Author Archives: bookexplorer

REVIEW: Until We Find Home by Cathy Gohlke

It’s WWII and Claire Stewart, an American, joins the French Resistance through her association with love Armaud. He has arranged for Claire to shepherd five French Jewish children to the port for passage to England. Through a series of circumstances, Claire finds herself at her long-lost aunt’s doorstep in the Lake District of England, begging for refuge.
Aunt Miranda, the housekeeping staff and Claire find themselves full-time caretakers of these children plus some additional German children who are billeted at Miranda’s house. The grown-ups learn about the importance of Jewish tradition to the children and the children bring merriment back to the estate house.
We also encounter David Campbell, another American, who is assigned to England to work at a flying boat company as an engineer in the war effort.
Claire comes to know God through the difficulties of her assignment and eventually finds peace in the place in which God has placed her.

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Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: In Places Hidden by Tracie Peterson

With her brother missing for over three months, Camriann Coulter travels to his home in San Francisco to spearhead the search for him. Along her trip out there, she meets who other women who also need to be in San Francisco for a time and she brings them along to her brother’s empty house. Judith and Kenzie place minor characters in this #1 series story, though an uncle sets the three women up with a job in the chocolate factory, giving them each an income to afford their stay in San Francisco.
Camry sets out to find her brother. She makes fast friends with the Murdock siblings (Patrick and Ophelia) and she also ferrets out the threads that other contacts like the Wongs and her brother’s boss, can provide.

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The book is set in a corrupt time period of San Francisco history with shanghaied sailors and women trapped in prostitution. As a women’s rights activist, Camry is disturbed by what is going on in the city and eventually resolves to put her efforts into reforming the city.
Thanks to Bethany House for an ARC for a review in my own words. This is an interesting new series by an engaging author, Tracie Peterson.

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REVIEW: Together Forever by Jody Hedlund

Marianne is desperate to find her missing sister, Sophie.  To that end, Marianne gets a job with the Children’s Aid Society under Charles Loring Brace as that will allow Marianne to travel the US, looking for placed children.  Sophie ran away from home and Marianne considers herself responsible. Due to Sophie’s age, there’s a chance she was rounded-up and sent out on one of the trains. As a “placing agent”, Marianne travels by train to actually place the children with new families.  Some placements seem sure, others not so certain.  There is very little time to evaluate the prospective families and there is some mistrust on the train line about the raggedy children that come through the placement system. The co-agent for the trip is Drew who is running away from an accident and death of a child under his care while in service as a school teacher.

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Marianne, through the loss of Sophie, and Drew, through the loss of the child, are looking for redemption as they help the trainload of children find better circumstances. We also have Reinhold who finds out that his two younger sisters are going to be put into the system (by his aunt), unless he can change that certainty.

Thanks to Bethany House and Jody Hedlund for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.  What a great story!

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REVIEW: A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

Reading this story about refugees Vivienne and Henri, along with Armand, I felt like a piece of history was opened up for me. This story covered the French colony in Asylum, Pennsylvania that developed during the French revolution. Due to the alliance of France with the American colonies for the American Revolution, the two nations were close. The colonies offered refuge to French nobility who escaped during the French Revolution. Many of those people lived in Asylum.
We also learn about the Whiskey Rebels and the struggling finances of the new United States. From that point-of-view, we have Liam and Finn, and even Jacob.
Once again, thanks to Jocelyn Green for bringing such life to a story.

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Also, thanks to Bethany House for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

When the story opens, Isaac is a young, black man about 30 years old.  He is the right-hand man of Pete’s crop farmer father.   Pete is about 12 years old and bereft with the loss of his dad.  For a father figure, though, we have Grandpa Ned, to continue to lead the family and keep the farm in order.  The story centers around Pete and his coming-of-age years.  Racial and social class splits are prevalent in the story.

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John and Dovey Pickett are father/daughter who have lost Dovey’s mom.  That means Pete and Dovey share loss of a parent and they are drawn together.  The story of Jacob and Rachel surfaces as John strives to know Pete and Pete’s character before he is comfortable allowing Dovey to spend time with him.

The overall story here is the mystery of Isaac’s disappearance and how it impacts a small, Southern town in the 1960s.  There are encouraging scenes where Ned practices charity with dignity and folks come together to help one another.  As expected, there are scenes of unfounded dislike for one set of folks versus another.

Thanks to Revell for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: An Extra Mile: A Story of Embracing God’s Call (Sensible Shoes #4) by Sharon Garlough Brown

I have enjoyed everything about this devotional series. The exercises in how to study the Bible are welcome, along with the spiritual reflections. However, there’s a story here about 4 women and their walks toward God. This is a continuation of Mara, Hannah, Charissa, Meg and Meg’s daughter, Becca. These are real women with timely life issues. The reader can find themselves in the different characteristics of these women, making them relatable.
I will certainly be watching for more books by Sharon Garlough Brown.
Thanks to InterVarsity Press for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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REVIEW: My Heart belongs in Niagara Falls, New York by Amanda Barratt

Adele has a harebrained idea to go to her uncle in NY to try and win a husband from among the area’s eligible, rich bachelors. The family name is besmirched in London and she needs to secure funds to keep the family afloat. It’s a selfless idea, but she puts herself in quite a pickle. Right away she is introduced to Mr. Conrad who is to be a newly-rich, slightly uncultured fellow who takes a liking to her. Adele could be just what he needs to find his proper place in society with a lovely, educated wife by his side. Mr. Conrad’s business ventures includes an exhibition of a high wire aerialist, Drew, who is scheduled to cross Niagara Falls. Is Adele really destined to marry Conrad or does God have a higher call on her?

I was torn about my like or dislike of the story. There were too many, hard to believe things happening such as her gambler brother showing up on the uncle’s doorstep. And, her brother’s change of habits.

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Thanks to Barbour Publishing for providing me an ARC for a review in my own words.

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