Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart

Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart
By Jennifer Moore

Daniel Burton is sent to New South Wales as a convict--but when he arrives, he's pardoned and given the chance to become a landowner instead.He is grateful for his fresh start and is determined to make the most of it. He is intrigued by his neighbor, Sarah Whitaker, who arrived in Australia as a child and has become a successful businesswoman on her own. She seems a constant contradiction. While she has a strong dislike for the native people and convicts, believing them incapable of truly changing, Daniel also sees more in her--but can their fledgling feelings survive the truth of Daniel's background?

I think what I like most about Jennifer Moore's books is that she takes a familiar time period (Regency era) and brings in a different location. It's so interesting to see what life was like in other parts of the world during that era. I also liked seeing how Sarah had become who she was--and also how she began to change. Another great book from Jennifer Moore.

4 stars.

 I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wings of the Wind

Wings of the Wind
Connilyn Cossette

Alanah has no life left among the Canaanite people after the deaths of her father and brothers, all killed by the advancing Hebrews, so she disguises herself as a man and joins the Canaanite army as they fight the Hebrews once more--only this time, her people are decimated, and Alanah, who thought she would die in battle, survives. A Hebrew soldier, Tobiah, finds her among the wounded, and to honor Yahweh and to protect Alanah, he marries her. Alanah and Tobiah have thirty days to consider if they will stay married, and while Alanah initially is certain that she will leave, as she comes to know her husband, his people, and his God, she begins to wonder if she could truly, for the first time in her life, find a home.

 This book is Biblical fiction at its finest. Connilyn Cossette gives you everything--characters who you care about deeply, amazing descriptions, beautiful language, and a compelling plot, as well as an invitation to think about God and His presence and His ways.
I loved Tobiah, his quiet strength and his determination to do what is right, and I loved seeing Alanah's walls come down, as she learned that she didn't need to rely only on herself but that she could trust Tobiah and God. I loved the message of hope in her story (as well as certain other characters we meet later in the book), as she finds healing from deeply inflicted emotional wounds. 

The descriptions of the scenery, as well as of the people the Hebrews fought and their depravity, really made this period of history come to life. It made some (in my opinion), somewhat dry chapters from the Bible become much more interesting. The language had a similar effect, bringing to life a fascinating story.

There were so many things to love about the plot--seeing Tobiah and Alanah come to trust and care for each other, seeing Alanah's acceptance of Yahweh, and subsequent challenges (which I can't mention without giving spoilers!) were so gripping. This is one of those books you should try to clear out a large chunk of time for, because you don't want to put it down once you stop.

This was an excellent book, and I can't wait for more from Connilyn Cossette!

 I received a free copy of the book from the publisher and author. All opinions are my own.