Saturday, November 22, 2014

Insight into the Bible

In the Field of Grace

Tessa Afshar

Destitute, grief-stricken, and unwanted by the people of God, Ruth arrives in Israel with nothing to recommend her but Naomi's, love. Her loftiest hope is to provide enough food to save Naomi and herself from starvation.

But God has other plans for her life.

While everyone considers Ruth an outcast, she is shocked to find one of the wealthiest and most honored men of Judah showing her favor.  Long since a widower and determined to stay that way, Boaz is irresistibly drawn to the foreign woman with the dark, haunted eyes. He tells himself he is only being kind to his Cousin Naomi's chosen daughter when he goes out of his way to protect her from harm, but his heart knows better.

In the Field of Grace is the story of a love that ultimately changes the course of Israel’s destiny and the future of the whole world.

     In the Field of Grace is an absolutely enchanting novel about Ruth's struggle in the Bible. The storytelling fits in so well with the facts we are provided in the Bible, that is just flows. Nothing in the book refutes anything written in the Bible, but instead provides insight into the traditions and ways of the time period. 

     If you've ever read anything by Tessa Afshar, you know she also has a book about Rahab. In the Bible the genealogy of Jesus lists Salmone (Rahab's husband) as Boaz's father. However, it isn't certain if they are directly father and son, or if there is a few generations inbetween. A Pearl in the Sand puts Boaz as Rahab's direct descendant, but In the Field of Grace  does not. Although they do make a small connection. Anyway, I wouldn't recommend walking into In the Field of Grace with the expectation that it continues in the same timeline that A Pearl in the Sand left off. 

     I loved all the small little nuances of the book. Tessa Afshar managed to include so many insightful little pieces, from things like the temperament of Ruth's family to the origin of the Book of Ruth. It was absolutely brilliant! It certainly ranks with some of the best books I have read this year. 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Happy Reading!

A sample of the book can be found here: 

A video of my favorite scene can be viewed here: 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Little Greek Humor

A Bouquet of Love
Janice Thompson

Weddings by Design #4

Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her huge Greek family–especially her father–has other ideas. They’ve all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant location on the Strand– directly across the street from the Rossis’ popular pizza place–and they want Cassia’s full participation.

To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston’s premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family’s faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into Bella’s good graces!

Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .

Fan favorite Janice Thompson gives readers one more romp with Bella, Galveston, and the bustling wedding biz in the final installment of her popular series. Anyone who loves quirky families, loads of laughter, and tender romance will find themselves hooked

A Bouquet of Love is such an entertaining story. If you’ve ever watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding you already know the type of humor that just seeps through the book. A Bouquet of Love is the fourth book in the series, a series that focuses on a family in Galveston, Texas, but it isn’t necessary to read them in order if you don’t mind feeling like you’re on the outs in a few spots.

The book starts off by introducing you to Cassia Pappas,  a young woman working in her father’s Greek restaurant. She is oppressed by the Greek ethnocentrism and her father’s work as hard as a mule ways. When they open a new location right across from a pizzeria the rivalry flourishes! Her father has declared the pizzeria and anyone associated with it, the Rossis, off limits. That of course proves impossible because they have the run of the whole town!

I don’t think there was one thing I didn’t like about the story. The characters were fun, and lighthearted. I think I laughed every other page, I couldn’t stop. Plus, there was absolutely no crying to be found. The story moved at a steady forward pace, there weren’t any lags or boring build ups.

Aside from the plot, which was tremendous, the set up of the book itself made me laugh. Each new chapter starts with a fun saying right below the chapter number. One is “You might be Greek if you tell your mama you’re not hungry and she thinks you have an eating disorder.” After reading these and reflecting on my life, I think I might be Greek.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

AMAZING History!

Thief of Glory

Sigmund Brouwer

…A boy coming of age in a time of war
…the love that inspires him to survive
      For ten year-old Jeremiah Prins, the life of privilege as the son of a school headmaster in the Dutch East Indies comes crashing to a halt in 1942 after the Japanese Imperialist invasion of the Southeast Pacific. Jeremiah takes on the responsibility of caring for his younger siblings when his father and older stepbrothers are separated from the rest of the family, and he is surprised by what life in the camp reveals about a woman he barely knows his frail, troubled mother.
      Amidst starvation, brutality, sacrifice and generosity, Jeremiah draws on all of his courage and cunning to fill in the gap for his mother. Life in the camps is made more tolerable as Jeremiah’s boyhood infatuation with his close friend Laura deepens into a friendship from which they both draw strength.

      The darkest sides of humanity threaten to overwhelm Jeremiah and Laura, as time and war will test their fortitude. The only thing that will bring them safely to the other side is the most enduring bond of all.

     Thief of Glory is easily one of the best books I have read this year. I can't actually remember what I read this year, but it really made an impression. It was BE-YOU-TEE-FUL. The language carried me throughout the book. I was a little nervous walking into this book because concentration camp books tend to me really sad and just horrible, but once I started I couldn't stop.

     So the book goes through this kid's, Jeremiah, fight with concentration camps. Most stories about concentration camps surround the Jewish affliction, which makes this one rather interesting. Jeremiah is a young boy, about ten, when everything bad happens. The culture is so different than the one I am accustomed to. The book talks about all the pride surrounding marbles, and fighting among children.

     The book isn't related delicately. It is dirty, rough, and it makes you want to cry and flinch. Everything is so much more potent than most books you read. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who could handle reading it. The only thing that should be mentioned is that the story is told from two time periods, From the young man as he experiences and it is book-ended by the older Jeremiah's reflections.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my complete and honest review.