Disclosure: These books was provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I know it’s been a while since my last book review post but here I am with several to share with you! First up is The Imperfect Disciple by Jared C. Wilson.
Here is description of the book from Goodreads: Too many discipleship books are written for clean, perfect people who know all the right Sunday school answers. The Imperfect Disciple is for the rest of us–people who screw up, people who are weary, people who are wondering if it’s safe to say what they’re really thinking.
For the believer who is tired of quasi-spiritual lifehacks being passed off as true, down-and-dirty discipleship, here is a discipleship book that isn’t afraid to be honest about the mess we call real life. With incisive wit, warm humor, and moving stories, Jared Wilson shows readers how the gospel works in them and in their lives when they can’t get their act together; they think God is giving them the silent treatment; they think church would be better without all the people; they’re not happy with the person in the mirror; and much more
Wilson frees readers from the self-doubt and even the misplaced self-confidence they may feel as they walk with Jesus down the often difficult road of life. The result is a faith that weathers storms, lifts burdens, and goes forth to make more imperfect disciples.
So basically this is a book about sharing the Gospel message with others but written for people who don’t have all the answers (aka: the average person). The author has a very casual and easy to read writing style, and doesn’t use fancy words or imagery just for the sake of it. I liked the section in chapter one where he talks about his own discipleship training as a child, and how lacklustre it was. But he does not blame his church for that approach, which I appreciated.
One thing I did not like was his frequent use of “curse” words. Phrases like “dadgum” were just annoying to read, and I felt they were unnecessary. Overall the book was an easy read, but not one of my favourites.
Next up is On Love’s Gentle Shores by Liz Johnson. The main reason I wanted to read this book is because it takes place in Prince Edward Island, which is a lovely province in Canada :)
Here is the Goodreads description: When Natalie O’Ryan returns to Prince Edward Island to plan her wedding, she runs into her childhood best friend–and discovers that the love she’s been looking for is right where she left it.
Short and sweet, and accurate. Although, I would change it slightly to this: When Natalie O’Ryan’s fiance surprises her with a trip back to her hometown in PEI in order to plan their wedding, she is hesitant to be there. Having left the Island as a teen, she is unsure if she can face the problems and gossips she thought she left behind for good. Running in to her childhood best friend, whom she left without warning, proves to be problematic.
This book is in a series, but it seems like it can be read standalone. Although, there are references to other events and characters on the Island that are explained in the other books. At the start of the book there is a lot of backstory implied and hinted at, but we are not caught up until after chapter six. I was left wondering what on earth is going on, what everyone’s problem is, and thinking I must have missed a page or two. But reading on, all my questions were answered.
Even though this book is labelled as Christian fiction, I’d be hesitant to call it as such. It is clean in terms of language, sexual content, drug reference (although the drinking problem of a character is mentioned, as well as child abuse). While there is mention of God and prayer, it is scarce. I’d label it as just a wholesome romance novel, although the ending did not sit well with me. Spoiler: there is a wedding, but not with the main couple.
The third book for review is Under a Summer Sky by Melody Carlson.
This is what Goodreads says: High school art teacher Nicole Anderson is looking forward to a relaxing summer in Savannah, house-sitting and managing an art gallery for a family friend. The house is luxurious in a way that only old money could make it, and the gallery promises interesting days in a gorgeous setting. Yet it isn’t long before her ideal summer turns into more than she bargained for: a snooty gallery employee who’s determined to force her out, a displaced adolescent roosting in the attic, and two of Nicole’s close childhood friends–who also happen to be brothers–vying for her attention. With a backdrop of a beautiful historical city, incredible architecture, and even an alleged ghost or two, combined with the opportunity for romance . . . anything can happen!
This is the third book in a series, but I think each can be read alone, since they take place in different states. It is a lighthearted, easy read, which was enjoyable on hot summer days. There is a lot of talk about ghosts and haunted buildings, which I gather is part of Savannah, Georgia’s history. But I felt it ill-placed in Christian fiction. I also didn’t like that there was talk of working on a Sunday and no mention of God until about half way into the book. Apart from that, the characters were easy to like, and those that were supposed to be the “bad guys” were easy to dislike, too. Seeing the characters develop was nice, although a bit predictable at times. I appreciated that the romance was wholesome, too. The ending left me hanging, though! I expected it, but thought there would be much more after it. This was another book that seemed to be mislabelled as Christian fiction, when it wasn’t really. But it was a good read, and I’d interested in reading the other books in the series.
The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller is the final book I reviewed.
Here is the Goodreads description: Hope Irvine always sees the best in people. While traveling on the rails with her missionary father, she attracts the attention of a miner named Luke and a young mine manager. When Luke begins to suspect the manager is using Hope’s missions of mercy as a cover for illegal activities, can he discover the truth without putting her in danger?
Once again, Judith Miller writes (what I assume!) a historically accurate book that obviously had a lot of research behind it. But, her books are pretty hit and miss for me. some are great, others are just okay. This one has a bit of a spoiler in the title, but that doesn’t matter too much. While I wanted to really enjoy this book, I just couldn’t. The plot is interesting in theory, and the setting is unusual, but I just could not get lost in the story. It didn’t grip me, and I found the main character to be a bit childish and annoying. I did appreciate how well the author made Luke seem like the good guy, and the mine manager seem like such a villain. It was impossible not to pick a side! But sadly, this story fell flat for me.
That’s all for now! Be sure to follow me on Goodreads to see what books I’m reading, what I enjoyed, and what is on my to-read list.
“Books have been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”