Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"By the Light of the Silvery Moon" by Tricia Goyer: Book Review

By the Light of the Silvery Moon is a historic novel during 1912.  The story evolves around the Titanic and a trip across seas. 

Amelia was an idyllic young woman whose life revolved around serving others.  She had a love for God that she shared by serving others in need.  Her past had been difficult.  She lived with a kind elderly aunt who had cared for her since her mother had left to work as a ship maid when she was but a young girl.  Although assured by her mother that she would be back, Amelia never saw or heard from her mother again.  These events helped to shape Amelia into the compassionate person that she was.

Amelia was bound for American on board the Titanic.  She was headed across seas to meet a suitor who she had been writing to for many months.  Although she had never met him personally, he had bought her a ticket along with a ticket for her aunt and brother.  At the last minute, her brother was unable to make the trip, and as was her character, she gave the ticket to a young vagabond in need.

Quentin Walpole, unbeknownst to Amelia, was the once affluent son of a wealthy American businessman.  In a story similar to the Biblical parable of the Prodigal’s son, Quentin had left his home, spent his riches and young life in wonton living, and now had nothing but sorrows to remind him of his past.  It was in this setting that Amelia and Quentin meet.  A friendship ensues and she compassionately reminds him of Christ’s love and forgiveness, and the love and forgiveness waiting him at the hands of his father and estranged brother, Damien.

As circumstances would have it, Quentin’s father and brother are indeed aboard the Titanic.  Quentin’s heart begins to soften, until he sees his need of Christ’s forgiveness and that of his father and brother.  His father is elated, plans to throw a lavish party inviting everyone on the boat, but his brother is jealous and angry with the sudden appearance of the brother who had spend half the inheritance and had embarrassed the family.

As one expects from a romance novel, Amelia and Quentin fall in love, but so does Damien!  Amelia is drawn to the once down-and-outer rather than the wealthy other son. 

The story was enjoyable and entertaining, but I had hoped for a little more history and less romance.  The story at times became a little shallow as the romance developed.  I also thought that some of the characters were less than realistic.  Amelia comes across as one of almost perfect character that is able to solve other people’s problems.  She always has the wisdom and right advice to give to others in need.  Damien’s character is left as wealthy, proud, and unforgiving, but less than developed, while Quentin is portrayed as the true Prodigal’s son, once a tramp, now forgiven and right with God and father.

At this point in the story, the Titanic hits the immense iceberg and begins to sink.  The “unsinkable” is sinking.  Many lives are lost; some are saved. It was a simple, charming story of forgiveness and redemption. (Reviewed by S.Fincannon)

Author Bio:  Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books including Songbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"Little Prayers to Bless Your Day" by Chris Shea

Hardcover $9.99
ISBN: 978-0-7369-4767-1

This delightful little book Little Prayers to Bless Your Day written and illustrated by Chris Shea might on first glance be thought a book for children to read or have read to them.  While children would certainly enjoy and benefit from this book, it is also a book that would be an enjoyable and profitable read for any adult. It puts into perspective the biblical principle of “praying without ceasing.”   

The book is also filled with whimsical and colorful illustrations that make this book all the more enjoyable to read.  Each reader will be reminded of the importance of prayer not just at meal time or bed time but throughout the day as we encounter the ordinary tasks of daily living.   

How blessed each of us would be if we prayed throughout each day about everything, whether it be waiting in line, washing dishes or shopping for shoes.  How much more like Christ we would be if “little prayers” were prayed more often “to bless our day.”  This book would make a wonderful gift to pass on to our friends and loved ones.     (Book Review by J.LaTour)

Chris Shea
Artist and author Chris Shea is the bestselling illustrator and author of If God Used Sticky Notes, Such a Wonderful You, and numerous other gift books. Through her own line of greeting cards, Lifesighs Cards, she inspires and amuses people with charming designs and words of hope and encouragement.

DISCLOSURE:  ACS was provided a complimentary copy of Little Prayers to Bless Your Day by Harvest House Publishers in exchange for our honest review.  The book will be shelved in the school library.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life in flip Flops by Sonja Brown Dechene

REVIEW:  Sonja Brown DeChene’s book, Life in Flip Flops, is a marvelous group of short stories spanning her lifetime. Several of DeChene’s stories allowed me the opportunity to go back into the recesses of my own memory and recall incidents from my childhood with my brother, fun times spent at ACS, difficult times in life, and pleasurable times spent at the beach with family. DeChene writes vividly of her love for her family and the beach, and time spent there with her family. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially alumni of ACS. This book will make you smile and remember the simple pleasures of life. DeChene’s mantra throughout the book, and life, is to live simple, something for all of us to remember in this high tech, stressful world that we live in today.  (reviewed by Cyndi Parsons Phillips, Alamance Christian School Class of 1986)

BIO Sonja DeChene is an aspiring writer, photographer, and self-proclaimed beach bum living inland in the heart of beautiful North Carolina.

As a 1984 graduate of Alamance Christian School, then Sonja Brown, had no solid professional aspirations. After attending various classes at Alamance Community College over the years and sifting through several jobs that left her unfullfilled, she found herself led to the medical field in the late ‘90s. It was at this time when she began to develop skills and ambition that would later secure her an opportunity for a career at a nationally ranked healthcare facility. Sonja has been with UNC Healthcare for almost seven years now and is proud to be a part of the Orthopaedics Department. She currently works as a Surgery Coordinator and Administrative Lead.

Sonja credits her relationship with the Lord, strong family structure, and solid Christian education at ACS as just a few of the many elements that have been an integral part in her success as both a professional and a person.

She shares a piece of the American dream with her wonderful husband, David, and two precious kitties, Rumi and Sage. By day, she has a career in the corporate world, but the rest of the time she is living the simple southern life by choice and loving every minute of it. Life in Flip Flops is her first literary endeavor.

Photography website is: www.visualbreezesphotography.com
Sonja's website link for the book is: http://www.visualbreezesphotography.com/books