Book Review: The Sea House

This review is part of a blog tour, to see what others are saying about The Sea House, click here.

The Sea House
by
Elisabeth Gifford

About the Book (from us.macmillan.com):

In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies—mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone.

It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together—a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home—but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories.

My Thoughts:

This is a very interesting story, one that I hadn’t quite expected when I picked up the book. It took me a while to get into the story, but I find that to be an issue with most books written in this style and language. Once I was able to get past those things I really enjoyed the story.  I really enjoyed the way the author tied together the past and the present in a way that gave great depth to the story.

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: The Book of Revelation Made Clear

The Book of Revelation Made Clear
by
Tim Lahaye & Timothy E. Parker

This book tries to take one of the most intimidating and confusing books of the Bible, Revelation, and make it a little easier to understand. The authors have broken the book up into small chunk of verses and start each section with a short quiz about the verses they’ll be reviewing.  After reading through the verses, there’s a short section that attempts to explain what they mean and why they are significant. Each section is followed up by providing the answers to the quiz.

While I enjoyed the way the book was structured, I thought that it lacked depth.  I don’t think that the book of Revelation is something you can sum up so easily. The authors touched on some important topics, while just skimming over other very important ones. I’d have preferred if the reasoning for their interpretation was provided, of course that may make Revelation less clear than the title states. :) It’s not a horrible book, but it is lacking a little depth.

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: God Gave Us Angels

God Gave Us Angels
by
Lisa Tawn Bergren

God Gave Us Angels is the latest installment in the God Gave Us series by Lisa Tawn Bergren.  As with the other books in this series, Lisa uses a family of polar bears to help explain concepts to kids that are sometimes hard to understand. Paired with beautiful illustrations by Laura J. Bryant, this story answers questions such as “Will we become angels?” and “Should we pray to angels?” The author does a great job of tackling this tough subject with answers that kids can understand in a way that is fun and makes them want to read more about Papa and Little Cub.  My kids have been fans of the God Gave Us books for the last few years, they’re now 7 and 9, but they still enjoy reading them…and so do I. :)

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Quilts of Love: Hidden in the Stars

This review is part of a Quilts of Love blog tour. To see what others are saying about Hidden in the Stars, click here.

Hidden in the Stars
by
Robin Caroll

Sophia Montgomery wakes up in an unfamiliar place, a hospital room.  She is unable to speak and can only remember flashes of the event that landed her there. Though she is unable to speak, she is able to reconnect with her estranged grandmother, as well as a police officer and a lip reader. As she reconnects, she begins to remember things from her past and struggles to figure out why she was attacked by men who killed her mother. Although frustrated because the eyewitness in a major murder the police officer, Julian, begins to care for Sophia and helps her to uncover a secret that has been hidden a quilt Sophia’s mother made long ago.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in the Quilts of Love series, due in large part to the fact that it wasn’t just another love story that somehow involved a quilt.  Hidden in the Stars is full of mystery, suspense and Russian mobs. It grabbed my attention from the first page and help onto it tightly until I closed the book. While there was a bit of romance to the story, that wasn’t the focus of it, it just happened to be there. I really enjoyed this story and felt myself really connecting with the main character, Sophia, on her journey of discovering the truth. The author wrote a beautiful story that is sure to keep the reader engaged from cover to cover.

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times

This review is part of a blog tour, to see what others are saying about this book, click here.

Rhythmical Rhymes of Biblical Times
by
Kelly Pulley

This book features classic Bible stories, from Adam and Eve to the resurrection, set in rhyme.  The poems are engaging and very entertaining. The rhymes are accompanied by colorful, vivid artwork that make the book a joy to read.

My kids, ages 7 and 9, have both enjoyed reading this book, they really like the fun and whimsy that is added to the stories when told in poem form. If you’d like to see more about this book, check out the video below:

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Book Review: Evergreen

Evergreen
by
Susan May Warren

Ah…another trip back to Deep Haven, one of my favorite places to escape to in a book.

In this book, we tag along with John and Ingrid Christiansen. Now that their house is empty and their children are scattered across the globe, they’re trying to figure out life with just the two of them, something they haven’t experienced in many years. Since none of their children are planning to be home for Christmas this year, John plans to surprise Ingrid with a trip to Europe for just the two of them.  They’ll go visit their daughter who is currently living there, but more importantly they’ll get to take the romantic vacation John has been dreaming of for a while.  John has the whole thing planned, he just has to keep it a secret and surprise Ingrid at just the right time.  Unfortunately, things don’t go as he’s planned. John and Ingrid get put in charge of the Christmas program at church, their dog, Butterscotch, gets needs expensive surgery and family needs their help in ways they’d never expected. To top it all off, Ingrid reveals that she’s been harboring anger and resentment against John for years. What was supposed to be an amazing holiday season quickly unravels and it seems like every time J0hn tries to “fix” it he ends up messing something else up.  Will life ever be the same for the Christiansen family?

This is one of my favorite books in the Christiansen Family series so far, while the other books focus on the lives of the Christiansen children it was fun to be able to read about the two people that tie the whole family together. The book is shorter than the rest, a novella, but it doesn’t tell any less of a story than any of the other books in the series. The depth of the story of John and Ingrid’s life together is so great and Susan May Warren did a great job of capturing their love and the way it has ebbed and flowed over their many years of marriage. I also liked that we got to meet a few new characters in this book, hopefully we’ll see them again in the future.

If you’re looking for a good book to read and maybe start getting you in the holiday spirit, this is the book for you!

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.

Cookbook Review: The Nourished Kitchen

The Nourished Kitchen
by
Jennifer McGruther

The Traditional Foods movement is something that is gaining in popularity here in the US.  If you’re unsure of what this movement is, here’s how NourishedKitchen.com defines traditional foods:

“Traditional foods are those foods which nourished our ancestors throughout history and prehistory prior to the advent of the industrialization of food. The industrialization of food largely began in the 19th century and entrenched itself in standard diets of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Deeply nourishing, traditional foods as our ancestors knew them were unprocessed, naturally raised, largely raw and decidedly unrefined. These foods represent the natural diet of humankind and, as such, nourished the natural growth and evolution of the human species for thousands of years prior to the industrialization of food.”

It sounds simple enough, but when you start reading about it, it can be a bit overwhelming.  It’s interesting to learn about what how our ancestors prepared food before the industrialization of food, while none of it is hard it does some take some time and forethought.  Eating traditionally is a little more complicated than just going to the grocery and coming home to make dinner. Because the processing of food was done by individual families, it was done a bit different than it’s now done on a large scale. What researchers are finding out, however, is that our bodies really prefer when foods are traditionally prepared rather than when they are mass processed.

I’ve read a bit here and there about traditional foods and have tried to put some of the methods into practice.  Some of these have been easier for me than others, my biggest problem is taking the time to think ahead so that I can get foods prepared. When I was checking out books available for review on bloggingforbooks.com I was excited to find The Nourished Kitchen on the list.  I have checked out Jennifer’s website from time to time and am a sucker for a new cookbook, so I figured this was a win-win situation. :)

The Nourished Kitchen is a beautiful cookbook filled with pictures, science and amazing insight from the author.  While some of the recipes are not ones that appeal to me, they all seem to be things that are simple to prepare even when employing traditional methods. I’m currently in the process of making sauerkraut from the recipe in the book, but I can’t comment on it’s taste since it’s a months long process. I really like the fact that at the beginning of each section the author, Jennifer McGruther, takes the time to explain a bit about the traditional preparations of foods in that section as well as how to find the best quality supplies.

Though not all of the recipes seem appealing to me, I can’t wait to try out some more of them and lead our family further down the path toward healthier living.

Disclaimer:

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the Book:
If you’re interested in checking out this book you can find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as many other retailers.