Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall

It’s cold, cloudy and snowing… what better way to spend a few hours than cuddled up reading a great little Christmas story?  I recommend The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall as a great shorter-story (not short or a novella, but not a long novel either) to warm your heart up for Christmas!

 

Sadie, a young Amish woman, has been hurt by a finace in the past and has found healing and made a life for herself working hard and raising money to go on mission trips in Peru.  Sadie loves her life, but is she just running?  Levi is a young Amish man who lives with his brother to help raise his nephew after his sister-and-law up and left her family.  This has proven to him that women are not to be trusted and he has decided that he wants to be a bachelor the rest of this life.  God has another plan for these two.  Levi and Sadie form a friendship after Sadie finds Levi after an accident that could have seriously injured him.  They are both sick of their families attempts at matchmaking and decide to find some peace by pretending to be courting…

 

I love how Cindy Woodsmall has the ability to draw you in and make you love these characters like they are real people and friends.  I love Sadie’s strong personality to stand up for herself and her beliefs in God, even when it is not necessarily “right” according to the Amish way.  I love the strong friendship Sadie and Levi built!  So many books, especially shorter books, just make two people fall head over heals in a totally unrealistic way.  I loved finding out more about the secondary characters, Beth and Jonah, from their earlier Christmas novel too! But you don’t need to know their story to appreciate or follow this novel, it stands alone nicely.  I loved the length of The Dawn of Christmas too.  It was long enough to get into the story and have real character development, but it is still a shorter read that is perfect for Christmas and readers busy schedules this time of year!

 

I enjoyed The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall and would recommend it.  The only thing I did not like as much about it was that it took until the end for the book to really “feel” like Christmas.  I give The Dawn of Christmas 4 out of 5 stars.

 

I received this book free from Blogging for Books and WaterBrook Press in exchange for my honest review.

A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano

A Talent for Trouble by Jen Turano is a comical tale about Felicia Murdock and her comical talent to get into trouble while falling in love with Grayson Sumner, Lord Sefton.

I think the biggest part of my trouble with this book was the misleading information on the back of the cover. I kept waiting for something to happen and while it finally did in the last few pages of the book, the book description is very misleading. I was frustrated throughout the book, thinking it did not have a plot, or much of one. If the description had said it was a fun, comical love story… That would have been much more accurate than alluding to a dangerous plot. There was danger, but not much, and not until the very end. Some of the humor was over the top rather than truly funny for me but the characters were likable and fun and flawed, which is how I like characters to be portrayed.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, which I consider average.

I received this book free from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall

For Every Season by Cindy Woodsmall is the third book in her Amish Vines and Orchards series. I have read the first two books in this series and I do think that to fully understand the characters, that it is crucial to read the first books, all in order.

For Every Season is the continuation of Rhoda, Jacob, Samuel, Leah, Landon and their families as they develop a new Amish community and farm an apple orchard. I don’t want to give too much away for those who need to read the first two books…

I think Cindy Woodsmall has a gift to really make characters come to life as ‘real’ people with strong characters with flaws, yet still make the lovable and likable.  I did get a little frustrated with how this book seemed to drag on a little bit and I felt I knew the characters emotions before she did… But doesn’t this happen in real life too? It is much easier seeing something from the outside than going through it yourself.  There are a lot characters to keep track of and I think without reading the previous ones in the series, it would be difficult and their characters have developed through all three books so a reader reading just this book would not be as attached to the characters I believe. I love the authors insights and style of writing and was able to lose myself in this Amish Community and enjoy their lives throughout this book.

I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

The Glory of Heaven by Betty Malz

The Glory of Heaven by Betty Malz

The Glory of Heaven by Betty Malz is a collection of true stories and answers to questions about Heaven. The author spent 28 minutes in Heaven many years ago before going for good just recently, so it was interesting to see a first hand view.  I would have liked to see more true stories included, but it was a short, thought-provoking read, and belief/action challenging book.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I received this book free from Chosen in exchange for my honest review.