The Tangled Tale Of The Woolgathering Castoffs by Sharon J Mondragon

Love Wins

The Tangled Tale Of The Woolgathering Castoffs by Sharon J Mondragon is the most charming contemporary Christian novel that I loved. It is the second book in the Purls & Prayers series but can be read as a stand-alone.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with characters old and new. A warm welcome is extended to all.

The setting is mainly in an assisted living facility where some residents suffer from dementia. It is hard for spouses and families to see their loved ones slip away bit by bit. Some activities are remembered even if they can no longer remember family.

It is against this backdrop that we meet the woolgathers who knit and crochet prayer shawls in the foyer several times a week. “A shawl made with love and prayer can give comfort and courage to the person who receives it.” Each shawl is prayed over in church too. Shawls are given to those whom God chooses.

The characters press into God. They may ‘hear’ from Him as they knit in public or private. They know the importance of prayer. “It mattered whether she prayed for them or not.” The recipients of the shawls can ‘feel’ the love.

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Storm Horse by Jane Elson

Life Changing

Storm Horse by Jane Elson is the most charming and powerful contemporary children’s novel. It is perfect for ages ten years and over. I am considerably older and I loved it.

The book surrounds the topic of dyslexia. I knew that people with dyslexia struggled with letters jumping around – but there is so much more to dyslexia than that. It is a daily struggle for many. I now feel that I have more understanding of dyslexia and of the daily difficulties.

I completely ‘lived’ the book as I ‘became’ eleven year old Daniel. The novel is narrated by him and in the first person. I ‘felt’ his highs and lows. My heart broke for him at times, and I applauded his bravery, grit and determination.

We also hear the story of the 1930’s race horse Seabisuit, in the form of letters written by Daniel’s Great Great Grandfather. Seabiscuit also overcame difficulties. He triumphed in adversity and became champion of the people, giving them hope during the 1930’s Depression in America. We learn of the terrible poverty, hunger and living conditions of a generation.

In present day the children in the novel also face poverty and difficulties. Seabiscuit also gives them hope as they learn his story.

We witness the healing power of animals. Since the departure of reading dog Wilbur, the members of silver reading group have struggled. “Reading is not pleasure, it’s torture… Wilbur never judged me when the words jumbled up.” Until now, I had not appreciated just how hard reading could be for some.

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The Secret To Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher

3 Legs On The Stool

The Secret To Happiness by Suzanne Woods Fisher is the most charming contemporary Christian novel that I read mainly in one sitting. I paused only to sleep. It is the second book in the Cape Cod Creamery series and can be read as a stand-alone. However, I recommend reading the books in order, so that you see character progression and development, as well as maximum enjoyment.

Cape Cod and family are the place to go when life gets tough. Family and the community offer love and care. It is surprising to witness healing coming in the form of six year old cowboy Leo. His warm, sunny nature and his openness, help souls heal. One cannot help but smile when he is around.

The story, once more, centres around the ice cream parlour. Now it is winter and the tourists are gone, it has to adapt and change. Likewise, we need to be adaptable as we start new chapters in life.

We all need lives that have purpose. “She’d hit her goal… there’d always been a vague feeling of emptiness… Is this all there is?” We need to make sure that are lives are centred on what gives meaning. So much in life is just chasing the wind. We need to find our purpose. Knowing God makes our lives meaningful. “Do you talk to God?” God longs to hear from us. Prayer is simply conversations with God. We need to listen as well as talk.

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The Sweet Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Transforming Lives With Love

The Sweet Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a most delightful contemporary Christian novel. It is the first book in the Cape Cod Creamery series and I cannot wait for the subsequent books.

There are some books that as soon as you start, you just know you are going to adore the book, love the characters and never want it to end – The Sweet Life is one of those books. It is simply beautiful.

Suzanne Woods Fisher has developed a wonderful eclectic mix of characters. Each one has a back story. Each one is, or has been, battling problems that will prove to be turning points in their lives. Each one lodged in my heart. Did I have a favourite? I have to admit a soft spot for five year old cowboy Leo.

Sometimes in life we will have health issues that will knock us for six. We meet a character who is recovering from surgery for breast cancer. The only way to deal with it was to live in isolation. She did not want to share her story. However, her experiences meant she was able to spot another with a breast cancer diagnosis, and then walk beside her as it was a path that she had already trodden.

We also meet a character who has bad news after bad news heaped on her. She does not turn from God but directs her anger and her questions to Him. Where is God in the midst of her suffering? He walks beside her. She cannot see Him nor feel Him but “God was trying to get my attention and finally had to use a megaphone.” We need to be so in tune with God that we hear His whisper.

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