Turning Tide by Melody Carlson

Endings And Beginnings

Turning Tide by Melody Carlson is a marvellous Christian historical novel and part of the Legacy Of Sunset Cove series. It can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend reading the previous novels first.

The action is set in 1917 as America is entering World War I. I enjoyed catching up with familiar faces. Some characters are already at the Front, others are draft dodgers and others are excluded from serving but wish this were not the case. “It’s just hard to stand by and watch.”

Women on the home front do what they can to support the war effort including selling liberty bonds.

The men suffer at the Front. The women suffer on the home front as they worry about their men. They need to entrust their worries to God. “It’s better to pray than to worry.” The reader is reminded that we are to worry about nothing and to pray about everything, only by trusting God will receive a supernatural peace in spite of circumstances.

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Return To Edisto by Lin Stepp

The Rest Is Just Gravy

Return To Edisto by Lin Stepp is a delightful, heart-warming contemporary Christian novel. It is the second book in the Edisto Trilogy but can be read as a stand-alone.

The reader immediately feels at home with the characters in the novel. We can sense the chemistry between the two lead characters and there is a wonderful feeling of community. Edisto is the place where everyone knows your name, and love and care are the order of the day. Your private business is in the public domain but it is a small price to pay in exchange for the community spirit.

“The island is a good place for healing.” Edisto, with its small town charm, spreads a blanket of love and compassion over the hurting.

Sometimes life pulls us away from God. “You might be mad at Him right now… but it’s you that’s distanced yourself from Him.” We sometimes transfer our feelings about others onto God. “Don’t be assigning blame to God for things He didn’t do.” God’s character is love. He will never hurt or reject us. He is with us in the good and the bad times, we just need to seek Him. “It’s never too late to come back to God.” No matter where we’ve been, no matter what we’ve done, we will never be out of reach of the Father’s arms.

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Happy Valley by Lin Stepp

A Warm Welcome For All

Happy Valley by Lin Stepp is a delightful contemporary Christian novel. It is part of the Mountain Home series but can be read as a stand-alone.

I always adore Lin Stepp’s novels as they wrap around me like a cosy blanket on a cold day. The characters are kind and caring, wholesome with huge hearts that are community minded.

The reader sees how important it is not to judge by appearances. The Lord looks at the heart. We, too, should be more concerned with the state of our heart than the condition of our clothes.

Within the novel there is a character running from their past. Secrets are kept and hearts locked up in order to stay safe. As a chink of light shines into a heart, a character has to decide whether to open up and be vulnerable or to continue to carry the burden of the past and risk future happiness.

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Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters

Building The Suspense

Deadly Deceit by Natalie Walters is a thrilling contemporary Christian suspense. It is the second book in the Harbored Secrets series but can be read as a stand-alone.

Everyone has a past, we cannot change it but neither must we let it rule us. “So tired of hiding the secret… he was chained to his past.” Secrets can be burdensome. They weigh us down. We need to share them and live in the light. But what happens when someone threatens to reveal your secret? Secrets go hand in hand with guilt. We were never meant to live under a cloud of guilt but in freedom. When we are hurt, we may retreat into ourselves, building a wall to protect our hearts. That is not freedom, that is a prison. The bricks around our heart need to be demolished. We need to learn to trust.

There is the theme of fathers. Some let us down. We may project our image of and feelings towards our father onto other male figures and even God. God is our loving Father. He will never leave us nor forsake us. “She hoped… when she prayed, God would listen.” God always hears and answers our prayers but not always in the way we want.

Forgiveness is a major theme. If we do not forgive, we risk imprisoning ourselves in bitterness. “Forgiveness can release us from bitterness. It’s what God wants.” To forgive is freeing to us as the chains of bitterness fall.

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