I have been drawn to books detailing the struggles of people during World War II since I have been a child. For that reason, I wanted a chance to read this book for years. Finally I was able to check it out through Overdrive from my library and was anxious to be transported back in time.
The story begins in Lithuania with Lina, her mother, and younger brother being deported by Soviet officers in a filthy train car to a place they had never experienced before – Siberia. Lina and her family, along with others that become family to her, are forced to work in cruel conditions at labor camps for Stalin’s regime. Lina uses her love for art as a tool to tell the story of the horrors she faced, despite the danger of her drawings being discovered. She hopes her art will help her father make his way back to her family after she finds him in a separate train car going to a different location.
In the first few pages of this story, I was confused about what was taking place because I had not seen the mention of the characters being Jewish. I even stopped reading to ask my husband, who happens to be a History major, if he could clear up my confusion. We were both stumped. Eventually I came to realize through my reading that only one of the characters was in fact, Jewish. The deportations were actually a result of “Sovietization” and the result of Communism in Russia. Citizens from the Baltic states were removed, murdered, or forced into labor camps to further the agenda of Stalin. This was an unfamiliar aspect of history to both my husband and me. Continue reading “Between Shades of Gray – Review”
One early morning, while enjoying the peace and quiet that came with everyone in my house still asleep, I began researching hermits and recluses. The things that go through my mind (and my Google search box) when I have a moment uninterrupted to think are usually quite comical. As strange as it may sound, however, this way of life sounds especially appealing to me at times. Maybe it’s because I have three children that are exceptionally loud during waking hours or because my Myers-Briggs test identified me as 99% introverted, or maybe it’s a mixture of both. Regardless, within my searching and reading, an article (albeit a negative one) about Henry David Thoreau’s book, Walden, came up. I immediately downloaded the book, which was free in Kindle-form on Amazon, and started reading. This is not the typical book we review on this blog, nor does it need my review. It is 163 years old and has stood the test of time. Obviously nothing I say will be able to help or hinder its success. However, I wanted to share my thoughts.
Instantly, I was drawn into the text, written about Thoreau’s time living in a small cabin, alone, on the edge of Walden pond in Massachusetts. He described his desire to escape society and see what living in solitude would be like.
The first half of the book was exceptionally interesting to me, as I found it intriguing to find someone who had lived such a long time before me writing my organic thoughts years before they popped into my mind. It made me feel like nothing we ever do is truly original. Every thought has crossed another brain, every idea has been thought of already. Continue reading “Walden “
Let me tell you where it hurts, it hurts within the pages of this short book of poetry. I’ve never rushed to write a review as quickly as I needed to with this book. It begged to be written while the emotions were still fresh. JR Rogue should be proud of Tell Me Where it Hurts. From the moment of reading her dedication, I knew I was going to love this book: “For the Caged Birds. If I can sing, so can you.” It evokes emotions I had buried and most times would rather forget. I, too, was once a caged bird. I’ve never had tears in my eyes reading poetry before, perhaps because some of these words hit me on such a personal level. There is often so much unnecessary pain in childhood, even more if the child’s innocence is not nurtured. My heart hurt reading these poems. It hurt for the struggles I’ve been through, but mostly, it hurt for the author. Poems with this much raw sadness and heartbreak can only be written from personal experience. You have to know pain to write pain. For that, I am saddened. Continue reading “Tell Me Where it Hurts – Review”
Evey is in her mid-twenties and has her life figured out. Well, parts of it. Although she accepted to work for her ungrateful boss until she can stand on her own two feet, she can’t take any more crappy dates with even crappier guys. Then she meets the mysterious, really good-looking Lucian. She is instantly drawn to him. But Lucian is not any guy, in fact, he is a guardian angel, Evey’s guardian angel! While Evey tries to not hook up with her guardian angel, Lucian has some problems of his own to overcome. But what happens when a person and a guardian angel fall madly in love? Isn’t it against some human-cosmic-law? Continue reading “Lucian Divine – Review”
If I took one message from Falling Free by Shannan Martin, it is to wholeheartedly embrace the brokenness of humanity. This book made me examine my own life, a key component for the Non-Fiction genre in my eyes. It taught me things I haven’t considered before. God’s plans for our lives could be well beyond our comfort zones, if we only relinquish a bit of our “control”.
“Aren’t we all looking for the same exact things, to be accepted and loved in our brokenness?”
I normally find it hard to write down coherent thoughts on Christian Non-Fiction. I’m no theologian– only a simple, Jesus-loving Texan gal. Let’s be honest, this is the first time I’m doing it here on our blog. Dear readers and blogging friends, bear with me, please. If Christianity isn’t your thing, keep reading if you’re intrigued, or ignore this post altogether. I’m not into pushy-faith, but I would like to share it every once in a while, too. I do consider myself a Christian first and foremost, though I am ashamed to admit God takes the back burner in my life frequently. This year, I want to remedy that a bit by trying to partake in the goodness of Christian literature from time to time. I won’t review them all, but to keep a broader range of books, some will pop up on here occasionally.
Falling Free is the debut novel of author and long-time blogger, Shannan Martin. She shares her story about losing the comfort of her middle class lifestyle, and the struggle and freedom that came with it when her husband accepted the position of a jailhouse chaplain.
For most of us, we imagine constantly moving forward in life. We want more money, bigger homes, nicer cars and a size-able retirement. This is what the American Dream teaches us, after all. Now imagine willingly going backwards and having a graceful attitude about it. This is exactly what Shannan and her growing family did, in God’s name. Hard to imagine? I know, me too.
Continue reading “Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanted – Review”
This was one of the slowest books I’ve read- slow in the beginning, slow in the amount of time it took me to read. But, the best things in life require plenty of patience. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things was one of the best, most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. I didn’t want it to end and I still don’t want to put it down. I don’t want to forget a word of this story.
343 pages is not created equal by every author. This book took me on a journey that spanned decades, in the space of very few pages. The depth of the characters was overwhelming and real. I knew these people inside and out after reading.
Continue reading “All the Ugly and Wonderful Things – Review”