Archive | March 2023

Second Time Around by Melody Carlson

Absolutely Charming

Second Time Around by Melody Carlson is an absolutely charming contemporary Christian novel that warmed my heart.

The book is about second chances – we see houses and interiors getting make-overs and a second chance to shine. Likewise, we witness lives with a second chance at happiness. God is not finished with us yet. While we are still breathing, God has plans for us. We can trust Him. Others may try to thwart His plans but if God has ordained it, it will come to pass.

God is the God of the impossible. “What’s impossible with us is possible with God.” Nothing is ever out of His control. All things are possible if we would just let God be God, and stop trying to take control.

Prayer is vital. “She silently prayed begging God to direct her path.” Prayer builds a relationship with God. We are to pray about everything and worry about nothing.

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The Woman Outside The Walls by Suzanne Goldring

The Price Of Silence

The Woman Outside The Walls by Suzanne Goldring is a powerful dual timeline novel that I just could not put down. It is a story that needs to be told in memory of the six million innocents, a quarter of which were children.

The novel is set in Germany mainly during World War II and in London in 2016. The young girl in the war has become the ninety year old in 2016. She has a life full of guilt and regrets, hiding a dreadful secret over the years. Her life has been a series of identities and fearful of a knock on the door. We could blame her youth for her silence, but we all have choices to make and innately know what is wrong and what is right. Innocent questions from a young teen, studying World War II send her back down the years.

The chapters alternate the time periods and voices to tell the tale. The narrative is powerful. We see that not all Germans were Nazis, but to remain silent was to condone events.

Suzanne Goldring shows the innocence and loyalty of childhood as two four year olds in 1929 Germany played quite happily together, even after the Nuremburg Laws were passed. Friendship not religion mattered until innocence is eroded by a disappearance.

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The Little Venice Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin

Purrfectly Charming

The Little Venice Bookshop by Rebecca Raisin is a most delightful contemporary novel that will warm your heart.

Following the death of her mother, a daughter is searching for her roots after a discovery of decades old letters. For all her life, it had been enough just being with her mother. Now she wants to seek out her father.

We see the importance of family. Family does not have to be blood related. The mother and daughter had spent their lives living with other women in a commune. “Women who will always strive to lift me up and love me. Help me when I fall.” These women were family.

Travelling to many places meant there is no one place to call home. But perhaps home was never meant to be bricks and mortar, maybe home is meant to be flesh and blood.

Sometimes when we are hurt, we build walls. “My walls are built high so that no one can ever leave me again.” Walls we build to protect can actually imprison us. Demolish the walls and begin to really live.

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A Secret Garden Affair by Erica James


A Secret Garden Affair by Erica James is an enchanting dual timeline novel about love and life, guilt and grief, and memories that keep us warm at night.

The story is set in the summer of 1981 when the country was gripped by Royal Wedding fever, and also in the 1920’s moving forwards. We see the action in both the first and third person from alternating points of view.

We witness the passion for creating gardens that sees a character feeling at one with nature. And there is also a grande passion that not even death can break. Life is for living. We need to make the most of each day because we never know when life will be cruelly cut short.

There is a beautiful friendship between two ladies that has lasted almost a lifetime. Over the years they have shared each other’s confidences and kept each others secrets.

Guilt rears its ugly head as characters live with the fear that their individual actions caused a tragedy many years ago. Guilt binds us. We need to throw off the shackles and live free.

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