Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thomas Nelson gave me a copy of LOVE, CHARLESTON by Beth Webb Hart. The story takes place in – yup, you guessed it – Charlestown. The first family you meet is Roy and his daughter Rose. Rose’s mother passed away and since then, Roy has been having a hard time with life. He is a small town Reverend who is recommended for a position at Saint Michael’s, an ancient and prestigious church in Charlestown. He doesn’t want to take the job, but eventually gives in because he feels like it is his calling. Those at Saint Michael’s are wary, yet accepting, and he soon feels right at home, along with his daughter, who is excited to live in a Big City. The second family belongs to Lish, her sister Anne, and their cousin Della. Lish’s baby comes early and results in post-partum depression. It becomes so severe that Lish considers suffocating the baby and begins to fall apart. Lish’s husband leaves her for a new job, and as she declines deeper into depression, he files for separation. Della is having trouble finding money. Her artist husband is unreliable for income and she wants what is best for their daughter. She considers leaving her husband for an old, and successful, flame, but eventually decides to stay together as a family. Anne is seeking love, and finds it for Roy. They all find happiness staying with Lish, helping her find mental peace while taking care of her children. The story is touching and hard to put down.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I was received a copy of SAINT FRANCES by Robert West from Thomas Nelson. This book is part of a series called Christian Encounters. I was thrilled for this edition, for I had heard of Saint Francis, but not known much. He is truly a fascinating character. The book follows eighteen chapters, an epilogue, conclusion, notes, bibliography, and a section about the author. While reading, I was especially pleased with references to an actual autobiography by Saint Francis. It made the story more real. Despite being a biography, at times the book read more like a novel. The opening chapter begins with a vivid description of a city street. There are also very interesting facts, such as that Saint Francis was originally named John. When his father returned home and discovered that name, he insisted it be changed to Francis. Francis was not a common name. It meant “the French one” and was in honor of Saint Francis’s mother, and his father’s livelihood. Something I found interesting was that many people in his home lived in elaborate towers. I think it would be exciting to live in one now. My only real criticism of the book was that dates were not included enough. I had trouble placing different events on a timeline in my head to keep everything straight. In the first chapter, dates seemed slow in arriving, so I was confused how to picture things. For the story being historical, there were a lot of facts included, such as weather, that helped to paint powerful scenes in the life of an inspirational saint.