Under Scottish Stars by Carla Laureno is the most charming contemporary Christian novel with family at its centre.
The novel is set on the Isle Of Skye which holds a dear place in my heart as we spent our honeymoon there many years ago (pre the road bridge). The locations were familiar to me enabling me to ‘walk’ through the action.
All the characters were delightfully drawn. Carla Laureano perfectly captured the mannerisms of the young children – I loved their closeness to their mother.
Family is important. Characters lay down their personal dreams for their family. The reader witnesses selfless love in action.
What we teach our children is vital. Children learn by watching us. Sometimes they copy behaviours from us that are not what we want for them. We want our children to live free and not to be shackled by our insecurities. Likewise God wants us to live in freedom and surrender our lives to Him.
Flying Solo by Zoe May is a deliciously fun contemporary novel about discovering just what you want in life.
Life is not all about ticking off events on a list. Life is to be experienced and enjoyed. We need to discover our passion in life and live for what we were created for.
Swapping the corporate boardroom for life in an ashram in India is a freeing experience. One has rules and restrictions, the other is about discovering the inner you. Your place in life is not always where you thought it was going to be.
Zoe May has created a really fun light-hearted novel with some serious underlying themes. The atmosphere in India is hot and exotic contrasting with the drabness of London. Zoe May has vividly painted India with her words. The reader is able to ‘experience’ the heat and the light. We can almost ‘see’ the exotic birds and ‘smell’ the spices.
Like Ordinary People
Tiny Pieces Of Us by Nicky Pellegrino is a beautiful contemporary novel that will lodge in your heart and soul.
The central theme of the novel is organ donation. This is a difficult theme, sensitively portrayed.
The reader sees lives affected by those who received donated organs and the one who made the decision to gift the organs. In pain and loss the gift of life is given to perfect strangers.
Pain and grief are constant companions. “She is lost in grief.” Grief never goes away. We have to learn to live with our pain. Grief brings conflicting emotions. “I cry… I get angry because he was taken too soon and it isn’t fair.” We have to live with the continual ‘what if’ and ‘why?’ A life snuffed out in its prime. All that potential lost.
Living with someone with a life limiting condition affects all those around – family and friends. There is the constant fear that your loved one could be lost at any moment. “All the wealth he had worked for, all the success and status; seemed irrelevant as he faced losing a child.” We cannot keep death at bay no matter how much money we have. Priorities change as we realise that the riches of this world lie in people.
In The Garden Of Beasts by Erik Larson is a fascinating yet horrifying account of American ambassador to Berlin, William Dodd, after his appointment in summer of 1933.
The book charts the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. Hitler is described by Dodd’s daughter as “a clown who looked like Charlie Chaplin… could not imagine him lasting very long or being taken very seriously.” How very wrong she proved to be.
William Dodd thought Hitler, Goring and Himmler were all unsuitable for their posts. He disliked them all. Unfortunately a reign of terror was just beginning.
The atmosphere of fear grew over the years. It is ironic that people could be prosecuted for mistreatment of animals, even going to prison, but human life was not seen as so precious.
We see how Von Pappen believed Hitler could be controlled like a puppet and so handed Hitler power on a plate. As history shows, this spectacularly backfired.