Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall is about a young Mennonite woman (Annie) and a young Amish man (Aden) and their families. To the outsider looking in the Amish and Mennonite communities may look virtually the same, and they often make very good neighbors. However, some lines are drawn deep and are not meant to be crossed. Annie and Aden begin to discover just how hard it can be to navigate the dangerous waters between their faiths when they start to fall in love. Will their faith, love and families be able to weather the storm brought on by this forbidden love?

All I can say is that Cindy Woodsmall has done it again! She takes you into the lives of the Plain people and lets you see God from their perspective. The Scent of Cherry Blossoms is well written and will keep your interest until the very end. I also love that she brings in a couple of her characters from The Christmas Singing novella to make small appearances in the community. It makes life in Apple Ridge more real since Aden and Roman made an appearance in that book as well.

I highly recommend the Scent of Cherry Blossoms to all of Cindy Woodsmall's fans and to anyone else who is intrigued by the Amish and Mennonite faiths and communities. It is a wonderful addition to her other books, and a great short read (just under 200 pages). I am glad to add this book to my collection and I look forward to reading it again sometime.

Read Chapter One

I received this book free of charge from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Girl's Still Got It by Liz Curtis Higgs

I recently finished reading The Girl's Still Got It! by Liz Curtis Higgs. Let me tell you…if you are looking for a new perspective on the book of Ruth then you HAVE TO read this book! So many of the things that I have read about Ruth have been from a man's point of view that it is really refreshing to hear things from the viewpoint of a woman and not just any woman but a woman that knows how to tell a great story! I also recommend this book to those who have always wanted to take a deeper Biblical look into Ruth but can't stomach, understand or stay awake long enough to read a Bible commentary. Higgs brings Ruth to life in the way that only a storyteller can truly do while weaving in all the hours she has done so you end up with a deep and meaty study and hardly even recognize it!

Liz Curtis Higgs takes us down the road from Moab to Bethlehem and beyond one verse (and sometimes one phrase) at a time. Along the way she explains the Hebrew words used to tell the story. She also does her best to clue us into the cultural and political climate. Then at the end of each chapter she adds a "real life Ruth" story. These are short snippets of today's women who are living out their own Ruth stories.

I have to say that I really loved and enjoyed this book! That's saying something because I often struggle to get through non-fiction literature, but I WANTED to read more and more of this book. I initially picked up this book because I have read many of Higgs works of fiction, and I particularly love her two books that are based loosely around the stories of Ruth and Naomi (Here Burns My Candle and Mine is the Night). If you are a fan of her fiction then I highly recommend you read The Girl's Still Got It!

However, there was one major thing that I DIDN'T like about this book…the intro! In fact, I almost wrote the whole book off while I was reading the introduction chapter. It just came off as over the top, ridiculously airheaded giggling high school cheerleader. I know she's excited and she is trying to get her readers excited but it just didn't work for me. It didn't excite me to read the rest of the book and if I wasn't reviewing it I probably would have closed it and never picked it up again. SO definitely read the book but skip the introduction or at least keep in mind that the rest of the book is much better if you insist on reading the silly introduction.

Anyway, I will say it again, this book was an eye-opening read! Very insightful and jam packed full of facts. It will make you think and you might even see Ruth in a way that you never have before!

I received this book at no cost from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing for review purposes.