I’ve been looking forward to the new year because I can relieve myself of the obligation I put upon myself to post every other day. I like blogging, but every other day isn’t a standard I can hold myself to forever; and I don’t want to waste your time or mine. This year my aim is for at least every 3rd day.
The only other resolution I’ve come up with is to read more nonfiction. I love fiction, but I know I can benefit more from the extra knowledge I can gain from non fiction. Until then, how about a couple of fiction reviews? Maybe you’re resolving to read more in 2013 and are looking for some options.
Title (link to where you can buy the book, which benefits me nothing): A Clearing in the Wild, 1st book in the Change and Cherish Series
Author: Jane Kirkpatrick
Published: 2009 by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, who so freely and kindly sent me this book to review
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: 1850’s, a small group of colonists crossing America from Missouri to Washington and Oregon and then working to prepare a place for all their colony to come and settle in Oregon
What I gained from reading it: Clearing in the Wild provides great detail of the challenges encountered when settling near the Willapa Bay. Reading about things like using deer tendon for string makes you appreciate all the ease and convenience we have today. I learned about the changes the Bethany colony incurred in their attempt to remain completely separate from the world and gained new perspective on life in America during the 1850’s. The story helps you see the diversity that existed in America even then.
What I liked: I always enjoy reading books by Jane Kirkpatrick. She does such a nice job of weaving a true story into a story that is educational and interesting. I most liked learning about the Bethel colony and their unique views. I love that the overall majority of the characters in the story were real people. I can’t imagine how much research Kirkpatrick puts into writing her novels.
What I wasn’t sure about: Really nothing. The story isn’t addicting and you don’t get so involved that you feel like praying for the characters, but I had no trouble finishing it.
My Overall Rating (5 point scale): 4.3 – Kind of need to figure out a new scale. I have a hard time rating anything below a 3.9.
Title (link to where you can buy the book, which benefits me nothing): The Wedding Dress
Author: Rachel Hauck
Published: 2012 by Thomas Nelson Publishng
Genre: Romantic, Christian Fiction
Setting: 1912 and 2012 in Birmingham, Alabama
What I gained from reading it: I gained some knowledge about racial tensions in Birmingham in 1912, and appreciation for the gospel and primarily just an enjoyable time reading.
What I liked: This is a story where you connect with the characters and the plot. Half way through the book I looked at the front and read that the book was about four women. I had only read about two of them at that point and liked them so much I didn’t want there to be two more women. It didn’t turn out to be a problem. Hauck did a very nice job of having two stories, one hundred years apart, going on at the same time. I love what she writes in the Author Note at the end of the book.
“…I began to see the wedding dress as a symbol for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It never wears out. It fits everyone who tries it on. It doesn’t need to be altered. And it’s always in style.”
What I wasn’t sure about: The Wedding Dress made me think I was reading a Hallmark Movie – romantic, leaves you feeling warm inside, engaging, yet slightly unrealistic and cheesy. This book has a very happy ending, but it has some events that remind you you’re reading fiction to get it to the happy ending. Overall a Hallmark Movie type of book is a very positive thing in my book.
My Overall Rating (5 point scale): 4.4