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.
The Best Of Intentions by Susan Anne Mason is a perfectly charming historical novel and the first book in the Canadian Crossings series.
The setting is 1919 as the world recovers from World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic which followed. So many families suffered losses.
The novel is about fulfilling a sister’s wishes and caring for her baby son. Babies have the capacity to soften hearts and help to heal losses.
There are the themes of guilt and earning love from a parent. One young man has been forever in his brother’s shadow, trying to earn the affections of his father. Now he feels guilty because he is the one left living when he knows he is his father’s second choice. The reader is reminded that God loves us all equally. There are no favourites in God’s Kingdom, neither do we need to earn His love. God loves each and every one of us unconditionally.
Facing The Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti is the most beautiful Christian tale about love and loss and hope.
Cynthia Ruchti writes with care and compassion as the reader immerses themselves in her beautiful words. Facing The Dawn is like a hug from Jesus in a book.
The reader will not be able to read this book and remain unchanged. We ‘see’ and ‘feel’ the hope and love of Jesus. A character asks ‘what is the antidote to fear?’ The answer is ‘love’. Jesus is love.
The grief is raw and palpable. “I’m doing all I can to squeeze out ‘Jesus, help!’ from time to time. No offense, but I can’t read your Word right now.” We witness a character drowning in grief. Sometimes all we can do is cling on to Jesus and rest in His presence. He understands our pain. He understands our needs. “You do understand if I don’t have it in me to sit beside people who all want to put their arms around me.” Sometimes we just need to be alone. To deal with others is just too hard. Jesus understands. The reader ‘feels’ the desperate sadness of the character.
Cynthia Ruchti is masterful with her pen as she paints the raw emotions. “Hope… stripped away by the ravenous ravens of grief.” We can empathise with the character.
The Sowing Season by Katie Powner is a marvellous Christian debut novel about love and life and family.
Katie Powner has created a delightful set of characters, all misfits in their own way, struggling to make sense of life in the season they are in. The main pairing is a fifteen year old girl and a sixty three year old man. On the surface they appear to have nothing in common, underneath they are both struggling to find their way in life and are not so dissimilar. Both are at, or approaching, a crossroads in life.
The two are both guilty of working to the exclusion of all else and they have both been trying to earn the love of their parents. “The years spent trying to make his father proud. Lost in his brother’s shadow.” Even now, years removed from events, they still have the power to haunt and to hurt. In contrast they both have God as the perfect parent but have yet to enter into a relationship with Him. God loves each of us unconditionally for just who we are.
It is no good trying to live out the dreams of others. We were each created with a unique dream and it is this we need to pursue.