>This week’s book review blog tour from Random House was a set of three fictional novels. Sadly, I have not been able to read all three books to have a complete review ready for the blog tour deadline. I do have one review ready, and I hope to come back and review the other two novels at a later date.
The book I chose to read first was a novel entitled Rose House by Tina Ann Forkner. From a fictional perspective, Rose House was a well-written novel. Set in a quaint small town in the middle of California wine country, Rose House is the story of grief-stricken Lillian Diamon, a young woman recovering from the tragic loss of her husband and two small children. As she deals with her grief, the unfaithfulness of her husband and sister begins to unfold. Also, mysterious events and stalkings seem to indicate that there was more to the deaths of her husband and children than a car accident on a slick road.
The story, however, does not focus on the mystery, but rather uses the mystery to accent and highlight the deeper story of recovery and newfound love. Lillian battles within herself to find what it is she is truly hungering for in life, and in the process finds new hope, love, and friendship unlike any she has ever known. She is able to move to a place of forgiveness and reconciliation with those who have hurt her, and a new life slowly unfolds within her.
Fictionally, the story was beautiful. This is not, however, a Christian fiction novel. Although four influential characters are pastors and their wives, there is no emphasis on personal relationships with the Lord. Lillian’s healing process includes moving back to the point of attending church regularly, but there is no true spiritual redemption – no re-establishment or even mention of a personal relationship with the Lord. Also, although the main characters do not actually indulge in extra-marital relations, there are hints of such behavior being possible. The reason for not indulging has more to do with interruptions and lack of emotional readiness than obedience to the Lord.
Overall, Rose House was a good and enjoyable read.
The second book was The Confidential Life of Eugenia Cooper by Kathleen Y’Barbo. I have started reading this book, and even just a few chapters in, I am excited and intrigued. Since I have not finished the book, I am going to include a summary and author bio for you to read, but I first wanted to give my first impressions.
Already in this book I have seen something missing in many novels currently included in the Christian fiction genre – a personal relationship with the Lord. As young Eugenia Cooper embarks on a daring adventure, she continually offers up prayers to the Lord for guidance. She readily acknowledges what she longs for, and she acknowledges that she wants the Lord to work in that direction. The thought that He might not do so startles her momentarily, making her wonder how she might respond if He were to close the doors. But, she still desires to hear from Him.
To include such things in the first two chapters of a novel indicates that it will be a theme throughout. That fact, combined with a hint of fun, makes me look forward to finishing this book and sharing a more thorough review.
Here is the information for this book:
The future is clearly mapped out for New York socialite Eugenia “Gennie” Cooper, but she secretly longs to slip into the boots of her favorite dime-novel heroine and experience just one adventure before settling down. When the opportunity arises, Gennie jumps at the chance to experience the Wild West, but her plans go awry when she is drawn into the lives of silver baron Daniel Beck and his daughter and finds herself caring for them more than is prudent–especially as she’s supposed to go back to New York and marry another man.
As Gennie adapts to the rough-and-tumble world of 1880s Colorado, she must decide whether her future lies with the enigmatic Daniel Beck or back home with the life planned for her since birth. The question is whether Daniel’s past–and disgruntled miners bent on revenge–will take that choice away from her.
Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than thirty novels, novellas, and young adult books, with more than a half-million in print. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she is currently a publicist with Books & Such literary agency.
Knit for Love by Beth Patillo is the last book in the set. Having not explored this book at all, I will simply share the book summary and author bio with you in hopes that soon I will be writing a more thorough review.
Once a month, the six women of the Sweetgum Knit Lit Society gather to discuss books and share their knitting projects. Inspired by her recently-wedded bliss, group leader Eugenie chooses “Great Love Stories in Literature” as the theme for the year’s reading list–a risky selection for a group whose members span the spectrum of age and relationship status.
As the Knit Lit ladies read and discus classic romances like Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Pride and Prejudice, each member is confronted with her own perception about love. Camille’s unexpected reunion with an old crush forces her to confront conflicting desires. Newly widowed Esther finds her role in Sweetgum changing and is surprised by two unlikely friends. Hannah isn’t sure she’s ready for the trials of first love. Newcomer Maria finds her life turned upside-down by increasing family obligations and a handsome, arrogant lawyer, and Eugenie and Merry are both asked to make sacrifices for their husbands that challenge their principles.
Even in a sleepy, southern town like Sweetgum, Tennessee, love isn’t easy. The Knit Lit ladies learn they can find strength and guidance in the novels they read, the love of their family, their community–and especially in each other.
RITA Award-winning Beth Patillo combines her love of knitting and books in her engaging Sweetgum series. Pattillo served churches in Missouri and Tennessee before founding Faith Leader, a spiritual leadership development program.
Remember to click on the titles or book covers to find out more information about each book, and be sure to click on the author names to explore the websites of each of the authors. And, as always, if you would be interested in blogging for books, be sure to click here to sign up!