Showing posts from March, 2018

Water from the Heart

   Water from my Heart by Charles Martin is a fictional yet realistic story, centered around a true story of tragedy, hardship, saving graces, and miracles. It tells of the major impact two men - each of very different character - have on the same group of people. One man seems to have everything but, creates chaos and destruction without thought or care. The other who has little but, with thought and care, creates hope, love, respect, and the feeling of having everything one truly needs.    The story is based in facts of what happened, in Nicaragua in 1998, when a hurricane settled over Nicaragua and resulted in the explosion of a dormant volcano. Martin lays out details of some of these events in the afterword titled "On Digging a Well", telling the story of a family trapped in their shed and cut off from the rest of the world. A sound like rescue helicopters drew them out of their shelter, only for them to see a wall of water and mud stretching left and rig

The House on Foster Hill

   Colleen Coble comments that The House on Foster Hill , by Jaime Jo Wright, is "spellbinding and unputdownable". I think, ringing even truer, is Kristy Cambron's review--"The suspense grips early, holds fast, and doesn't let the reader go until the last satisfying page".    I had a hard time reading this one at night, truth be told. Jamie Jo Wright has a way with mystery, and writing it in a way that has you looking over your shoulder every once in a while. If that's not your cup of tea, this is a fair warning, but if you're a little bit of a thrill-seeker--even just the smallest bit--this book could be for you.    The story of The House on Foster Hill is split between two characters--Ivy Thorpe in 1906, and Kaine Prescott, present day--exploring the same location: Foster Hill House. A mysterious and tragic murder starts the story off in Ivy Thorpe's time. She's accompanying her father to where the body is found down the hill from Fost

Forty Autumns

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev. Tear down this Wall." --Ronald Reagan    In history class in high school, I remember dreading the part in the textbook where we'd have to learn about the Cold War. To me, it wasn't very interesting to learn about communism and it wasn't really a war. It was basically two large nations trying to "out-build" the other in atomic bombs and scare each other with them. And it was who could do what in space first.    Boring.    To read someone's account of what living behind the Iron Curtain was actually like was eye-opening. It was heart-breaking. In textbooks, you don't read many personal stories. I recognized most of the names who held political offices, but this was so so so different.    The author, Nina Willner, writes mostly about

Isaiah's Daughter

   "Whips cracked. Soldiers shouted. My feet blistered in a sunbaked wilderness. We kept walking, walking, walking..."    She's done it again. Mesu Andrews has quickly become one of my favourite biblical fiction authors. Pharaoh's Daughter and Miriam , her previous books, swept me away and made the Bible story I'd always loved come to life (you can read my reviews of them by following those links). And Andrews did it again with her latest novel, Isaiah's Daughter .    The Hebrews are now a divided nation; Israel in the north, Judah in the south. Israel's ten tribes have bowed to pagan worship. Judah's two tribes, however, have a remnant that cling desperately to their own true God, while the evil King Ahaz rules. The Israelites invade Judah, destroying cities and taking captives in their wake. At five years old, Ishma - meaning "desolation" - has been taken as one of the captives and has witnessed and experienced more than anyone should

The Problem of God

   "All of the problems of heaven and earth, though they were to confront us together and at once, would be nothing compared with the overwhelming problem of God: That He is; what He is like; and what we as moral beings must do about Him." -- A. W. Tozer --     Non-fiction binge-reading isn't the best of practices. You can blitz through a fantasy/fiction novel without paying particular care to each and every phrase, but when it comes to books about God and theology and all-around reality, every mark of punctuation can seem integral - if not downright crucial.    The Problem of God by Mark Clark is not a book to rush through. Mark is the founding pastor of Village Church in Vancouver. Village Church began from his heart as a result of his transformation from avid Atheist to devout Christ-follower. A core part of his journey has been welcoming and encouraging intellectual questioning and skepticism. In The Problem of God he sets to respond to some of the top questi