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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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Wednesday, 18 April 2018

THE HIDDEN SIDE by HEIDI CHIAVAROLI

THE HIDDEN SIDE by HEIDI CHIAVAROLI is not a light and easy read, but it is well worth reading. It is very well put together, with the story of Mercy Howard, who lived in 1776 in war torn America, intertwining with the story of the Abbot family in 2016, who were fighting their own war.
When Natalie Abbot came across the book, The Journal Entries of Mercy Howard, next to her twelve year old son Chris' bed, she did not know what an encouragement Mercy's story would be to her and also eventually to Chris' twin sister, Maelynn.
Natalie works for a radio station under the nom de plume, Skye, and she and her co-host, Tom, take calls from people, mostly desperate ones, giving them Godly advice and encouragement.
In spite of the heaviness of the subject matter, hope shines through both Mercy's and the Abbot family's stories, and we see that the Lord can bring good out of even the most awful situations. As hidden secrets are eventually revealed, the healing begins and life goes on.
It is a very "real" book and an excellent read. I received a pre-release copy of the novel from Tyndale House Publishers Inc. The opinions in this review are completely my own.


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Wednesday, 11 April 2018

A DEFENCE OF HONOR by KRISTI ANN HUNTER

A DEFENSE OF HONOR by KRISTI ANN HUNTER is a delightful book and one that I will definitely read more than once. The author has a really good way with words and I love the easy conversations between the characters. The content is rich with scriptural truth. A serious matter, that of illegitimacy and the lives that are affected by it, is dealt with in the novel. The story takes place in 1816 in England, and the description of British society at the time, with all its class distinction, is well done.
Graham, the viscount Wharton, finds a beautiful, but rather secretive, young lady, hiding behind some foliage in a ballroom. He later comes across her in the street nearby bravely threatening to throw her knife at some vagabonds who are about to harm her. He saves her from them and learns her name is Kit.
When his friend Oliver's sister disappears from London society without a trace, Graham goes with him to look for her.
He comes across Kit again when they follow a lead to Marlborough and he finds her at Haven Manor where she, with the help of Daphne and Jess, look after twelve children of varying ages.
I don't want to spoil the story for you but I will just say that there is romance, intrigue and a great deal of food for thought. It is one of the best books I have read lately and I can really recommend it.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

TOGETHER FOREVER by JODY HEDLUND

TOGETHER FOREVER by JODY HEDLUND is a historical romance novel that is both encouraging and eye opening. The story starts in 1858 at the Children's Aid Society in New York with Marianne Neumann and Andrew Brady preparing to set off on a placing out mission with thirty one children of varying ages. They are hoping to save the children from bad situations in the city by having them taken into families in farming communities.
It is a beautifully told story. The characters are very real. We see examples of unconditional love, great courage and strength in adversity.
It is heartwarming to see Marianne and Drew's loving interaction with the children who have such sad stories to tell, and who are also understandably anxious about what their future holds.
Marianne has to overcome the guilt she feels about losing her sister Sophie and Drew feels guilty about the drowning of a boy when he was swimming with a group of boys at the school where he used to teach. Marianne lost both her parents and knows what it is like to live on the streets of New York, and Drew has a bad relationship with his father who is embarrassed by him. It is interesting to see how the Lord deals with these issues.
I can highly recommend the book for the interesting and exciting story and the strong Christian message.

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Wednesday, 4 April 2018

THE HOUSE AT SALTWATER POINT by COLLEEN COBLE

THE HOUSE AT SALTWATER POINT by COLLEEN COBLE is a romantic suspense novel with a good deal of mystery and some Christian truth.
Ellie Blackmore and Jason Yarwood, her sister's ex husband, are partners in a business called Lavender Farm Homes. Ellie is known as "Hammer Girl" because of her blog of the same name.
When Ellie goes to visit her sister, Mackenzie, on her tall ship, Lavender Lady, she is horrified to find that Mackenzie has disappeared and the deck is covered in blood.
Grayson Bradshaw is really Shauna Bannister's long lost brother, Connor. He is in the Coast Guard Investigatve Services and is in Lavender Falls to track some missing cocaine, andTarek Nasser, the terrorist who killed his best friend.
Although the book is a sequel to The View from Rainshadow Bay, it easily stands alone. The novel is fast paced and we are kept guessing all along. It is a most enjoyable read.



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Thursday, 29 March 2018

THE ACCIDENTAL GUARDIAN by MARY CONNEALY

THE ACCIDENTAL GUARDIAN by MARY CONNEALY is best described as a cowboy romance story with a fair share of suspense and a really good Christian message.
Cowboy Trace Riley comes across Deb and Gwen Harkness and two small children, Ronnie & Maddie Sue Scott, literally in the wilderness after the wagon train they were on was attacked and burnt. Trace, whose father was killed in a similar manner, makes it his business to guard the trails and keep a look out for trouble. He has become almost a mythical figure, the guardian of the trails.
For years he lived alone with only his stallion, Black, and his dog, Wolf, for company. Adam and Utah who work with him now are most surprised when he comes home with the women and children. I love the way these rough men adapt to the situation, although they are not at all used to having women and children around.
It is a delightful book and I really enjoyed it for the great story and biblical truth running through it.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A MOST NOBLE HEIR by SUSAN ANNE MASON

In A MOST NOBLE HEIR by SUSAN ANNE MASON the themes of class distinction, unconditional love, loyalty and family life are explored. The novel takes place at Stainsby Hall in Derbyshire in 1884. It reminds me of Downton Abbey with the descriptions of life upstairs with the nobility, and downstairs in the servants' quarters!
Edward, Earl of Stainsby, is shattered when he finds out that his stable hand, Nolan Price, is indeed his son from his first marriage, and that he has married Hannah, one of his maids. In Edward's eyes Hannah is now beneath Nolan, and he does his best to break up the marriage. There is quite a battle of wills between father and son and the stress of it all affects Hannah badly. Hannah, Nolan, and even Edward each have areas in their past that need to be dealt with before they can have any peace in the situation in which they find themselves.
I don't want to spoil the story for you, but will just say that there is romance, intrigue, and a good Christian message. I really enjoyed this book.


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Saturday, 24 March 2018

A LIGHT ON THE HILL by CONNILYN COSSETTE

A LIGHT ON THE HILL by CONNILYN COSSETTE is a beautifully written story which takes place after the fall of Jericho and during the time that the land was being divided amongst the tribes of Israel. In spite of the fact that there were still Canaanite cities to be conquered, the Israelites were encouraged to farm the land that was already theirs.
In 1399 B.C., Moriyah, a young Hebrew girl, bearing the mark of the Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth, which was branded on her face when she was captured at the age of thirteen, is living on her father's vineyard in Shiloh. She is ashamed of what the mark means, although she managed to escape before being made into a temple prostitute. She hides behind a veil and there are few people she trusts because of the relentless gossip that surrounds her.
Her life changes forever when her father, who loves his daughter and wants to make sure she is looked after when he dies, offers his vineyard as a dowry to Pekah's son, Raviv, a widower with twin sons. Tragedy occurs, she flees for her life and shows incredible courage in the face of danger.
The story is fast paced, the characters well portrayed and the setting in the Promised Land of Canaan is described well. We see how Yahweh speaks to Moriyah, as she commits to obedience to the Law. I love the descriptions of the Tabernacle and the Feasts of Yom Kippur and Succoth and the meaning in it all for those of us who serve Yeshua. Also the description of Shechem, one of the cities of refuge, which also is symbolic of the Father's protection and forgiveness of sins. It is a book which really makes this time in Jewish history come alive for us. There is a strong message of hope, loyalty and love. I really enjoyed this novel and cannot recommend it highly enough for the inspirational story and strong biblical content.

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