Showing posts with label inspirational-fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inspirational-fiction. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Life After by Katie Ganshert – A Review

"22 Lives Lost.
One Survivor.
It could have been anyone.
Why her?"

Autumn Manning is far beyond survivor’s guilt. Her whole life’s purpose has become an obsession with the twenty-two passengers who lost their lives a year ago—the day a bomb blasted through the “L” train she boarded in Chicago. With no husband or children to need her, why did God choose to spare only her? And why was Autumn even aboard the late train? When she awakens in the hospital, she has no memory of the blast or the immediate hours before the disaster, nor does she know the reason she was even on that late train. Will Autumn be able to fill in the blanks and make sense of the situation?

As the one-year anniversary of Tragedy on the Tracks approaches, Autumn contacts a family member of one of the victims. That one regrettable action opens a Pandora’s box of emotions and events as grieving souls try to move forward with their lives.

Family members want their loved ones to be remembered—all but one. Paul Elliott wants to shield his children and safeguard his career and let the past stay in the past.

Such tragedies bring some closer to God, while others turn their backs to Him. Will Autumn and Paul be able to restore their weakened faith and return to a fulfilling life among the living?

This book has been on my want-to-read list since before it was released in April of 2017. I hadn’t got to it yet, so I’m glad it popped up on NetGalley’s site.

I’ve read a half-dozen of Ganshert’s books, so I expected good writing. I wasn’t disappointed. Kudos to the editors. The story moved along at a good pace. Ganshert did a great job of getting me into the characters heads, filling me with compassion for them. I wanted to read it straight through.

This book gives an authentic glimpse into PTSD and survivor’s guilt. You walk with the characters as they battle the demons birthed the day of the disaster. You cheer for them as they baby-step away from the chains that have bound them since that fateful day. You cry for joy as Autumn achieves each little success.

NO SPOILERS: The ending of the story was perfect. Not the happily-ever-after of a romance, but it’s oozing with hope and healing. This story has a very strong inspirational thread and rates a zero on the blush factor. A perfect read for a teen or her grandmother.

I give this book FIVE stars because that’s the max.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from
WaterBrook & Multnomah via NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson – A Review

This story is an enjoyable time-hop, and a great read for true book lovers. The MC in this story is co-owner (with her sister) of a charming little book shop. You know—the old-fashioned kind where there’s story-time. I loved picturing myself in this shop, browsing through the used classics and listening to Callie talk about her love of them.

She and her sister log all the odd things they find left behind in used books they acquire, hoping to reunite many of the items with their rightful owners. Approaching her birthday, Callie stumbles upon an old edition meant to be a surprise gift from her sister. The real surprise is what she finds inside the book.

The 1930s edition of Bambi once belonged to a young girl named Annika. The former shop owner/surrogate mother of the sisters helps translate the notes she finds written to match the text of the book. Callie is sucked into the mystery of the notes and the story of Annika. She enlists the help of a college professor to learn the secrets hidden in the messages.

The book moves back and forth from present day to 1930s Austria, at the time Hitler’s troops have advanced into Annika’s city. It details the changes that follow in the lives of the teenage friends as the Jewish population is being shunned and forced out of the only life they know.

You won’t get lost in this well-written time-hop. The pace is wonderful, and the settings delicious! I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense of Annika’s story—and of the present day characters. They were all well-developed and quite likable.

This story has a strong religious current, though not overpowering of the story itself. A clean and solid read, I gave this book five stars. Hidden Among the Stars is the first book I’ve read by this author, but it will not be my last.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from
Tyndale House Publishers via NetGalley.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.