Autumn Dreams At Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett

Embracing The Present

Autumn Dreams At Mermaids Point by Sarah Bennett is the most delightful contemporary novel. It is the second book in the Mermaid’s Point series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The novel has the dual themes of loss and new beginnings. No matter how much time has passed, grief is still raw. We have to learn how to live again and adapt to the new normal.

As a father of two, the lead character finds it hard to adapt to being the sole parent. His own grief and job as a busy London GP sometimes hampers his ability to deal with the grief of his children. A fresh beginning is what is required.

The fresh air of Mermaids Point contrasts with the closed atmosphere of London. The reader can almost ‘feel’ the salty air on our faces due to full descriptions by Sarah Bennett.

The characters were wonderfully and realistically drawn. Strangers receive warm welcomes as the hurting are held close to hearts. It is refreshing to have the lead characters in their forties.

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Tari Faris

God’s Perfect Timing

Since You’ve Been Gone by Tari Faris is a delightful contemporary Christian novel. It is the third book in the Restoring Heritage series but can be read as a stand-alone.

There is the theme of dreams. We all have them. We need to pursue our own dream and not take on the dreams of others. We need to make our own paths.

Like-wise “she was no longer defined by her past or her father’s choices.” We are defined by who we are in Jesus.

We all have a past. Sometimes we view our shared pasts in a different way to others. We were so involved in our feelings and had a fear of rejection that we fail to see what is staring us in the face.

Friends are important. We all need friends who will support and encourage us.

There are some misunderstandings in life. We see something but fail to interpret it correctly. We judge when we should be loving. My heart broke for a character who as a teen wore make-up to disguise the bruises… and no one saw the hurting teen beneath.

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Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo

Absolutely Brilliant And Heartbreaking

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful and heartbreaking historical children’s novel. I happened upon it as my ten year old granddaughter was studying it at school. It appealed to both the historian and the fiction-lover in me.

Michael Morpurgo is a masterful story-teller. He writes Private Peaceful in the first person with the result that the story feels very personal to the reader. As we read, we are on a countdown through the night with the memories of seventeen year old Tommo.

We witness the desire to know that heaven exists. “I want to believe there’s a heaven… that death is not a full stop, and that we will all see one another again.” Surrounded by death on the battlefield, this is a hope to hold on to.

The Belgium Front was a wasteland where even God seemed absent. “He [God] has long since abandoned this place and all of us who live in it.” The faith of men was shaken. “I could no longer pretend to myself that I believed in a merciful god… I could believe only in the hell I was living in… it was man-made, not God-made.”

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Time For Me by Jan Thompson

A Time For Everything

Time For Me by Jan Thompson is a delightful contemporary Christian novella. It is the prequel to the Vacation Sweethearts series. It is part of the Save The Date Collection.

The characters are warm, welcoming and realistic. The reader feels completely at home in their presence.

We witness the importance of trusting God and waiting on His perfect timing. There is a time for everything under the sun if we would just be patient.

True wealth is never to be found in money but in people. When we love and are loved, we are rich beyond belief. We need to let go of our hold on worldly treasures and put our trust in God. We must put God first, family second. Everything else will slot into place when our hearts and priorities line up with His.

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