“Room for Hope” is a powerful novel that I could not put down. Sawyer is an author who is not afraid to tackle tough issues and always manages to handle them beautifully. In this particular story set during the depression, a young mother learns of her husband’s death and at the same time also learns that he had another wife and children in another town. Not only must she deal with his betrayal and loss but she is also expected to take in his other three children to raise.
Filled with emotion, the story illustrates how Neva and her twins deal with the aftereffects of Warren’s death and the impact Neva has on the lives of others in their town, especially two men, Arthur Randall and Jesse Caudel. I’ll admit that I was rooting for Neva and one of the men to marry but by the end it seemed that she may have chosen the other one. I am still hoping for things to turn around in the next book of this series. I can’t wait to find out.
I really loved “Room for Hope” and its characters. Neva’s generosity was inspirational in the way she gave and gave of herself despite her own problems. Jesse’s wisdom, protectiveness, loyalty, and love of children made him special and Arthur’s gradual change of heart was endearing. Then there were the children, each unique in his or her own way and each added depth to the story.
“Room for Hope” is an uplifting story of forgiveness and faith, love, mercy, and grace. I strongly recommend this book.
This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In a desperate time, can Neva find forgiveness for a grievous wrong—and make room for hope?
Neva Shilling has a heavy load of responsibility while her husband travels to neighboring communities and sells items from his wagon. In his absence, she faithfully runs the Shilling Mercantile, working to keep their business strong as the Depression takes its toll, and caring for their twins.
When a wagon pulls up after supper, Neva and her children rush out—and into the presence of the deputy driving a wagon carrying three young children. The deputy shocks her with the news that Warren and his wife have died, insisting it was their last request that the three children go live with “Aunt Neva.”
Neva’s heart is shattered as she realizes that Warren’s month-long travels were excuses for visits with his secret family. She wants nothing more than to forget Warren, but can she abandon these innocent children to an orphanage? Yet if she takes them in, will she ever be able to see them as more than evidence of her husband’s betrayal and love them the way God does?
Read an excerpt from Room for Hope here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kim Vogel Sawyer
is a best-selling award author with more than one million copies of her books currently in print. Awards include the ACFW Carol Award, the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. Sawyer lives in central Kansas, where she and her retired military husband, Don, run a bed-and-breakfast inn with the help of their feline companions. She savors time with her daughters and grandchildren.
“On Shifting Sand” is a difficult book to read but not because it is poorly written. In fact, in many ways it may be a literary masterpiece. The difficulty is the way Nola gets under your skin and forces you to look at yourself and what drives you – possibly more closely than is comfortable.
There are many who probably should not read this novel because it will not meet their standards of what should constitute a “Christian” novel. After all, the primary character sins repeatedly and for some reason, quite a few readers want their books to be sweet and perfect. So if you are one of those, please don’t bother reading “On Shifting Sand”. It is too down-to-earth and contains what might be offensive to you.
Yes, Nola was messed up and she brought many of her problems on herself. Every time temptation came calling, she fooled herself into thinking she was strong enough to handle it but she rarely succeeded. In fact, there were times that she even went looking for trouble, mistakenly thinking she could set things right. It would be wrong to lay the blame entirely at Nola’s feet or to be so foolish to blame it on the devil. Our enemy does seem to know our weaknesses and is skilled at exploiting them. But Nola was broken emotionally by her upbringing and had such low self-esteem that she needed someone who “saw” her. Her husband Russ, loved her but was so wrapped up in his little congregation that Nola often felt invisible. In her own way, Nola also tried to let Russ know that there was a problem but he never understood.
“On Shifting Sand” is set during the depression and dust bowl era and Pittman’s description of life in Oklahoma during that time is so eloquent that I came close to getting lost there and was almost surprised to look up from my book and find myself in my own air-conditioned home.
I could probably write my own novel about all the impressions I gained from this book. I suggest that if you aren’t afraid of a gritty, realistic book, go ahead and pick up a copy.
This book was provided for review by The Book Club Network, Inc..
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Long before anyone would christen it “The Dust Bowl,” Nola Merrill senses the destruction. She’s been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a father who withholds his affection the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain. A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher, didn’t bring the escape she desired. Now, twelve years later with two children to raise, new seeds of dissatisfaction take root. When Jim, a mysterious drifter and long-lost friend from her husband’s past, takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions until a single, reckless encounter brings her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage. For months Nola withers in the wake of the sin she so desperately tries to bury. Guilt and shame consume her physically and spiritually, until an opportunity arises that will bring the family far from the drought and dust of Oklahoma. Or so she thinks. As the storms follow, she is consumed with the burden of her sin and confesses all, hoping to find Russ’s love strong enough to stand the test.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As far as I know, I have always been a writer. Before I could put words to page, I would dictate stories to my mother. I have always lulled myself to sleep by crafting stories–a new chapter each night. When God called me to write, I was thrilled to answer His prompting. And so it was, after a long conversation with my husband, I left a 20-year teaching career to pursue a new direction. It called for a HUGE step of faith, but God has kept me and our family safe. I count every single one of my readers as one of God’s blessings in my life, and I like to think of my stories as being the first step in a conversation. Please visit my website, www.allisonpittman.com and send me an email. It is one of my greatest joys to hear from you!
I chose to read and review “Hollywood Lost” because I have often seen books by Ace Collins but am fairly unfamiliar with his work and decided to try something a bit different from my usual choices. Apparently many reviewers were disappointed with this particular novel but I actually enjoyed it. If “Hollywood Lost” does not live up to this author’s usual quality, then I absolutely must read more by him.
“Hollywood Lost” takes place during the depression era and the story revolves primarily around one movie studio. A number of murders takes place that seem to be connected to the studio and evidence points to one of its top actors. As the story progresses, the lines become a bit blurred as numerous red herrings point to more than one possible guilty party. I had my suspicions all along that turned out to be correct but there were times that I had to wonder just a bit if I was on the wrong trail.
I enjoyed reading about life during the glory days of Hollywood where nothing was as it seemed and studios were adept at manufacturing fairytale lives for their actors both on and off the stage. Shelby Beckett was a breath of fresh air and innocence in the midst of all the glitz and glamor and pretense. Other characters were hard to read. I wanted to like Dalton and even Flynn but the author did a good job of keeping me suspicious of them.
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip back to Hollywood’s past through the pages of this novel. I would recommend “Hollywood Lost” to all who enjoy an old-time detective type novel.
This book was provided for review by the Amazon Vine Program.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Struggling to make ends meet during the Great Depression, Shelby Beckett flees the Oklahoma dust bowl to find work in the wardrobe department of Hollywood’s largest movie studio. Surrounded by glamor and wealth, Shelby is charmed by box office star Flynn Sparks as well as Flynn’s chief rival, fellow actor Dalton Andrews. As Shelby joins her suitors at opulent parties and intimate dinners, she rubs elbows with the likes of Clark Gable and Cary Grant and is drawn deeper into a lifestyle where her small town values are challenged or ignored.
Lurking in the shadows of this Gatsby-like lifestyle is an unseen evil force that strangles beautiful women. Suspecting a madman is connected to the studio production where Shelby works, homicide chief detective Bill Barrister believes the only way to uncover the identity of the ruthless killer is to offer Shelby as bait.
Hollywood Lost is a romantic suspense novel where separating reality from fantasy is all but impossible; where love is rare, life is cheap, and values are lost in pursuit of fame and fortune.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bestselling author Ace Collins has written more than fifty books including novels Farraday Road, Swope’s Ridge and Words of the Father, as well as the nonfiction Stories Behind The Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, grAttitudes, and Lassie A Dog’s Life. His books have become movies and network television specials. He has appeared on Good Morning America, the NBC Nightly News and The Today Show and has been featured in the Distinguished Lecture Series at the National Archives in Washington D.C. Ace Collins has sold more than 1.5 million books during his career.
You can visit Ace on the web at www.acecollins.com.