Jane of Austin
Hillary Manton Lodge
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook (June 13, 2017)
“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience - or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.” ― Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives,
Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San
Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved
shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin,
Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea
plants, determined to start over yet again.
But life in Austin
isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation
is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and
Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis,
the chasm grows deeper.
While Sean seems to charm everyone in
his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett.
Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his
father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least
In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility,
the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar
kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home
isn't so far away.
I love Jane Austen. And I tend to enjoy the creative tweaks her ideas have spawned. Traditionalist, classic Austen lovers who don't want her stories trifled with might not find this novel as endearing as I did.
Hillary Manton Lodge stays close to the story but builds it into a believable modern twist. Jane, Celia and Margot are displaced after a family scandal leaves them without a protector of sorts. They move far away from their beloved home to start fresh.
There Jane is rescued (or at least her tea plants are) by a knight in shining armor who then woos Jane's heart. While living in the carriage house on a cousin's property, they rebuild their lives and look for a new, perfect location for a tea shop. They struggle together to make sense of all the difficulties they've faced, in a way. Jane, though distracted by Sean and the search, is concerned that Celia won't even talk about the most important thing she left behind, her love. Distance grows between the sisters. And then a handsome friend of their cousin's enters the picture. Captain Callum Beckett traded his leg for a load of nightmares while serving his country. Burdened and coming home to face a mess his father and brother left behind, he discovers he is concerned about Sean Willis, and the damage he might do to Jane's heart.
The author included quite a few recipes and a satisfying conclusion. I definitely recommend this one.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
Disclaimer: A review copy of this novel was sent to me for the purpose of reading and reviewing. I was not obligated to give a favorable review. My opinions were not swayed by the free copy. If you purchase a copy through the provided link I will receive a small percentage of the sales.
Sunday, September 09, 2018
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Back Cover Copy:
The Amish life is all she's ever known--but will it satisfy her soul?
Restless and adventurous, Ruthie Stoltzfus is right on the cusp of leaving her Amish home. Secretly, she's earned her GED, saved her money--but she can't quite set her journey into motion. Just as everything falls into place, along comes Patrick Kelly.
Patrick is a young man on a journey of his own. He's come to Stoney Ridge to convert to the Amish and has given himself thirty days to learn the language, drive a buggy, and adapt to "everything Plain." Time is of the essence and every moment is to be cherished--especially the hours he spends with Ruthie, his Penn Dutch tutor.
Ruthie's next-door neighbor and cunning ex-boyfriend, Luke Schrock, is drawn to trouble like a moth to a flame. Rebellious, headstrong, defiant, Luke will do anything to win Ruthie back--and Patrick Kelly is in his way.
Bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to Stoney Ridge for a story of dreams deferred--and the promise of hopes fulfilled.
The Devoted is book three in the series, The Bishop's Family. In this book, we follow Ruthie Stoltzfus. She is finding that she is restless with the Amish life, and is wondering if she wants to follow in her Aunt Ruth's footsteps to leave the Amish life and become a doctor or some other “worthy” profession. Just as she thinks she has things figured out, a young man named Patrick Kelly arrives in town. He is determined to join the Amish faith, and enlists Ruthie's help to teach him Penn Dutch in 30 days. In the meantime, we are also learning more about her Aunt Ruth, also known as Dok, who has taken over the practice of the town doctor. David, on the other, hand, is still settling into his role as bishop, trying to figure out how to deal with the change in the townspeople since oil was discovered on the town's land. I think my favorite character in this book was Patrick. As an outsider, he came in with all of these ideas of what the Amish life was like, and jumped right in. Not only was he sincere, but he was able to point out some observations from an outsiders point of view that shed light on many issues going on in the town.
Review by Sarah Meyers
DISCLAIMER: A copy of the book was provided for review purposes. A favorable review just means the reviewer liked the book, not that there was expectation of a good review. In addition, if you purchase through our provided link we may get a small percentage of the price paid.
Friday, July 20, 2018
A Fragile Hope
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press (April 4, 2017)
Josiah Chamberlain's life's work revolves around repairing other people's marriages. When his own is threatened by his wife's unexplained distance, and then threatened further when she's unexpectedly plunged into an unending fog, Josiah finds his expertise, quick wit and clever quips are no match for a relationship that is clearly broken.
Feeling betrayed, confused, and ill-equipped for a crisis this crippling, he reexamines everything he knows about the fragility of hope and the strength of his faith and love. Love seems to have failed him. Will what’s left of his faith fail him, too? Or will it be the one thing that holds him together and sears through the impenetrable wall that separates them?
Cynthia Ruchti is one of the authors I am compelled to read. She writes deep characters and adds settings that richly paint heart wrenching scenes. A Fragile Hope was the first book I've read of hers that has a male point of view. And what a point of view it is. As a marriage expert Josiah Chamberlain is sought out, his books sell, his wisdom changes lives. But one day he types "the end" on his latest manuscript, emerges from his comfortable home office and discovers that his own life is upside down and inside out. Josiah's "wisdom" turns out to be worthless in light of his new and uncharted territory. His theories leave him empty and his fragile hope only returns when he turns to God and gets real with his responsibility and failures. If you love powerful fiction, Cynthia Ruchti or novels that force you to look inward and assess your own choices and beliefs then grab a copy.
Reviewed by Kelly Klepfer
Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided. My review is not favorable because of this. I honestly liked the book and recommend it. If you click on the Amazon link and purchase this book I may get a portion of the price.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Shine Like the Dawn
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
Shine Like the Sky takes place in the northern Edwardian England, and focuses on a young woman named Margaret Lounsbury. Having lost her parents and sister in a tragic accident four years earlier, she now resides with her grandmother and five year old sister in her grandmother's millinary shop. She holds onto a lot of anger and bitterness, not only at the loss of her family, but at the loss and what she saw as abandonment from the family who employed her father, especially young Nathaniel Harcourt. Nathaniel, however, was not notified by his family of the accident until a week after it happened and was kept from young Margaret. Now, they have been brought back together, and other facts about the accident have come to light which could cause further division between the old friends.
This was a great story. Nathaniel has come to know the Lord during his time away, which helps him in dealing with the difficult situations he is encountering. Meanwhile, Maggie has to learn to let go of her anger and put her trust in the Lord for all things. This was a great read. by Sarah Meyers
Disclaimer: This reviewer was provided a copy of this novel for the purposes of reviewing. This in no way guaranteed a positive review. These are the honest thoughts and review of the reviewer. In addition, clicking and buying on the link will result in a small monetary gain for this blog through Amazon.