Friday, September 25, 2009

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes by Robin Jones Gunn

Off on another SisterChick adventure! These books are delightful reads filled with fun and laughter and a dose of Faith. In Wooden Shoes, Summer decides she needs to escape the reality of her world a bit and heads off to the Netherlands to meet Noelle, who has been her penpal since 3rd grade. Their adventures seem right up my alley... their good intentions are often met with hilarious mishaps and confusion.. and yet they get through each one with laughter and usually some chocolate! (Chocolate is a running theme in this series!). During their time together, Summer is able to make peace with her present and possible future and Noelle makes peace with her past. It is all about letting go and letting God. Something we all struggle with doing!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer

I discovered Sawyer a year or so ago when my neighbor loaned me a book of hers. Some of the first Christian fiction I ever read was by Janette Oke and I quickly fell in love with Historic Fiction. Sawyer reminds me a bit of Oke and others who tend to write about the past.

My Heart Remembers centers around three children, Maelle, Matthew and Molly Gallagher... three orphans who are placed on an orphan train and sent out West. Although they plan to stay together, the powers that be have other plans. A wealthy couple has specifically asked for a baby girl with red hair and green eyes and Molly fits the bill. Soon after she is taken Maelle and Matthew find homes of their own and so the 3 siblings are separated. As she says Good-bye, Maelle slips each one a remembrance of home. To Molly, the family Bible; to Mattie, a photograph of them with their parents and for herself, the letters her mother wrote to her Da in their younger days. Maelle vows she will find her two younger siblings.

The years pass by and all three grow up never knowing where the others are or if they are even alive. In fact, Molly never knows the others exist until she is a grown woman. It is interesting to see the different paths each has walked and where those paths have taken them.

As is no surprise to the reader, they all end up in the same settlement in Missouri... each for very different reasons. They go about their separate lives, dealing with their own demons and heartaches. They even meet, but each has different names now and no reason to think they are related. But soon Maelle see one of the ties from home she gave her siblings and it as if a veil is lifted and their eyes are open to the truth.

This is a happy ever after kind of book. A fast moving, easy to read one also. But none the less a very fun, uplifting, entertaining read.

The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton

When I go to the library, usually to pick up a book I have requested, I always peruse the new books shelves and I usually find at 1 or 2 books to add to my stack. Sometimes they are new books by favorite authors and occasionally they are books by an author I don't know but something about the book captures my attention. Such was the case with The Wednesday Sisters. I have never heard of the author nor the book, but the cover caught my eye, the title intrigued me and when I read the synopsis on the back I knew I wanted to meet these ladies.

In The Wednesday Sisters (set in California during the 1960s) is a group of five young mothers who meet at a local park. They start out chit chatting about their children, as young mothers do, and the conversation moves on from there. They eventually turn their talk to books and then to writing and decide to form a writing group... thus the birth of the Wednesday Sisters Writing Club.

In this novel we follow these friends -- Frankie, Linda, Kath, Ally and Brett -- through the various bumps and bruises, highs and lows that life throws at them. Through prejudice, infertility, rejection, adultery, fear... through promotions, acceptance, courage and victory. The ladies grow in knowledge and strength and in their friendship with each other.

One thing I love about this book is that Clayton doesn't sugar coat everything and spin happy ever after fairy tales. We see these women and their lives warts and all. We see them celebrate with each other and we see them disagree and fall apart together. She presents the issues of the time in truthful ways not pressing an agenda and allowing her characters to be real and have real thoughts and reactions to the changing world in which they live.

Most often the books I review are distinctly Christian. The Wednesday Sisters is not. That said, except for 2 scenes, I found nothing offensive in it. There are, however, 2 scenes... both deal with sex... both contain graphic detail and one has a word considered extremely vulgar. I have to say that the word fits the mouth that utters it and the situation, still... some may prefer to not read a book with any language in it.

I truly enjoyed reading The Wednesday Sisters and plan to look for other books by Clayton.