Friday, March 25, 2011

Seek Me with all your Heart

By Beth Wiseman

For Emily Detweiler, a move to Colorado represents a new life away from the painful memories of a tragedy that deeply affected her life and her faith. While settling into a new Amish community she meets David Stolzfus, a kind but mysteriously aloof young man with secrets of his own. A growing friendship with a crabby old widow brings these two together, but both fear what will happen if their secrets are revealed.

This is a story of redemption and restoration. The author deals with some very difficult issues in this book, and handles them well. The characters are endearing and well-developed.

While overall I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t without some disappointments. Though it is Amish fiction, there was very little detail about their Amish heritage. It really almost didn't seem Amish at all. And, as is the case with most Christian fiction today, it is full of personal messages from God – outside of Scripture.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through their BookSneeze program, but that in no way influenced my opinion of it.

Mine is the Night

By Liz Curtis Higgins

Set in Selkirk, Scotland in 1746, this is the story of newly widowed Elisabeth Kerr and her mother-in-law, Marjory. After losing their husbands in the Jacobite rebellion the once-prosperous ladies are forced to return to Marjory’s homeland with little to their name. Depending heavily on a cousin with little to share, Elizabeth’s abilities as a seamstress, and the grace of God these two women begin their lives again. While they heal from the past they begin to find hope for their future. When an Admiral in the Kings Navy moves to the area they fear that their Jacobite ties may find them facing charges of treason.

I found this book to be easy to read and enjoyable. The characters are easy to relate to and exhibit exemplary faith. The historical details appear to be very accurate. I would have liked to have had a little more detail in the description of Selkirk, but that didn’t detract from the overall appeal of the book. This book is the last in a series, but I read it alone without much difficulty.

I found the story to be very reminiscent of the book of Ruth and the elements of faith to be glorifying to God and refreshing. At time when so much Christian fiction is watered-down and full of misapplied Scripture and personal messages from God, this book stands out as an example of how Christian fiction should be.

You can read the first chapter here.

I must mention that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from Waterbrook Multnomah. I did not receive any other compensation and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.