Here’s to life among boxes, bruises from said boxes, children eating chicken nuggets and whatever we have left in the fridge due to the packing of the boxes – and to books that temporarily spare me from packing more of those boxes…
In the past week or so, I’ve been blessed with some time to read like I used to. I think it’s because after packing boxes, I’m ready to dive in and just let go for a while. I think it’s also because these two children of mine are blessing my life immensely by playing together almost perfectly. So they play outside, I sit out there reading. It’s been wonderful.
So without further ado, a few thoughts on my latest reads:
The Whys Have It – by Amy Matayo.
A story riddled with emotion, this is classic Amy Matayo. Brought together by a severe tragedy, the protagonists feel real and alive. While the depth of their misery is (hopefully) foreign to most of us, there’s a touch of reality here that’s worth diving into. Matayo’s not afraid of raw emotion, and this one does it well. It doesn’t shy away from the idea of sin, though – so don’t be thinking it’s a “soft and sweet” kind of Christian novel. It’s not. But it’s real and it’s good.
Four Winds – by Lisa T. Bergren.
A while ago, I read the first of this series (duology, actually, as Bergren herself calls it) and blogged about it. Feeling that the first story might have worked better as a prequel, I thought I’d give the second book a chance even if I was less than enthused about the first. Unfortunately, I was left with strikingly similar feelings with this one. The story doesn’t dive deep enough into history nor mystery, the characters lack depth and believability, and the struggle of “return to my own time or remain here” in this time travel novel never fully works. I still highly recommend Bergren’s earlier Italy River of Time series – but this second River of Time installment just never reaches even close to the mark that first one attained.
Then There Was You – Kara Isaac.
Left bummed after that last reading of Four Winds, I was really hoping for an enjoyable next read. I found it in my first foray into Kara Isaac’s work. Then There Was You is an enjoyable jump into the world of a (fictional) megachurch in Australia. I’m not often big on works of fiction that take on the church world (so much weirdness that comes from trying to write about the organized body of Christ). But this one works. My favorite part of this book is the pacing. It’s certainly a romance, but it does a wonderful job of pacing the relationship well, never reaching any climax or complications too soon. If anything, I’d have liked the resolution to be a smidge more in-depth, but it still worked. Isaac left me caring about both characters and believing their struggles. It was one I didn’t want to put down. How refreshing!