Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Review - Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma

Snow on the Tulips
By:
Liz Tolsma
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
 
Snow on the Tulips starts with a favorite Scripture of mine Psalms 46. 
The war is coming to an end, but death and destruction still rages on in German Occupied Netherlands.
Cornelia de Vries lost her husband to the war on their wedding night and is now struggling to hide her younger brother so he will not be taken by the Germans to the front lines.  Her brother, Johan sneaks out one night after the Germans line up 10 Dutch Resistance Fighters and execute them as a deterrent to the rest of the town.  Johan just wanted to see for himself what all the shooting was about.  He found one of the men, Gerritt Laninga, had survived.  He immediately takes him home to his sister, changing their lives and the part they will play in the war until liberation by the Canadians.   Cornelia is fearful the Germans will find and execute them for harboring a wanted man, but her Christian teaching will not let her turn her back on him.  As she nurses him back to health the family is tormented by the German Army.  Neighbors are afraid to trust each other.  Decisions are made that often goes against their moral upbringing and they struggle to find peace with those decisions.   
 
Please have a box of tissues nearby while reading this book.  MS Tolsma has written in detail the tragedies of the war and the effect it had not only on this family but all of the people of the Netherlands.  Her details, although complete are not graphic.  I was amazed time and again throughout the book how she portrayed their faith in God and their struggles at times to accept His will, without being over powering.  The characters were well described.  I felt a part of the story and found myself smiling and crying.  I was captivated from the first page.
Although I have not been a great fan of WWII books, this is a book that I will enjoy reading again.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Thomas Nelson, through Booksneeze blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review - A Simple Change by Judith Miller

A Simple Change
By:
Judith Miller
Publisher:  Bethany House
 
Jancey Rhoder never gave thought to moving to Amana, Iowa to join the quite life of the Amana Colonies.  She always thought her life of privilege in Kansas City would insure that she would marry well, and her suitor, Nathan Woodward would eventually become her husband.   Her mother’s ailing health and desire to return to her home in the Amana Colonies caused Jancey to make the decision to give up her life of privilege to care for her mother.  Nathan was not pleased with her decision and she began to wonder if he truly loved her or business that her father owned.  As she began her new life in the Colonies cleaning the living quarters for the outsiders who worked in the mill, she discovered a mysterious bank bag filled with money along with a newspaper clipping of a bank robbery in Kansas City.  Her suitor, Nathan also came to the Colonies to work in the mills as an outsider.  Not to give away any of the story, the following questions will be answered as you turn the pages of this book.  Will Jancey find inner peace and embrace the lifestyle of the Colonies or will she move back to Kansas City?  Is Nathan a bank robber?  Where did the money come from?  Will Jancey find real love with Nathan or someone else?
 I found this book interesting especially since many years ago I traveled to the Amana Colonies and have always been interested in their way of life.  As I read the struggle of Jancey to attain happiness in the simple life of the Colony, inner peace and stronger faith in God, I found myself wondering if I could give up the rat race of today’s fast paced life for the peace of a simpler lifestyle. 
I found this to be a truly inspiring book, with much wisdom, inner struggles with decision making, a little mystery and a little romance all thrown in.  For me it was well worth reading.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through  Bethany House  blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review-Unseen by Jack Graham

Unseen
By: Jack Graham
Publisher:  Bethany House
 
 Jack Graham grew up in a traditional Baptist Church in Arkansas and learned almost nothing about spiritual forces or about the tension between good and evil, the afterlife or heaven or hell, but in this book he shows there is clear cut understanding about things that cannot be seen and uses the Scriptures to back up his statements. 
In one part of his book he talked about how pride goes before the fall.  He stated, “that it is said the shortest definition of any sin, pride included, is I will”.  He wrote a list of “I will” statements and my favorite was, “I will chart my own course”, because I often find myself charting my own course, which ultimately ends up in disaster.  As a Christian, I have been raised to understand that serving God is the only answer, but I also find it is not easy to always follow that advice.
I often found parts of the book hard to read, but I did come away with knowing God can and will provide protection for whatever we may face.
I enjoyed the discussion questions at the end of each chapter.  Although I didn’t have anyone to discuss it with, it gave me food for thought.  

One of my personal biggest disappointments was the lack of using the King James Version of the Bible for Scripture quotes. 
I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling with questions regarding Angels, Satan, Heaven and Hell.
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House   blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.