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I have so many books I want to write about here, but I realized it’s been a while since I’ve read any of them, so I’ll need to reread them to share about them. So I decided that each week, I’ll give you a list of what I’ve read in the past week with a review of which one I liked the best. That way, when I reread those, they can fit right into the format. I probably won’t remember all the kids’ books that I read in a week, but I do reserve the right to name one of those as my best book of the week if I feel like reviewing a kids’ book!
So welcome to our first installment of Best Book Thursday!
Books I read this week:
The Calling of Emily Evans($), a novel by Janette Oke
The Calling of Emily Evans was a reread for me. I always enjoy Janette Oke when I need something light but spiritually enriching, and this was no exception.
Tomorrow’s Sun was a surprise by an author I’d not heard of before. As is often the case, I found it from one of the many emails I get from various bloggers who list great Kindle book deals. I never know what to expect from those, but this one was really quite good! I had a little bit of a hard time getting into it as it jumps between two story lines with 150 years between them. I felt like I would just get involved with the characters in one of them and it would switch. But within a few chapters, I found myself caring about the characters in both story lines, and as I began to see how they fit together, it didn’t bother me as much (even though I never did really enjoy what I felt were abrupt scene changes.)
The main story line involves a woman who has just bought a house that she plans to renovate and resell. She has a very convoluted and painful history that is slowly revealed throughout the book as she journeys to wholeness and healing. Her contractor, his extended family, and her new neighbors each have a role to play in her healing despite her determination to avoid relationships as she flips the house as quickly as possible. She begins to find various clues in the house, indicating that the house may have been a stop of the Underground Railroad. As she and her new friends investigate the house’s history and deal with their problems in the present, they grow and blossom more and more as they allow themselves to live in community with one another. The other story line involves the people who lived in the house while the Underground Railroad was functioning. The author was very thorough in her research and I learned quite a bit about this period in history.
I really enjoyed this book, and I would love to read more about these characters. Although there are two more books in this series, Yesterday’s Stardust($) and Today’s Shadows($), it seems from their synopses on Amazon that they are about totally different people. I would read another book by this author, and I’d quickly buy another book about these characters, but I probably won’t buy these yet as I have several other books on my reading list for the near future since they are about other people.
One surprising bonus from this book is the discussion questions at the end. I always feel inexplicably compelled to completely finish books so I always read these questions when they’re included, but I usually find them totally cheesy and can’t imagine actually discussing them with people. These, however, were really insightful and brought out some themes I hadn’t really thought much about. I actually found myself wishing for fellow readers with whom to discuss them. I think this may be the first time that has ever happened to me! Themes included in the book and brought out by the questions include:
- keeping people at a distance to protect yourself
- trusting God with your future as well as with the mistakes and pain in your past
- dealing with anxiety, pain, and fear
- longing to be a part of something significant
- responding to God in praise simply because of who He is regardless of your circumstances
- accepting God’s forgiveness and plan while understanding the proper role of restitution
- comforting others who are experiencing things you’ve made it through with God’s comfort.
I think this book would be an excellent choice for a book club.
OK, your turn now. Please share the best book you read this week in the comments section below.
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