Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rebellious Heart by Jody Hedlund - a book review

This story is set in pre-revolutionary New England.  It is apparent right from the start that the author paid special attention to be historically accurate. 

 The story opens with a trial but it varies greatly from our modern day trials.  Apparently in those days if the defense lawyer could prove his client was able to be taught to read, they could be spared the harshest sentence.  And although, that is what occurs in this story, the punishment is still, what we would think, barbaric. 

 Susanna, one of the main characters is a spunky, inquisitive, generous and impulsive girl.  Her family, the Quincy’s, are one of the more affluent families in the area. The other main character is Ben, the son of the local shoemaker.  He has become a lawyer and has a strong sense of right and wrong. He is an idealist and is not influenced by wealth. 

Susanna’s cousin, Elbridge, wants to marry Susanna but she isn’t interested.  This leads to a degree of conflict and makes the story more interesting.

This is a story with a strong historical foundation.  There is mystery, treachery, suspense, and romance.  There is not a lot of humor so if you’re looking for a little levity, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

I really liked this book and the fact that the author obviously studied the time and customs of the era made it much more believable.  The author includes a section with some of the historical background at the end of the book.

I recommend this book if you like historical romances with a spiritually faith based theme.

This is what the publisher says about it:
"Massachusetts, 1763

A Love That Would Shape History Forever

Because she's a woman, higher learning was always closed to Susanna Smith. But her quick mind and quicker tongue never back down from a challenge. And she's determined to marry well, so she'll be able to continue her work with the less fortunate.

Growing up with little to his name, poor country lawyer Benjamin Ross dreams of impacting the world for the better. When introduced to the Smiths he's taken by Susanna's intelligence and independent spirit, but her parents refuse to see him as a suitor for their daughter.

When the life of a runaway indentured servant is threatened, Susanna is forced to choose between justice and mercy, and Ben becomes her unlikely advisor. But drawing closer to this man of principle and intellect lands her in a dangerous, secret world of rebellion and revolution against everything she once held dear.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BethanyHouse through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Meet Jody Hedlund on her website at    http://jodyhedlund.com.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Adoring Addie by Leslie Gould - a book review

This is the second book in the Lancaster County series.  I had a hard time writing this review because I like to write as positive a review as I honestly can.  I read this book a while ago.  It seemed like it lacked something.  I decided that maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind so I put it away for a while.  I have since tried to re-read it 3 times and I just can’t get interested in it.  I’m not going to go into details because I think that would be unkind.  You should judge for yourself.  After all, we don’t all like the same cup of tea!

Here’s what the publisher says about it:

 “Not Since Romeo and Juliet Has a Couple Faced Odds This Long

The Cramers and Mosiers have been angry with each other for as long as anyone can remember. Things had cooled to a simmer...until Addie Cramer and Jonathan Mosier fell head over heels for each other. Now old tensions are renewed, and Addie's parents insist she marry stolid and uninspiring Phillip Eicher.

Distraught at a future apart, the two decide their best hope is to reconcile the two families...but that means digging into the past to see what tore them apart. Will their love be enough to keep them together or will long-held secrets ruin their chance at happiness?”



I encourage you to make your own judgement. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book from BethanyHouse  through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Sunday, December 08, 2013

It's been a while !

Wow ! I haven't posted anything for a while so I figured I'd better get back at it.  We've had some changes around here lately.  My husband has recently become semi-retired.  He still works part time at a job he loves and he has an assistant to pick up the slack.  He spends his 'retired' time taking care of his Mom and Aunt, running errands, and doing crossword puzzles.  I keep busy babysitting for our 2 year old grand baby.  What fun she is!! 

We've been doing some of the little jobs around the house that we've put off for a while.  And, after 25 years, I have finally repainted our kitchen.  It is now a lovely shade of light blue and I love it!  It used to be a cream colored wallpaper with little pink and blue flowers...I know.....80's country ! Now the walls are solid light blue and the trim is bright white.  I also put some white metal 'ceiling' tiles behind the stove as a back splash.  LOVE IT ! 

I've had a stack of framed hand painted (by my Mom) Christmas cards sitting around for a while so I finally got those hung up.

There is still alot to do, mainly painting and wallpapering but that's all going to have to wait until after Christmas.

The biggest job we tackled was putting beadboard on our bedroom ceiling.  We're still not quite finished with it.  Over Thanksgiving, our son-in-law, a friend, our daughter's boyfriend and my husband all worked at taking the old ceiling down (what a mess!)  and then putting the beadboard up.  The last few days my husband and his friend have been putting up the trim to cover the seams.  Tonight I helped my husband put up most of what was left to do...there's one board left to hang.  It really needed doing. I'm ashamed to tell you what is was like before we fixed it.  There were two spots where the plaster had fallen down.  The smaller one was covered with a piece of plywood. The bigger one had...     a black trash bag, cut open and duct taped to the ceiling. Yep.  I wish I had thought to take a before picture but to be honest I probably would have been too embarrassed to post it.  If fact, I can't believe I'm even telling you now.

I thank God everyday for a roof over our heads because I know so many people don't have one.  And sometimes I wonder if it's so important that it looks nice, but I think God wants us to at least take care of what He has given us. I am perfectly satisfied to have an old house with uneven walls and creaky floors.  I don't like it when older homes are made modern.  Our house is about 100 years old but I think it was remodeled sometime in the 1940's.  When we bought it it was in the process of being upgraded so we just papered and painted before moving in.  That was 25 years ago.  It's time to update things again.   I don't have to have the nicest, prettiest, or even the neatest house around.  I'm just really grateful that it keeps us warm and dry.  Oh, and by the way, what is the big hub-bub about granite counter tops?  Give me a good butcher block any day! 

So, that's what has been taking up our time lately.  I have several book reviews to post so the next several posts with be catching up with them..I want to live up to my commitment and do as I promised so I'll be posting those over the next several days. 

Christmas is coming and with it all the business and stress that seems to come with it.  Every year I hope that it will be less stressful than the one before.  Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't.  I'm praying that we all can keep it in perspective and remember what the true reason for Christmas is.   The birth of Jesus, God's son and our way of salvation.  He is the Prince of Peace so I going to try to make this Christmas a little more peaceful. Over the course of the holiday, we'll have a houseful with all our children home.  I can't wait!  I'm trying not to stress over the preparations.  I'll let you know how that works out.
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