Monday, November 26, 2012

A Home In Drayton Valley

"For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." Romans 8:24

Joss and Mary Brubacher, their two children, and Mary's friend Tarsie Raines are determined to leave the destitution and oppression of 1880 New York behind and head for the "promised land" of Drayton Valley, Kansas.  When tragedy strikes their little group, Tarsie makes a promise to care for Joss and the children and Joss sets up a "marriage" as Mary wished.  Can Tarsie show Joss the love that Mary so wished for him to know? Can she love him the way God loves all of His children? Can Joss put aside his past and accept the love that Tarsie, his children, and ultimately God want for him to share?

A Home in Drayton Valley by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a story that touches my heart deeply.  I can relate to it in a extremely personal way.  The characters are well-developed and you can relate to them.  Tarsie, from the beginning of the book, is a spit fire who stands up for what she believes in no matter the cost.  Joss is hard-hearted, yet tender enough that you don't hate him, and his struggles are very human.  The story is a message of learning to trust God and believe in his promises.  It's a story about how God allows things to happen in our lives that we don't understand, but we have to learn to trust that God knows what he's doing.  Tarsie, already being a Christian, understands this concept and we see her struggle to maintain her faith in the face of adversity.  Joss, not yet accepting Christ and his love, doesn't fully understand this concept, and we see him struggle to overcome his past prejudices and finally accept what God has been trying to tell him all along through the witness of several characters in the book.

Overall, this is not an action packed, comedic story.  It is a soft story of God's love and acceptance that will leave your heart full and your spirit light. I would definitely recommend it.

**I received this copy free from Bethany House Publishers.**

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Making Waves (Lake Manawa Summer series #1)

This is the first book I've read by Lorna Seilstad. The first in the Lake Manawa Summers series, this book was delightful and had a great message expertly weaved into the story.

Marguerite Westing is an adventurous, kind, fiercely loyal daughter of Camille and Edward Westing. She especially chafes at the social constructs she is bound to. Anything she is told she can't do, she becomes determined to do it. That is no different when she decides she wants to learn to sail.

Trip Andrews, Phillip Sutton Andrews the Third, is the handsome sailing instructor. After his initial meeting with Marguerite, when she fell into the lake and he heroically jumped in to rescue her, he never expected to see her again. When her little brother Mark comes to take sailing lessons, he never expects who the real student is.

To avoid giving away too much of the plot, I'll summarize here. Through a series of events, Marguerite learns that lies, even the "little white" kind, can have major consequences. With the help of Trip and Lilly, her maid, Marguerite learns to trust God in all aspects of her life, and that God hates lying.

This book was fantastic. I devoured it in one day. You'll want to laugh, cry, and get angry with Marguerite and Trip as they embark on their adventure and find themselves immersed in God's love and love for each other. I can't wait to read the next 2 books in the series!

Check it out here: