The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Foundations

The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse – wow it’s a book that will blow your socks off! It will cause you to re-evaluate your life. It is a powerful contemporary read about grief and the resilience of the human spirit. I just could not put it down.

Lead character Nina was realistically drawn. Her emotions, following her loss, were spot on – grief brings tears, anger, a crushed spirit and shows you what you are really made of. I empathised with her character, recognising the conflict of tears versus anger. Her interactions with other characters were a joy to behold. She was the perfect mix of shy and vulnerable, and tough and gutsy. I loved her.

Grief hurts. It crushes spirits. Every day is a struggle. “Carrying on was what was required for all those who got left behind.” Grief brings our true spirit to the surface – do we crumble or survive?

Continue reading

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman

United And Divided

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman (translated by Neil Smith) is a contemporary novel about small town living in Sweden. It is a town both united and divided by ice hockey. Ice hockey dominates everything. It is the be-all and end-all.

The town revolves around ice hockey. You are either in the ‘in’ crowd or you are outside looking in. The novel shows this obsession can blur and warp people’s thinking.

There is the theme of family. Family sticks together. The ice hockey family demand loyalty. There is a high price to pay if you do not give it.

Friendships are important. Some have been forged in childhood.

Ice hockey makes heroes. Once placed on the pedestal, there is only one way to fall.

Continue reading

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander

Blessings And Burdens

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander is a perfectly wonderful Christian historical romance. It is the third book in the Belle Meade Plantation series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Tamera Alexander brings history to life as fact and fiction collide within the novel. Set in 1871 just a few years after the ending of the American Civil War, the novel focuses on the plight of the freedmen being educated at Fisk University. Prejudice and persecution due to ignorance still festered within society. White men and women realising that education was the key to freedom, set about providing classes for the former slaves – from very young to very old there was a passion to learn. They met with resistance at times but persevered, knowing we are all created in God’s image.

Continue reading

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Closing The Circle

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an epic Amish historical romance. It is the third book in the Amish Beginnings series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The Return is set in 1762 and the year is chronicled as the Amish continue to settle themselves in America.

Themes covered include identity, belonging and knowing whose you are. We all need to know and trust God. When we know Him, we can be secure, knowing that we have an anchor for every storm. Knowing our roots is important. “She gave her the history of her people.” We need to know where we come from and where we are going.

Continue reading