Friday, February 2, 2024

I trust this author to deliver! ~ Book Review of The Journey, by Melanie Dobson

I've read, I think, 8 or 9 of Melanie Dobson's books now, and she's become an easy one for me to turn to if I'm having trouble finding just the right read. Now, The Journey has achieved the top slot in my favorites by her. 

I'm attracted to gritty, epic feels in the historicals I read, and I was not disappointed in this story of adventure, hardship, and ultimately triumph. While some parts were especially sad, the author portrayed tragedy in a way that allowed me to hope along with the characters, just as we have to do when tragedy strikes any of us.

The heroine is flawed. She's too impulsive. But she's also brave, and I think represented the type of person able to survive those experiences in settling the land over the mountains well. The hero was so very British, and that allowed him his own set of flaws to deal with in the North American wilderness. Both these people, as well as others in this big cast, were molded by a new depth of humility toward the end of the story, and I liked that (although the heroine and her little brother were both still quite impulsive). It felt pretty honest.

I highly recommend The Journey for anyone who likes an early American historical with a strong dose of grit and realism. 

Friday, January 12, 2024

Thoughts on Prayer and Keeping Hope Alive in the New Year

We're off and running into 2024, and we can hardly keep up with the snowballing changes and craziness going on in the world. Never have I seen so many things happening that point to these church-age days winding down to God's glorious return.

BUT, God might wait. In the meantime, what are we to do? We are to pray
always and not lose hope6Luke 18. $Oh, hey, my hero in Polly talks a bit
how those words had an impact on him.)

The Holy Spirit reminded me recently of how important continual prayer is
in everything. We cannot always expect a one-and-done answer when
we pray, especially when it comes to the Big, Deep, Important Things.
The HUGE battles.

In Exodus 17I 8613, God sent the armies of Israel out to fight against the
armies of Amalek near Rephidim (in the Sinai Peninsula near Mt. Sinai).
God offered Moses victory, but it only lasted while Moses held his arms
and staff aloft. As the battle raged for hours and hours, Moses grew
weary and his arms drooped. Each time that happened, the tide of battle
would turn against the Israelites. Thankfully, two men, Aaron and Hur,
came alongside Moses and helped him hold his arms up for the duration
of the battle, and as he held them, beseeching God, God answered
in victory. In fact, we are told that Joshua (the first in command)
overwhelmed the Amalekites with the sword.

Victory O Lord! 1871 painting by John Everett Millais

I have often found that the same holds true for our prayers. As long as I
keep my praises and request ever before Him, he responds. But
sometimes when I lag, He calls me back to stark attention--not always

As we go march forward into 2024 let us remember not to let our prayers
grow wearisome. There are loved ones for whom we've prayed a very
long time. There are continual needs surrounding us. Let's keep in
constant, ever-vigilant prayer over those people who hold places deep in
our hearts and on behalf of others, and let us not weary on our spiritual
laurels in the face of whatever lengthy battles lie before us.

We must keep watch. We must pray. We must not lose hope.


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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

History with a Dash of Romance and Intrigue -- A Review of Pegg Thomas's Freedom's Price - Path to Freedom, Book One

I have always been drawn to history surrounding indentureship in America. Now Freedom’s Price by Pegg Thomas is an ideal launch into her new Path to Freedom frontier series that grabs hold of this bit of history with well-rounded characters and a page-turning plot.

I was tugged along into the perilous adventure of Gwen Morgan, an Irish lass who is separated from her only family member, a sister, when they are orphaned and sent into separate indentures. Living amid danger in the household that purchased her indenture, Gwen makes a life-changing bargain that will offer her freedom, but with it she’ll have to carry a lie for the rest of her life.

Of course, Gwen can’t really comprehend the extent of what that lie means. Can she ever marry and settle down because of her choice? If the lie is jeopardized, will she be forced back into indenture? Soon, she’ll have to decide, but perils hang in the balance no matter what she chooses to do. And how can she acquire the help of the other servants, including the young man who is interested in her on the farm? (Not the wicked one whom she dreads, but another indentured servant who is also a trusted friend. He kept me guessing too.)

Meanwhile, the author weaves in the history of a group of Quakers traveling into the Northwest Territory, and Thomas does a fabulous job of sharing their way of life with the reader. Even with the archaic language they speak, the story is easy to read and remains compelling. Plus, there remained the question of Gwen’s future. Could she live the lie with these honest people, and what about another man she’s growing to care for? How can she ever reveal her secret, or will it be thrown into the open as the past dogs her heels?

I highly recommend Freedom’s Price to lovers of American historical fiction with a dash of romance and intrigue.