daughter-in-law, Linda; and where Adjoa can get a fresh start on life—or so she thinks, until Janice moves to Ghana and unexpectedly stumbles upon the salon.

At once deeply moving and utterly charming, The Civilized World follows five women as they face meddling mothers-in-law, unfaithful partners, and the lingering aftereffects of racism, only to learn that their cultural differences are outweighed by their common bond as women. With vibrant prose, Susi Wyss explores what it means to need forgiveness—and what it means to forgive.

My thoughts:

Ms. Wyss weaves together the stories of five women in this very warm and relatable novel.  Janice; Adjoa; Ophelia; Comfort; and Linda, Comfort's American daughter-in-law all have stories to share. The Civilized World is a complex telling of the common bonds between women. Well-develped and absorbing, this was a good read.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Amish Nanny

Author: Mindy Starns Clark and
Leslie Gould
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736938613

Book Description:

Bestselling author Mindy Starns Clark and coauthor Leslie Gould offer readers The Amish Nanny, Book 2 in the Women of Lancaster County series, which tells the stories of young Plain women as they explore their roots, connect with family, and discover true love.

Amish-raised Ada Rupp knows it’s time to make a commitment to the faith and join the church, especially if she wants a future with the handsome Amish widower Will Gundy.

But when she has the chance to travel to Switzerland as the caregiver of a young child, she leaps at the opportunity.

Anxious to learn more about her forebears, Ada enlists the help of a young Mennonite scholar named Daniel, but even as she develops feelings for him, she cannot get Will from her mind—or her heart. At a crossroads, Ada must decide what she is willing to give up from the past in order to embrace her future.

My thoughts:

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have done it again! They have created a beautifully believable story based on the Amish culture. Told with authenticity and sensitivity it is another success for the authors. I found it to be a fascinating story of faith and love. Thank you to Harvest House for my review copy.

A Baby For Hannah

Author: Jerry S. Eicher
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
(July 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0736943366

Book Description:

In Jerry Eicher’s final, never-before-published book in the Hannah’s Heart series, Jake and Hannah Byler are adjusting to life in their Amish community in rural Montana. While Jake works long days as a furniture maker and newly appointed minister, Hannah stays busy keeping their home in order. Both anticipate their baby’s birth with joy.

When word of the Mennonite tent revival spreads and worry about losing church members mounts, Hannah’s sister arrives and quickly catches the eye of the young bachelor whose brother left the church during the last revival. At the same time, Jake and Hannah’s neighbor—an Englisha—announces his interest in one of the Amish widows.

Drawing from his own Amish experiences, Eicher tells this rich story of colliding cultures and gives his growing readership one last glimpse at Jake and Hannah’s determination to stay faithful to God and the traditions of their church.

About This Series: The Hannah’s Heart series follows Hannah Byler’s quest for true love within the traditions of the Amish faith. Although life in rural Montana is unfamiliar and at times dangerous, Hannah learns to thrive as she shoulders new responsibilities, deals with sudden hardships, and embraces her place in this small community of believers. 

My thoughts:

Well-written and tender. Thank you to Harvest House for my review copy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wish You Were Here

Author: Phillipa Ashley
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
(June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402241445

Book Description:

Jack Thornfield, new CEO, is shocked to see his long lost love, Beth Allen's resume come across his desk. After 8 years apart they have a second chance at happiness in this romantic story about love and secrets.

My thoughts:

Beth is heartbroken when the man she loves disappears. Thinking he has dumped her, Beth goes back home to England where she gets a new job with a travel agency. This is where the action starts: the man she lost is CEO of the company. She agrees to stay on if Jack agrees never to talk about their previous relationship again.

The story is light, contemporary, and can easily be read in a couple of days. It is funny, sexy, romantic. Delicious! Thank you to SourceBooks Landmark for my review copy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard by Belinda Roberts

Author: Belinda Roberts
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark; Original edition (June 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402246935

Book Description:

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a yacht must be in want of a female crew...
The balmy seaside resort town of Salcombe boasts the best in bikinis, sandcastle contests, and a fiercely competitive squad of buff local lifeguards as Regatta Week approaches. And if that weren't enough excitement, Mrs Bennet hears that the splendid villa Netherpollock has been rented by a young man of great fortune. She is determined he'll go out with one of her daughters, until Mr Darcy glides in on his stunning yacht Pemberley and she decides he would be the better catch...
Jane Austen has never been so hilariously recreated as in this modern seaside retelling of Pride and Prejudice, complete with a Mr Darcy you won't soon forget!

What readers say:

"A wonderful read-inspiring, intelligent, and quite hilarious."

"Hugely entertaining. It made me laugh out loud many times."

"I am mad on Austen and loved this book! I am sure Jane would be very happy to know her creations are alive and kicking on the English seaside!"

(Thank you to SourceBooks Landmark for my review copy.)