Blowing In The Wind
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston is the most delightful novel that wraps around the reader, filling them with love.
This is a book that I never wanted to end. It was beautifully written and just sank into my heart and soul.
This was a book about love. It was a love that was not confined to the here and now but a love that defied space and time.
And this was a book that makes you feel good, as you experience the love. It was also a book that made you feel whimsical, as I kept thinking ‘oh no, if only…’ As I read towards the conclusion I did yell a loud ‘Oh yes!’ at a certain point – see if you do too.
A major theme was that of grief and loss as the family own and run a funeral home. But among the loss and the grief lives love. Love is a lasting legacy. Love says we lived even though we are now gone.
Powerful And Heartbreaking
The Maid’s Secret by Shari J Ryan is a heartbreaking historical tale that totally consumed me.
The story starts in 1938 in Czechoslovakia and takes us through the war years. It is a powerful story of heartache, family and Nazi occupation.
Disagreements and arguments in peacetime are put aside in World War II as we follow family members from their home to the ghetto to the concentration camps. Hope, and a lot of luck are needed to survive. Sometimes the disease-infested conditions just become too much. Sheer willpower alone to survive is not enough.
We see the love and loyalty of a maid to her employers. As the Nazi grip tightens, the lines between employer and employee blur, eventually being rubbed out as family is all that matters.
Lessons For Us All
Voice In The Storm by Eric Thomas Ruthford is a marvellous contemporary Christian YA novel that has lessons for us all to learn, no matter how old we are.
The book follows a group of teens at summer camp and in their daily lives. They are all thirteen/fourteen years old and on the cusp of adulthood. The book is split into five parts as we follow four teens and see the action from the various points of view.
We witness their troubles, their highs and lows as they attempt to be good Orthodox Christians in the world.
There is the isolation of a character who has started a new school. Being incredibly clever at science fails to win any popularity contests, especially as she seems to be more knowledgeable than her science teacher who fails to stop the bullying. This further isolates her.
There are also the heart-breaking themes of PTSD and subsequently substance and alcohol abuse. A child of thirteen is forced to become the adult. “I kept asking God to tell me how to fix Dad.” We cannot fix anyone. Our job is to pray, and leave the fixing to God. “I was responsible for praying… I wasn’t responsible for coming up with a way to fix it.”
Wow – Mesmerising!
The Echoes Of Love by Jenny Ashcroft is a marvellous historical novel that totally consumed me.
The action is mainly set during World War II on the occupied island of Crete. It also features Crete in 1936 and also an interview in 1974 with subject #17. The interview intersperses the action as #17 tells of what he did and saw in Crete during WWII. We ‘see’ some of the war through #17’s eyes but mainly through the eyes of the two lead characters.
1936 Crete was a time of gaiety, warmth and freedom. It was in complete contrast to the grey constricting Germany where the clouds of war were darkening. In Crete characters could be themselves. There was no such thing as forbidden love.
Life in London during WWII also contrasted with the brightness of Crete.