Friday, September 13, 2019

AN AMISH CHRISTMAS KITCHEN, by Leslie Gould, Jan Drexler, Kate Lloyd

The three delightful novellas in this collection are must-reads for lovers of Amish fiction--or of fiction in general. Each plot is different, but they all offer the warmth of kitchens and Christmas baking.
    Leslie Gould's story focuses on misunderstandings, loss, and friendship.
    Jan Drexler has created a delectable story about a shy Amish girl who believes all she has to offer is her skill at baking.
    Kate Lloyd shares a tale about an "Englischer" woman who goes to Lancaster County seeking answers to questions about her life.
    I loved each of these novellas, and can't pick a favorite. As a bonus, at the end of each novella you'll find a Christmas recipe.
    I recommend this book for holiday reading and holiday gifting! The readers in your life will thank you.

My thanks to Bethany House and the authors for my review copy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

THE KING'S MERCY, by Lori Benton

The King's Mercy grips the reader from the first scene, and doesn't let go until the conclusion of the book. Alex MacKinnon is a Scot whose punishment for participating in the failed Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 is indenture to a plantation owner in the colony of North Carolina. The loss of his former life and the slavery surrounding him in the colony render his days unbearable.
    The only glimmer of brightness is the presence of the plantation owner's daughter, Joanna Carey. Joanna fights against the burden of being a slave holder's daughter, as well as dreading her expected wedding to the plantation's overseer, a man for whom she has no love.
    The King's Mercy takes the reader through both geographic and emotional twists and turns. At the same time, life in the colonies in the mid-1700's is expressed in such a way as to render the period and the obstacles therein completely authentic. I can't remember at what point I forgot I was reading fiction and started thinking of the characters as actual people. I found myself worrying about their lives even when I wasn't absorbed in the novel.
    Lori Benton is a masterful author, one of the best I've read. All of her novels are guaranteed to leave you remembering the story and the characters long after you finish the book. The King's Mercy may be one of her best. I highly recommend this novel!
My thanks to the author and Waterbook for my review copy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


    Leisel Bachmann has her life all planned. She's completed her nurse's training with only the state boards still waiting for her. She and her English boyfriend, Nick, are dreaming of a happy future together.
    Then, in seemingly no time at all, the pieces of Leisel's plans lay scattered at her feet. If anything can possibly go wrong, it will. Her confidence is shattered, as are her dreams with Nick. As she struggles to get her bearings and make new plans, her aunt shares with her the story of Leisel's grandfather's experiences during World War II. At first Leisel is interested only in the account as a story, then she begins to see what her aunt is trying to tell her about the choices she faces.
    A Faithful Gathering is a fascinating novel. I enjoyed both the contemporary sections and the World War II story. Medical details and military history added an enlightening layer to Leisel's life.
    Leslie Gould is a wonderful writer. I felt I was right there with the characters' aspirations and struggles. I highly recommend this book!
    A Faithful Gathering is Book Three in the Sisters of Lancaster County series, but it isn't necessary to have read the earlier two books--although I recommend A Plain Leaving and A Simple Singing as well.    My thanks to the author and Bethany House for my review copy.