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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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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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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

LOOKING INTO YOU by CHRIS FABRY

LOOKING INTO YOU by CHRIS FABRY is the beautifully written story of a mother and child searching for each other, and then not being sure how to react to one another when circumstances find them at the same college.
Paige, the only child of missionary parents, is covered with guilt when she falls pregnant at seventeen, and is practically forced by her mother to give up her baby for adoption, so as to not bring shame on her parents' life work. It breaks her heart to do this, but she imagines that her child will be brought up by loving parents who will give her the life she, as a teenage single mother, will never be able to give her.
This does not happen and Treha is pushed from one foster home to another. She is often treated like a freak because the drugs her mother was given during pregnancy caused her to look a bit different. She is suspicious by nature and afraid of being hurt, especially when she suspects she is being lied to.
The story is involved, the characters are very true to life, and the Author has an amazing way with words that describe how they are feeling. This flows into the theme of the love of reading and writing that Treha has inherited from her mother.
It isn't until Paige finds her daughter, that the blockage that was stopping her from writing her doctorate on mothers and daughters in literature, disappears. In fact the main theme of the novel is the relationship between mothers and daughters, the redemptive power of a mother's love and that the love of Father God does indeed cast out all fear. It is an encouraging story of second chances. It is a book I have read through twice and will definitely read again.


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Thursday, 12 January 2017

FLOWER SWALLOW by ALANA TERRY

FLOWER SWALLOW by ALANA TERRY is the the moving life story of a little boy who lived through the famine in North Korea, as he tells it to his teacher. The simple way the story is told is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. The Author's characters are always so real, and Woong, the flower swallow, definitely tells it how he sees it!
Throughout the novel we see the Lord's protection of this child and we see true Christianity in someone like Auntie, the young woman who takes care of the abandoned children, feeding and loving them. She has never seen a Bible but she knows what Jesus did for her on the cross, and Woong can see she truly loves her Lord.
This novel really opened my eyes and I can highly recommend it.


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Monday, 2 January 2017

TURBULENCE by ALANA TERRY

ALANA TERRY's latest novel, TURBULENCE, is a gripping story which can be read as a stand alone, but I suggest you read it in sequence with the first four Kennedy Stern novels.
Kennedy and her Harvard roommate, Willow, are on their way to Alaska to spend Christmas with Willow's family, when disaster hits their plane.
Kennedy is such an interesting character, brilliantly clever, but with a rather poor self image and a real propensity for panic attacks (which is not surprising considering the brushes with death she has had in the nineteen years of her life!) Willow, on the other hand, is dramatic, rather New Age and "politically correct"! And yet the pair get on well, largely, Kennedy fears, due to the fact that she doesn't share her Christian faith with her friend.
I love the way that the Author makes her characters so real - they are definitely flawed, as are we all - and I have really enjoyed seeing Kennedy's growth throughout the novels.
I like the contrast between Kennedy's missionary upbringing and Willow's unorthodox one but with both sets of parents devoted to their daughters. Grandma Lucy is a delightful character, and we come across Dominic again - is he perhaps about to become something more in Kennedy's life?
There is a balance in this novel between trying too hard to be a "good Christian witness" and trusting God to come through as we rely on His Holy Spirit.
I have read all Alana Terry's novels and find them exciting and inspiring.


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Saturday, 5 November 2016

WHERE TREASURE HIDES by JOHNNIE ALEXANDER

I have just finished re- reading WHERE TREASURE HIDES by JOHNNIE ALEXANDER and can highly recommend the novel as an exciting and heart warming read, and for the strong Christian message. The story takes place during the Second World War, in both England and Holland.
Alison Schuyler received her artistic skill from her father, Pieter, and her love of art from her grandfather, Hendrik, and the people who work with him at the famous Van Schuyler Gallery of Fine arts in Rotterdam. She battles to overcome her father's seeming abandonment, and is afraid that she will never settle down with the man of her dreams because of the dreaded Van Schuyler curse.
Ian Devlin is a member of the British aristocracy and a lieutenant in the British army. He struggles with guilt over his older brother's drowning accident, which happened when they were children. He takes his faith seriously, and battles when he is forced to take a life to try and save a helpless woman and child.
The two meet at Waterloo station, brought together by a young Jewish boy and his violin, and it seems like love at first sight. Will Alison be able to let go of her superstitious fear of the family curse, putting her faith in the God whose perfect love casts out all fear, or will she allow it to ruin her life? Will she ever see Ian again or will he be killed in action?
I love the realistic way the Author describes the situation in occupied Holland. Alison is part of the underground, saving both precious Jewish children and priceless works of art from the Nazis. In spite of the horrors of war, there is an underlying hope, as courageous men and women literally go through hell to make the world a better place. For those of us who love the Jewish people and serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, it is a "must read"!
It is a story of courage and faith and of not allowing the past to ruin one's life. This book certainly gives one a great deal of food for thought and is beautifully written.



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