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Christian Novel Review

Having always been an avid reader, since becoming a Christian I have found a wealth of reading material in Christian bookshops and in various second hand bookshops. I have found that in Christian novels one often finds truths that help in one’s Christian walk. I enjoy reading about how the various characters deal with life, and I also find I am the richer for reading a really good Christian novel. Certain authors, through their books, give you a real insight into their joys and struggles, which I find very interesting. The books which I am going to review are those which I have really enjoyed, and have read at least twice – some books, for example the “Mark of the Lion “ series by Francine Rivers, I have read at least five times each. The first books that I am going to talk about are the latest two novels by Francine Rivers,


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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

HIGH AS THE HEAVENS by KATE BRESLIN


I have been looking forward to the release of KATE BRESLIN's latest novel, HIGH AS THE HEAVENS, for some time, and am definitely not disappointed! The story takes place during the First World War, mostly in German occupied Belgium. The Author paints a picture of the horrors of life in war torn Europe, where there wasn't much food and the struggle for survival often led to betrayal. In fact, it was very hard to know whom to trust.
Evelyn Marche, a British Red Cross nurse, goes to work in Belgium to be with her widowed mother and younger brother and sister, after her husband of a few weeks is thought to have been killed in action.
She works in a hospital in Brussels, treating Allied and enemy patients with equal care. She and her mother live with her aunt and uncle above their restaurant where Eve works in the evenings when she gets back from the hospital.
Eve is a secret member of La Dame Blanche, part of the Belgian resistance, and is sent to meet a "package" one night, only to have the British airman land practically at her feet in the village square! It is thanks to her quick thinking that the man's life is saved, and from there on things get very complicated! Add to that an unlikely double agent, an unusual relationship with the hospital administrator, and her plans to find her siblings in France and smuggle them back into Belgium, and you have a very exciting plot! Suspicion is rampant and there seem to be enemy eyes everywhere.
Eve has a secret which makes her feel unworthy and guilty, and it is only when she is able to confess the awful truth and accept God's forgiveness, that she is able to love again. She finally experiences God's love, that is indeed "high as the heavens", and is able to forget the horrors of the past.
This is a story of courage, intrigue and sacrificial love. It really is a love story with a difference. My only complaint was that I read it much too fast, being unable to put it down!

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Monday, 12 June 2017

BREAD OF ANGELS by TESSA AFSHAR

TESSA AFSHAR has done it again - BREAD OF ANGELS is another beautiful novel, this time telling the story of Lydia of Thyatira, maker of purple dye, who we meet in Acts chapter sixteen.
We follow her journey from Thyatira to Philippi, where she meets Paul and Silas and other followers of Christ.
The Author not only has an incredible insight into the time in which the story takes place, but the truth of the Gospel runs through the novel, showing her faith in the Lord and knowledge of the Word.
Lydia's struggles, especially the struggle with fear that has dogged her since she was a child, make her very human and easy to relate to. I love the way we follow her from her childhood, where she lived with her father in Thyatira, to her new life in Phillippi.
I love all this Author's novels, but this one has become my new favorite! The story is exciting and meaningful, the characters very real, and I cannot recommend it highly enough!


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Monday, 29 May 2017

THE DAY OF RECKONING by KATHY HERMAN

THE DAY OF RECKONING is the second novel in the BAXTER series by KATHY HERMAN, but it can be read as a stand alone. I have read all the novels in the series except for the first one, which I have ordered, and can highly recommend them all for the exciting stories and the strong biblical content.
In this novel the town of Baxter is shaken by the horrific kidnapping of two teenage girls, and the subsequent cruel messages by the kidnapper.
Tayler Logan, the daughter of the unpopular G R Logan, the wealthy businessman who caused a great deal of misery to his employees when he closed down his textile mill five years ago, is the real reason for the kidnapping, but, because she is always with her friend Sherry Kennsington, the two girls are taken hostage together.
Sherry's father, Joe, is the principal of Baxter High School. He is a Godly man, and he and his family join with their bible believing friends in constant prayer, as soon as they realize the girls are missing.
G R, on the other hand is angry with everyone, says he doesn't need God, and tries to manipulate the situation by offering money for anyone who can shed light on his daughter's whereabouts.
The book starts with a quotation from Hebrews chapter 12 verse 15, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many," and this really sums up the message in the story. We are reminded of the importance of forgiveness and of the danger of allowing bitterness to take hold of one's character. We are also reminded that God never leaves His children alone and that He can bring good out of even the most awful situation. This author really has a way of drawing us into the story, and making us think about where we stand as far as these biblical truths are concerned! It is an excellent read.




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Sunday, 30 April 2017

WAYWARD WINDS by MICHAEL PHILLIPS

If you are looking for a light and entertaining read then WAYWARD WINDS by MICHAEL PHILLIPS is not for you, but if you are looking for an inspiring novel that will shake you from complacency and draw you closer to the Lord, then you are in for a treat!
We learn in the first book in THE SECRETS OF HEATHERSLEIGH HALL series, Wild Grows the Heather in Devon, that Amanda Rutherford has left home and joined Emily Pankhurst and the women's suffragette movement in London. She has rebelled against her family's commitment to Christianity, and sees her father as wanting to control her by forcing his beliefs on her.
Throughout the novel we see her parents' great sadness and we share in their prayers for their wayward daughter. They and their other children never give up on her and join with their great friends Bobby and Maggie McFee and Timothy Diggorsfeld in praying for her safe return home to them and to Father God. It is the story of a prodigal daughter whose eyes are slowly opened to her Heavenly Father's love by memories of her earthly father and his love for her, as she becomes horrified by the situation in which she finds herself.
The Author has captured the situation in England and on the continent during the early part of the twentieth century, leading up to the First World War. Things were not as they seemed, especially in political circles, and no one knew whom to trust. Gradually Amanda, who had set out to make a difference in the world, realizes she doesnt really have a home, and the people she has lived with since leaving Heathersleigh are using her for their own purposes.
The novel is very exciting, informative, and beautifully written. It should be read slowly in order to get the most out of the Christian teaching, and I will definitely be reading it again! I am ordering the next two books in the series.


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Saturday, 18 March 2017

A SECRET COURAGE by TRICIA GOYER

TRICIA GOYER's latest novel, A SECRET COURAGE, takes place during the Second World War at Medmenham near Henley in England, where Emma Hanson is one of the WAAFs employed at the photographic reconnaissance unit.
Emma is from Maine in the US, and has an adventurous spirit and a keen and observant mind. Growing up, she and her brother played many spy games. Emma really wanted to become a lighthouse keeper, and had read many books on the subject. It was on one of her days off that she met Will Fleming at a bookstore in London where she went to collect a book she had ordered - the life story of her hero, Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper who, in her rowing boat, saved many sailers who were in danger of drowning.
Will is an artist who uses his talent to cover what he is really doing during the war. His mother is German and his father was British. He keeps tabs on German spies in England, as a kind of double agent.
Both main characters have quite a lot of baggage from their respective pasts, and the author gives us a real insight into what life was like at the time, where people were dealing with the horrific reality of a country at war as best they could.
There is intrigue and there are spies from both sides , making it difficult to know who to trust. And right through it all runs a delightful love story.
Emma and Will are drawn to each other. Faith is important to them both, although Emma has problems in understanding why both her father, who was lost at sea when she was small, and her brother, presumed dead in a plane crash, have been taken from her. Will is instrumental in helping her understand that bad things do happen in a fallen world, and that she mustn't blame either herself or God for what happened to them!
It is an exciting story, full of biblical truth, and is well worth reading. In fact, I read it straight through twice! I am looking forward to the next novel in the London Chronicles series.



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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

REDEEMING GRACE by JILL EILEEN SMITH

I have read a lot of JILL EILEEN SMITH's novels which I have enjoyed for the lovely stories and strong Christian message, but REDEEMING GRACE is definitely my favorite!
It is not only the story of Naomi and Ruth, and Ruth and Boaz, but the Author goes right back to tell us about Boaz and his first wife Adi, and also what life was like in Moab when Naomi and her family moved there. It is obvious that she has done a great deal of research into the times in which they lived.
We see the difference between the Moabite religion, which was really a religion of death, debauchery and sacrifice to their god Chemosh, as opposed to the Israelites' worship of Yahweh, the one true God.
It is the story of redemption, grace and sacrificial love. I can highly recommend this novel.


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Sunday, 5 February 2017

LONG WAY GONE by CHARLES MARTIN

LONG WAY GONE by CHARLES MARTIN is an amazing book which follows the parable of the Prodigal Son in such a way that one is left with a feeling of hope that truly "no gone is too far gone" for Father God! He never stops loving us, never stops hoping we will turn from our selfishness and sin and hear His voice calling us back into His Presence!
Coop or "Peg", the nickname he was given by his father, has a real gift for music, and from an early age he played and sang at his father's tent revival meetings. His father taught him that the songs he is given are a gift for others, and that they need to be given away in order to heal the broken - hearted. He needs to "let out" the songs that are within him in order to set the captives, himself included, free.
In spite of Coop's teenage rebelliousness and all he goes through as a result, we see throughout, not only the father's love and forgiveness, but also the son's repentance and love for his father.
I like the way he finds Daley, who has fallen on hard times after their climb to fame together, reminding us that there are no coincidences with the Lord and He is indeed able to restore the locust eaten years.
This is truly an inspiring novel and I cannot recommend it highly enough, both for the story and the strong Christian message. Good news - CUM has copies in case you are not an ebook reader like me!



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