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Mercy’s Refuge by Rita Gerlach

Educated And Entertained

Mercy’s Refuge by Rita Gerlach is a comprehensive historical novel about the journey to the New World by the Separatists in 1620. Fact meets fiction in this glorious new novel.

Rita Gerlach has clearly researched this topic thoroughly as the reader is educated as we read.

These were brave men and women who faced horrendous conditions as storms battered the Mayflower. The people had to put their trust and hope in God that He would safely deliver them.

We journey with the characters from England to the Netherlands, back to England and across to America. Due to colourful descriptions, the reader is able to ‘see’ and ‘experience’ the novel with our senses on full alert. I did find at times I was gritting my teeth as the action was tense!

At times there are tragedies which horrify the reader as we are emotionally invested in the novel. It is based on fact and real life is not always kind.

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The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard

The Sacrifices Of All

The Storm Breaks Forth by Terri Wangard is a marvellous historical novel following the final year of World War I.

Terri Wangard has constructed a powerful tale examining the effects of war on the home-front and at the Front for the German Americans.

Once America entered the war, those of German descent were viewed with suspicion. A witch hunt by some meant that innocent citizens were interred in camps throughout the conflict.

Husbands, brothers and sons were conscripted to fight. The reader witnesses the highs and lows of training before being sent overseas.

France was drowning in mud and stalemate. Battle-lines drawn in 1914 had moved little as young men on both sides were used as cannon fodder. The conditions were awful. The mud, the rats and the lice were easy to visualise due to Terri Wangard’s mighty pen.

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The Highest Of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason

His Masterpiece

The Highest Of Hopes by Susan Anne Mason is a most charming Christian historical novel and the second book in the Canadian Crossings series. It can be read as a stand-alone.

Susan Anne Mason has created a wonderful set of characters who will warm the reader’s heart. There are cameo appearances from characters from book one which enhances the feeling of familiarity for the reader.

The year is 1919. The leading lady is searching for her father in a quest to belong and be loved. What she fails to realise is that God, her perfect Father, already loves her and has given her a home in Him. The family she searches for are flawed, they have their own agendas. Our true family is not always found in blood relatives but in the arms of those who love us.

World War I left its scars. Some are physical, others are mental. “Nobody really won in a war… It ate at your soul long after the gunfire had faded.” Shell shock was just beginning to be known and treated. “The horrors in his head were something he might never be able to erase.” There are some sights we can never ‘unsee’, but we can learn to manage the effects.

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The Purple Nightgown by A.D. Lawrence

Stand Still

The Purple Nightgown by A.D. Lawrence is a Christian historical crime suspense that will get your heart racing. It is the tenth book in the True Colors series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The effects of the novel on the reader’s mind is heightened because the crimes are based on true crimes from the early twentieth century. I actually found the book mentally very scary – it could happen to any one of us and this is horrifying.

We see the importance of trusting God and believing His words. We may feel alone but God walks alongside us for He has promised to never leave us.

Prayer is important. “Prayer was a gift.” Sometimes we do not know what to pray but God hears the longings of our heart. “Despite the wordlessness of her prayer, peace wrapped her in a warm embrace.” God’s peace is a gift too. We can experience it in spite of external circumstances.

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