Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book Review: Promises to Keep by Ann Tatlock

Product Description

Eleven-year-old Roz (Rosalind) Anthony and her family have just moved to Mills River, Illinois, to escape an abusive situation. Only days after settling into their new home, they are surprised to find the previous owner, Tillie Monroe, on their front porch reading the newspaper. Though her sons have sold the house and sent her to a facility for the aged, she is determined to die in the place she lived her life, and somehow manages to find her way "home" day after day. Feeling sympathy for the elderly woman, Roz's mother allows Tillie to move back in.

Mara Nightingale becomes Roz's first friend in Mills River. In spite of their many differences, the girls discover they have something in common that binds them together--both are hiding secrets. So they make a promise--"cross my heart and hope to die"--never to tell anyone else.

When danger stalks the Anthonys, Tillie exhibits unimaginable courage and selfless love in her determination to protect the family she has adopted as her own.


I have long enjoyed Ann Tatlock's novels, but this was one of my favourites. The book was very well written, and I enjoyed the humour (especially from Tillie) and the perspective of reading a book written from the child's point of view. As a father, it was hard for me to read about a man who had so damaged his own family - but this just proves what a good writer the author is, as I quickly became emotionally involved with the story. As always, the author had great characterization, an engaging plot, and provided a highly enjoyable read. Well done.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel

Product Description

After a long absence, novelist CJ Baxter returns to his hometown of Adelia in upstate New York for his grandfather's funeral. Facing a messy divorce and doubting his talent as a writer, CJ is forced to confront secrets that have tormented him since childhood. To complicate matters, his brother Graham is running for a Senate seat, and the family is intent on keeping the most damaging secret--surrounding a murder and its cover-up--in the family, for fear the truth would ruin Graham's chances at winning. But with CJ airing their dirty laundry in his books, the family is forced to deal with him. CJ must find a way to remain safe while coming to terms with the newfound faith that compelled him to return to Adelia in the first place.


Well, to be honest, this book was not quite what I expected. I started reading the book thinking it would be a fast paced suspense novel, and it turned out to be...different. While I enjoyed the book, I found some parts to be a bit slow. I did enjoy the unveiling of the character's past and found the book kept my interest throughout. However, the introduction of the fact that the primary character was a Christian seemed somewhat abrupt and less developed than I felt it could have been. Overall, I did enjoy the book and will try future works from this author.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Book Review: Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers

Product Description

In the dramatic conclusion to the New York Times best seller Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers delivers a rich and deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart and the grace and forgiveness that can heal even the deepest wounds. Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War. College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn. Just like Carolyn, May Flower Dawn develops a closer bond with her grandmother, Hildie, than with her mother, causing yet another rift between generations. But as Dawn struggles to avoid the mistakes of those who went before her, she vows that somehow she will be a bridge between the women in her family rather than the wall that separates them forever. Spanning from the 1950s to present day, Her Daughter’s Dream is the emotional final chapter of an unforgettable family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter—and the very nature of unconditional love.


Francine Rivers continues to amaze me by her ability to quickly draw me into her stories until I forget where I am because I have become so immersed in the world she's created. "Her Daughter's Dream" was full of historical detail and strong characters, and was permeated by God's loving prescence. This book stayed with me long after I had finished it, and I greatly look foward to future books from the author.