Monday, September 27, 2010


Touching the Clouds is a strong story about the surprises God has in store for Kate Evans as she pursues her dream of being a bush pilot in Alaska. Kate is a headstrong young woman whose desire for adventure pulls her away for her Washington state home and into an encounter with a mysterious stranger in the Alaskan bush.
Through rich descriptions, Leon immerses the reader in Depression-era America, the time period in which the novel is set. I loved the details about Alaskan life that fill Touching the Clouds.
Leon writes with her heart, and that skill shines through in her prose. If you’re looking for a fast-moving novel filled with believable characters, I recommend Touching the Clouds.

My thanks to Revell for providing me with my review copy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RIVER RISING, by Athol Dickson

River Rising opens with a scene in 1927 Louisiana, featuring an unnamed man poling his pirogue up the fog-covered Mississippi River toward a tiny town. From the start, his appearance and demeanor attract attention.
Dickson's opening had me from the first page. Soon we learn the stranger is Reverend Hale Poser, come to Pilotville to find his roots. His righteous soul is disturbed by what he sees of the community's hypocrisy. Whites and blacks exist more or less harmoniously during the week, but on Sunday they separate to their individual churches.
When Hale Poser takes a job as janitor in Pilotville's Negro Infirmary, it's not long before rumors of his ability to heal circulate through the community. Is he a miracle worker? The evidence is hard to deny.
Then a baby is kidnapped from the Infirmary, and Hale takes it upon himself to find her when others have given up. Where River Rising proceeds from that point is startling and oh-so realistic. Dickson is a masterful writer, as proved by River Rising being awarded the Christy Award for suspense in 2006.
For those who say they never read Christian fiction because it's insipid, I say read Athol Dickson's work. He’ll change your opinion.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A CLAIM OF HER OWN, by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Mattie O'Keefe is on the run. Her destination is Deadwood, South Dakota, where her brother, Dillon, has a gold-mining claim. Mattie's plan is to hide from her past--a past which is on her trail, seeking vengeance.
In Deadwood, she finds more than gold. Friendship and salvation beckon if she will accept them. However, she's been so damaged by her past that she believes no one would want to be her friend if they knew her story. The friend she holds at the greatest distance is the Lord. In A Claim of Her Own, Whitson has written an entertaining tale about a rugged time in South Dakota's history.
Whitson doesn’t sugar-coat the conditions Mattie finds in Deadwood when she arrives. The descriptions leave little to the imagination. I loved this story for its unflinching look at what people can become with no law and no God.
A Claim of Her Own has a strong spiritual message, and one of the clearest explanations of coming to faith that I've ever read (see page 287). Except for a deus ex machina scene near the ending, this story held my interest throughout.