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Showing posts from November, 2012

A Review: "All Things New" by Lynn Austin

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"All Things New" by Lynn Austin is set in post-Civil War-era Virginia and focuses on the months immediately following the end of the war. The Confederacy has just lost the war, the citizens are facing poverty and attempting to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, and deep prejudices continue to come to light.

Josephine Weatherly lost her father and one older brother in the war. Her family may lose their plantation as well with limited resources and no real ability to bring in a cotton crop. Josephine begins to see that life needs to revolve around basic survival, not trying to keep up a facade of life as it was before the war. Her mother, Eugenia, is appalled at the idea of her daughter expressing interesting in tending a garden, sewing, and learning to cook, and she tries to forbid Josephine from having anything to do with "manual labor".

Lizzie is a freed slave who continues to live at White Oak plantation with her family after the war, primarily due to the pro…

A Review: "Heaven Changes Everything" by Todd and Sonja Burpo

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"Heaven Changes Everything:  Living Every Day with Eternity in Mind" by Todd and Sonja Burpo is a devotional based on their best-selling book, "Heaven is For Real". This book features 42 entries, beginning with an excerpt from "Heaven is For Real", followed by a brief devotional thought written by one or both of the Burpos, and concludes with a reflective question and Scripture verse. Each reading is designed to help the reader turn their thoughts toward heaven. Some of the topics covered include miscarriage, children's ministry, and forgiveness.

Overall, this is a nice companion book. I appreciated the format of the book, as well as reading reflections from both authors. I never gave much more than a passing thought to heaven until my own miscarriage. Their original book brought so much comfort to us in a great time of need and helped turn our thoughts toward heaven. In a world that tends to be pretty self-absorbed (even in Christian circles!), a boo…

A Review: "Taming the Wind" by Tracie Peterson

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"Taming the Wind" by Tracie Peterson in the concluding book in the "Land of the Lone Star" trilogy. This book follows the story of Carissa Lowe, a young widow with a small daughter named Gloria. After her terrible, abusive first marriage, she is afraid to trust her heart with anyone. Relying heavily on her sister, Carissa seeks to be as independent as possible. Tyler Atherton was the man who saved Carissa's life when her husband attempted to end her life. A former Confederate soldier, he's lost his family's ranch due to his loyalties in the war. He attempts to get back his ranch with the help of his friend, Will Barnett.

The story was captivating and the characters were well developed. I loved how this story drew in characters from the other two books in the trilogy and neatly wrapped up the series. There was a bit of predictability in the story, but there was enough action to help offset that aspect.

Overall, the story was well done and I felt it was a…