Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Review: To Love and Cherish

To Love and Cherish is the story of Melinda Colson, a young woman who went from high society in the late 1800’s to near poverty when her parents died, leaving her and her brother destitute. To survive, her brother left to earn his fortune on the sea. Melinda became a lady’s companion.

It’s this job that takes her to (the fictional) Bridal Veil Island, off the coast of Georgia, where she meets and falls in love with Evan, the gamekeeper. Expecting a proposal to rescue her from her life as a lady’s companion, Melinda is disappointed and begins to doubt Evan’s love. This is the story of two people learning to trust each other’s love when neither acts or reacts as anticipated.

I loved the setting for this story. Bridal Veil Island, fictionally located between St. Simon’s and Jekyl (now Jekyll), at a time when wealthy people travelled south for the “season” to pass the time until the harsh winters of their home states passed, sounds like a beautiful place. I was greatly frustrated by the spoiled wealthy and eager-to-please-them supervisors and such. I don’t think this island would have been a pleasant place to work. Yet somehow Evan and Melinda manage to sort everything out, effectively learning how to love and cherish one another along the way.

I thank Bethany House Publishers for sending a complimentary copy of the book, the second in a series by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller, for my honest review.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Review: Grace

Grace: More Than We Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine is Max Lucado’s most powerful book yet. When I’ve read his other books, I’ve paced myself—about a chapter a day to savor and think slowly through. I enjoy reading his books that way and will probably go back and do that with this one, too. But I was so drawn into this one that I just kept reading, all the way through.

Lucado covers all aspects of grace. He writes of God’s gracious nature, His mercy, His desire to forgive, and His compassionate, Fatherly love. He writes of our sin and makes it clear that we need grace. He speaks the truth in love, but he does not soften the necessary blow. He writes of saving grace and sustaining grace, of receiving grace and giving grace. His message throughout is clear and true. He presents the Gospel, teaches how to live the Christian life, and tells us of our future hope.

Each chapter has both Bible story and life application woven into it. Lucado shares his personal experiences and those of others whose actions, needs, and testimonies help us better understand. He opens each chapter with a page of three or four Scripture verses or relevant quotes, chosen to introduce that chapter’s point. The book closes with a reader’s guide written by Kate Etue.

No one weaves words together to communicate clearly and concisely like Lucado does. My heart was touched by the message in this book which so simply reflects the Message of my favorite Book.

I thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending a complimentary copy for this honest review. I particularly recommend it to anyone who has ever believed their life is messed up beyond God's grace. This message will help open your eyes to the glorious Truth.