In the Shadow of the River Book Review

In the shadow of the river book coverI am a fan of Ann H. Gabhart’s historical fiction, however, In the Shadow of the River left me disappointed.

Set in 1881 In the Shadow of the River takes place on a showboat floating down the Ohio River. It begins with the foiled kidnapping attempt of 5-year-old Jacci, and follows up 15 years later with her still in danger.

There are likable characters, friendship, an interesting setting, mystery, and danger. Nevertheless, I found the retelling of the same information about Jacci’s history by multiple characters unnecessary. I realize this is a work of fiction, but there are too many coincidences for me to believe.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Metropolitan Affair Book Review

woman in metropolitan museumI enjoyed following Dr. Lauren Westlake and Detective Joe Caravello through the twists and turns of The Metropolitan Affair, by Jocelyn Green, as they worked to solve a mystery where not everything is as it appears, and wishing doesn’t make it so.

Filled with intrigue, mystery, romance, and way too many characters for me to keep track of, The Metropolitan Affair takes the reader on a page turning ride through 1924 New York City.

When old friends, Lauren and Joe, team up to solve the mystery of who is passing off forged art work as authentic amid Prohibition, Egyptomania, fraud, corruption, forgery, deception, and murder, they discover what is real and what isn’t.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction with enough details to learn interesting facts about that time period, The Metropolitan Affair may be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it? I wish you well.

Sandy

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After the Shadows Book Review

woman walking toward mansionThere is so much to like about Amanda Cabot’s latest Christian historical fiction novel, After the Shadows. Well-developed characters to love, an intriguing mystery to solve, a blossoming romance to root for, and of course, several characters to dislike.

Set in 1882, when Emily Leland returns home to Sweetwater Crossing, Texas, after her abusive husband dies, instead of the welcome she expects, she finds her father dead. Not believing the doctor’s report for the cause of death, she sets out to discover the truth. Along the way, she reconnects with old friends and makes new ones. One such friend is Craig Ferguson who works with Emily to solve the mystery of her father’s death.

After the Shadows is a fast-paced page-turner whose mystery unfolds bit by bit right up to the final page. If you enjoy Christian historical fiction with a touch of mystery thrown in, this may just be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

The Blackout Book Club Book Review

women in libraryThe Blackout Book Club by Amy Lynn Green is the tale of four different women who form the Blackout Book Club at the beginning of World War II. The author tells the story alternately from each women’s view point, giving insight into their personality and backyard.

As they meet, these very different women discover they aren’t so different after all. Each is affected by the war that has come to the shores of their small Maine town. Each has secrets she tries to hide. And eventually, each woman realizes, no matter how different they may appear, they need each other.

The author gives a glimpse into wartime America at the beginning of WWII through her characters, what they do to support the war effort, and letters they receive. Along the way, the author introduces readers to the books the book club is reading.

If you are looking for a story about friendship with a bit of history mixed with secrets and intrigue, then perhaps The Blackout Book Club is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

When the Meadow Blooms Book Review

woman in meadowWhat a wonderful story! Ann Gabhart’s latest novel, When the Meadow Blooms, is a story filled with rich characters. Some you will love. Some you won’t. Some are hurting. Some are hopeful. There are heroes to love for their honor. There are villains to despise for their evil.

Set in 1925 Kentucky, When the Meadow Blooms tells the story of widow Rose Meadows, her two daughters Calla and Sienna, and Dirk Meadows, Rose’s brother-in-law. There is so much heart in this story. It is easy to get caught up in each character’s life as they struggle with painful memories and past hurts, misunderstandings and forgiveness.

Of all the Ann Gabhart books I have read, When the Meadow Blooms tops the list. If you enjoy faith-based historical fiction, perhaps this will top your list as well.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my May Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Along a Storied Trail Book Review

Along a Storied Trail is another fine tale of Appalachian history by Ann Gabhart. I love Ann’s books and the way she weaves historical details into her stories.

Set in 1937, Along a Storied Trail is fast-paced and filled with lovable characters. It tells the story of Tansy Calhoun, a Kentucky packhorse librarian. Her job is to deliver books to the folks living near her home from the library in town.

When Damien Felding arrives in town to write about the area, Tansy is tasked with introducing him to the locals to get their stories. At the same time, Caleb Barton, Tansy’s old friend, returns home from Tennessee where he worked with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Complications arise as Tansy searches for the ideal man with aplomb.

If you enjoy Christian historical fiction set in the Appalachians, then Along a Storied Trail is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

The Moonlight School Book Review

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an historical fiction novel inspired by true events in the life of Cora Wilson Stewart in 1911 Rowan County, Eastern Kentucky. Set against a landscape devastated by lumber companies, and faced with poverty and illiteracy, we meet Lucy Wilson, her cousin Cora, Brother Wyatt, and a cast of endearing mountain folk. I especially liked young Finley James.

The story takes us along with Lucy as she leaves her father and stepmother in Lexington, to help Cora combat poverty by eliminating illiteracy. What Lucy doesn’t leave behind, though, are memories of the day her young sister disappeared. As Lucy interacts with the people of Rowan County, she comes to understand, just because a person does not have money, that does not mean they are poor.

If you enjoy Appalachian historical fiction with heart, such as books written by Ann H. Gabhart, then The Moonlight School may just be the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my February Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

A Cowboy For Keeps Book Review

Set in Colorado Territory in 1862, A Cowboy for Keeps by Jody Hedlund tells the story of Greta Nilsson, a mail order bride who cares for her sickly younger sister, and rancher Wyatt McQuaid. After Greta arrives in Fairplay, Colorado, she must adjust her plans. Penniless following her stagecoach robbery, and learning her intended husband is dead, she is left with no few options. When her intended’s friend, Wyatt McQuaid, proposes marriage, Greta agrees.

A Cowboy for Keeps has heroes and villains, moments of hope and times of despair, characters to root for and those to despise. Sprinkled throughout the book are Scripture references to guide Greta and Wyatt on their journey of decision-making.

Although I enjoyed the dialog between Wyatt and Greta as their relationship developed, which gave a glimpse into who they were, the repetitious internal self-doubt and introspection often pulled me out of the story.

A Cowboy for Keeps is a book for those who enjoy Christian historical fiction marriage of convenience tales.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my January Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

What Momma Left Behind Book Review

With the authentic voice of an Appalachian storyteller, Cindy Sproles’ novel, What Momma Left Behind, takes you to 1877 Tennessee with all its heartache and promise. With that said, if you are unfamiliar with Appalachian expressions and dialect, you may find What Momma Left Behind somewhat confusing to get through.

This is a story of loss, love, sacrifice, and eventually, forgiveness, as we journey with seventeen-year-old Worie Dressar following the death of her mother at a time when disease spreads through her mountain community, killing parents and leaving orphans to fend for themselves.

While there is much to like about this book, I came away with unanswered questions I wish the author answered.

If you enjoy reading Christian historical fiction written in an authentic Appalachian voice, What Momma Left Behind just might be the book for you.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

Crinoline Cowboys Book Review

Southern Belles conquer the west. Set in Crinoline Creek, Texas in the late 1860s, Crinoline Cowboys is a collection of four stories. Authored by Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Marilyn Turk, and Kathleen Y’Barbo, each story tells the tale of a strong, determined woman who leaves her southern home and losses following the Civil War, to start a new life in the Texas.

As Madalyn Turner, Josephine Montgomery, Sarah Beth Taylor, and Bea Wilson face their new surroundings, challenges, and the unfamiliar ways of the citizens of Crinoline Creek, their stories take us on a delightful journey right up to the happily ever after.

If you’re a fan of Christian historical romance set in the west, this may just be the book for you. With four different heroines, heroes, and sets of problems there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.