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Love Amid the Ashes

Back Cover Blurb

When her beloved grandfather Isaac dies, Dinah must follow his final command: travel to Job’s household to marry his son. After Job’s world comes crashing down, Dinah finds herself drawn to this great man brought low. What will she risk to fight for his survival?

My Review

Author Mesu Andrews weaves a heartrending story of two lives; Dinah, daughter of Jacob, and Job, wealthy servant of the Most High. I was originally drawn to this book because of it’s unique take on the two character’s stories. Who would think to introduce the shamed Dinah to the prestigious but soon-to-be-shattered Job? But Author Andrew does, and she does it skillfully.

The reader can tell that Andrews did her homework on the detail she places into her character’s environment; anything ranging from specific geography to the way they prepared food in biblical times. And the story itself is very gripping. The reader can feel Job’s pain and is sorrowed by Dinah’s reputation. I wanted to cheer for them when they overcame obstacles and hug and cry with them when their pain is deepened. In fact, I was so entranced with their lives that I didn’t want to return to my own.

Excellent storytelling aside, there was a few technicalities that bugged me. The characters seemed to lack much depth. I understood their concerns and joys, but I didn’t feel like I really got a glimpse at their individuality. They weren’t very unique beside the individuality of their stories. I did, however, see a decent character arc in which they matured and grew throughout the story.

That said, the writing was a tad bit dramatic. The author used certain wording and exclamations that was meant to convey emotion but succeeded mostly in making her characters seem melodramatic at times. And though this made me raise a brow a few times, it was easy to ignore for the interest of the story itself.

Overall, I say bravo for a gripping tale full of love, redemption, and hope.

I give Love Amid the Ashes 4 out of 5 stars.

 

The School of Seers

 

Heavenly beings descending in our place of assembly. Objects hovering about people. Shadows and glow. Rooms filling with water, but no one is wet. Demons hissing. Angels worshiping.

These… Objects. Shadows. Water. Angels.

…Are seen by Christians around the world. It could happen any time, any place. It isn’t witchcraft. It isn’t demon worship. It isn’t Buddhism. It isn’t Harry Potter.

It is Sight into the spiritual realm. It is Discernment of Spirits.

1 Cor 12:10 “To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits…”

The School of Seers is a book dedicated to the spiritual realm. Its doctrine is sound. Its teachings are applicable. For such a small book – a short, easy read – it packs a mammoth load of good information. Author, Jonathan Welton, opens our eyes to experiences we have never considered and spiritual senses we have neglected.

Yes, we can see into the spiritual realm. Yes, God is eager and waiting to pour out this gift, but a quick word of caution. Walking into the spirit realm requires the self-discipline of individual passion. This isn’t a light read that you skim over and forget about. It may literally change your life. Welton gives a lot of practical advice on how to sharpen our spiritual eyes but it does require time and it does require patience. So for readers who have one or the other, or neither of each, I suggest a pass on this book. But if you are ready to dedicate a little bit more into your faith walk, then I highly suggest reading this book with eyes and mind wide open. It won’t disappoint.

I give The School of Seers 5 out of 5 stars.

Book Review: Beyond This Moment

Can God redeem two wrongs for a right?

 

This is the beautiful story of doctor of romantic languages, Molly Whitcomb, who arrives in Timber Ridge, Colorado ready to begin a new life as the teacher of the new schoolhouse. However, a last minute decision to hide her pregnancy and claim widowhood slowly begins to creep up and unravel all the progress she makes befriending the townsfolk. And when a fragile love interest begins to bloom between her and the handsome, honor-bound Sheriff James McPherson, Molly must face the inevitable consequences of her actions and somehow weather the judgmental tongues of a town who has forgotten the depth of God’s grace.

To my pleasure, the characters become alive on the page and I quickly grow to care for each one of their public (and private) trials. I often found myself shifting through an emotional roller-coaster; rejoicing in a wakening love one moment and angry at the characters the next.

I did enjoy reading Tamera Alexander’s delightful prose. However, I must admit that there were times I thought the author fell a little too in love with her writing and I ended up leaving the story to ponder her word-choice.

And while I applauded Molly and how she handled her dilemma, I often felt that James was just a little too good-natured. However, through the second half of the book, Author Alexander slowly began peeling away his layers; revealing a good but troubled soul. Therefore, his all-too-perfect nature began to appear more redeemable in my eyes. To the point, admittedly, toward the end when I deeply wanted to throttle him.

My chief complaint is that the plot is often slow to move along. There is much introspection and a few scenes that seemed to drag. However, I found a short break was all the cure I needed to dive back into the story.

I must also say that book’s conclusion broke my heart, but Alexander kindly stitched it back together again.

I give Beyond this Moment 4 out of 5 stars.