Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Review: Hide in Plain Sight

Hide in Plain Sight is the first book in The Three Sisters Inn series by Marta Perry. I read this for the Fans of Amish Fiction group on Goodreads for the book of the month.  I got it free from the Amazon Kindle site.  It was a short, quick read.  This is the first book I have read by this author and on my Kindle.  I love the Kindle and will be adding more books to it to read that way. I never really thought I would like it but I did! The book was a love story, but I liked the suspense and trying to find out who done it. Someone is targeting the Inn to prevent the opening of it. The love story was about two people each trying to get away from the world the other one wanted so badly.  So, how would it ever work out between them? I loved the detail that the author put into describing the mansion.  It felt like a place I'd like to visit. I was surprised by who actually was taunting the inn. The story is located in 'Amish country, but really the main characters were not Amish.  There were a few Amish characters added in, but mostly the book was about, "Englishers." I will look forward to reading the other books in the series. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Review: A Promise of Hope

A Promise of Hope by Amy Clipston is the second book in the Kauffman Amish Bakery series.  This book focuses on Sarah whose husband dies in a fire at the end of the third book. Sarah is expecting the couple's first baby.  She decides that while she is grieving she will go and live with her parents so she can have the help and support she needs as she is pregnant and raising her new baby.  Things seem to be going well, until a stranger, Luke, shows up and claim to be a relative.  He tells her things about her husband that she never knew, deep dark secrets.  Sarah must learn to forgive her dead husband for all the things he lied to her about while they were married.  She talks a lot with Norman who really seems to understand her since he recently lost his wife.  Sarah also begins to enjoy spending time with Luke until she finds out maybe he was not so truthful with her either.  Who will she choose to spend the rest of her life with? Norman or Luke?  I really enjoyed the setting of the Amish Bakery and how all the women in the family worked together to make it a success.  I also fell in love with the characters and the problems in their lives and how they were able to solve them all.  I really liked how they relied on verses from the Bible to help guide them in their lives too.  The book, like the first in the series also had a lot of Amish recipes scattered throughout the book.  I am really looking forward to the next one in this series.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: The Help

 The Help is a book that I read because it was my book clubs book of the month for October. I don't think I would have ever picked it up and decided to read it if the book club was not reading it. The Help is written by Kathryn Stockett and is her first novel. I was really impressed with the book. The novel is about the early 60's when Segregation was in full force. The novel takes place in Jackson Mississippi where white folks have hired help that are the Negros. The book took me awhile to understand as the help speak a little differently than the average person. The chapters are also broken up and have different people telling the story. The story revolves around a young white woman, named Skitter, who comes home from college and tries to figure out what to do. Skitter is a little different than the average white person. She is tall and not that pretty and her mom is always trying to work on her hair, make-up or clothes. Skitter wants nothing more than to be a writer, but with no experience that is a little hard. After a publisher in New York gives her advice, Skitter gets a little job at the newspaper. She can't do her job well because it is a column about cleaning and the help have always done those things for her. She decides to get help for her column by interviewing a friend's maid. Skitter loved her maid in her house, but she left suspiciously before Skitter came home from college. Many of the maids also basically raise the family's children until the kids learn how the help is to be treated. Skitter decides to write a book in secret about how the help is treated. She works in secret to get stories from the maids.

I really enjoyed the story and learned about things that that happened during that time period that was hard for me to imagine. I also found it hard to believe that my parents grew up during that period of time.

I wondered about the cover and how it went with this story and the only thing I can figure out is that one bird is darker than the other two and it is turned from the other two lighter colored birds probably because of segregation. The other two birds are lighter colored and represent the whites but they are still not together so they have issues with the segregation too. I thought this was really interesting for a cover. I also enjoyed reading about the author's life and her experience with having a maid in her home as a child. The author seemed to have a lot in common with the Skitter character.

I loved the story and am so glad it was picked for a book of the month in my book club. I would highly recommend it. I also read online that this book is in the works of becoming a major motion picture by Dreamworks. I can’t wait!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review: A Gift of Grace

A Gift of Grace by Amy Clipston is the first book I've read from this author and I really enjoyed the story.  If you remember The Redemption of Sarah Cain by Beverly Lewis, this story is like that but it is reversed.  The English girls go to live with the Amish family.  The two teenage girls are forced to live the rules  of the Amish community even though they are not Amish after their parents die in a car accident and their mom (Grace) wants them to live with her sister, Rebecca,  who is Amish.   Rebecca and her husband have been trying to have children of their own for many years, so Rebecca welcomes this challenge. I found it really interesting how it all works out.  I think that one thing I don't like about the Amish in this book is all the gossiping and this is a great example of how gossip can really hurt others.  I also enjoyed the romance that starts with one of the teenagers and a boy at the factory she works at with her Uncle. Great read, can't wait to read the sequel!  Also lots of Amish recipes included throughout the book.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Lydia's Charm

Lydia’s Charm by Wanda Brunstetter is the story of Lydia King.  At the beginning of the book Lydia finds herself trying to survive and care for her child after the death of her husband and the loss of her job.  She tries to figure out what she is going to do when her mother sends her a letter and tells Lydia to come and live with her and her father.  Lydia’s mom cares for her ill father and she tells Lydia that she would watch her son if she found a job. Lydia did not have a good relationship with her mother so it was a hart choice for her to make.  She decides to go live with her.   Lydia ends up having two people who are interested in her.  Lydia’s mom prefers one.  Who will Lydia choose?  The subject of dwarfish is discussed, as one of the families has the gene and most everyone in the family is a dwarf.  I also loved the Amish recipes that were throughout this book.  It was a sweet love story and a story of a woman struggling with life.  It reminds me that we have to go through challenges in this life and experience pain to know true happiness and joy.  I have read a lot of Wanda Brunstetter’s books and really feel this was one of my favorites.  The characters are just so interesting.  I could not wait to see what was going to happen in the story.   I would highly recommend this book.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Review: Hidden

Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray is the first book in the Sisters of the Heart series. Anna, an Englisher, is tired of her abusive boyfriend. Her boyfriend is a big political figure, so Anna does not get much help from the police. Her parents think he's wonderful for her and don't help her much either. So, with no help insight from the abuse, Anna does the only thing she knows to do, she runs away. She does not tell anyone where she is going except a lie about going on vacation. She runs to an Amish Bed and Breakfast that her mom and her stayed at and took quilting classes. Her friend Anna's family lives in the inn. The family decides to let Anna hide out. Henry, Katie's brother, thinks she puts the family in danger and the two do not get along very well. Finally Anna and Henry start to notice each other in different ways but will they be able to share that love since they both come from different backgrounds and will she be willing to become Amish to be with Henry? All of these things are figured out in the book.

This was the first book that I have read by this author. I loved the setting at the inn and really got into the characters. I know that I will be reading more of her books and finishing the Sisters of the Heart series.