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Showing posts from July, 2011

A Curse Dark As Gold

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A Curse Dark as Gold Elizabeth C. Bunce Arthur A. Levine Books
     Rumpelstiltskin was never one of my favorite fairy tales. It never struck me as fair. Yes, the miller's daughter got to keep her baby, but she was still stuck married to that greedy, merciless king! A Curse Dark as Gold solves the problems I had with the original story, but unfortunately comes will a whole host of new ones.
     I never really thought of Rumpelstiltskin as a "magical" fairy tale. True, the little man turns straw into gold, but in an age when it was commonly thought the right mixture of metal could produce gold, people turning straw into the precious material wouldn't seem like as much of a stretch. The only magical element to me was Rumpelstiltskin riding in on a flying wooden spoon.
     Not so with A Curse Dark as Gold. Talk about curses, charms and spells- I was really quite surprised. The people of the town that the story takes place in are very superstitious, something the main ch…

Her Mother's Hope

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Her Mother's Hope Francine Rivers Tyndale

     Near the turn of the twentieth century, fiery Marta Schneider leaves Switzerland for a better life, determined to fulfill her mother’s hope. Her formative journey takes her through Europe and eventually to Canada, where she meets handsome Niclas Waltert. But nothing has prepared her for the sacrifices she must make for marriage and motherhood as she travels to the Canadian wilderness and then to the dusty Central Valley of California to raise her family.
    Marta’s hope is to give her children a better life, but experience has taught her that only the strong survive. Her tough love is often misunderstood, especially by her oldest daughter, Hildemara Rose, who craves her mother’s acceptance. Amid the drama of World War II, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. But unexpected and tragic events force mother and daughter to face their own shortcomings and the ever-widening chasm that threatens to separate them forever. 

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The Harvest of Grace

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The Harvest of Grace Cindy Woodsmall
     When Sylvia Fischer turned down her beau's offer of marriage, she expected him to give her the time and space she'd requested, believing they would eventually wed. .Instead he married her sister. When she learns that his betrayal was her father's idea--a proposition made to save the farm--she knows she'll never trust another man.
     Despite the secrets hiding in Aaron Blank's youth, he thinks he's ready to face his future. As he sets out to make up for the wrongs he's done to his family, he meets Sylvia, the new farmhand from a nearby district. She doesn't want him around, seems to have his father's heart in the palm of her hand--and what she knows could ruin his future.
     Though I've read Amish fiction from Beverly Lewis and one or two of Wanda E. Brunsetter's Amish books, I had never read any from Cindy Woodsmall. The Harvest of Grace is the third in the Ada's House of Hope series, and I enjoy…

The First Gardener

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The First Gardener Denise Hildreth Jones Tyndale
If Heaven had a backyard, it would look like the garden of the Tennessee governor's  mansion.
Jeremiah Williams has been tending the gardens of the Tennessee governor's mansion for over twenty-five years. And like most first families who have come and gone, this one has stolen his heart. Mackenzie and her husband, Governor Gray London, have struggled for ten years to have a child and are now enjoying a sweet season of life-anticipating the coming reelection and sending their precious daughter, Maddie, off to kindergarten-when a tragedy tears their world apart. As the entire state mourns, Mackenzie falls into a grief that threatens to swallow her whole.
     Though his heart is also broken, Jeremiah realizes that his gift of gardening is about far more than pulling weeds and planting flowers. It's about tending hearts as well. As he uses the tools that have been placed in his hands, he gently begins to cultivate the hard soil of Mac…