Monthly Archives: October 2017

Audiobook Review: High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

Title: High as the Heavens
Author: Kate Breslin
Print Publisher: Bethany House
Audio Publisher: Oasis Audio
Narrator: Renee Ertl
Published: June 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 12 hours, 41 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a café . . . or so it seems. Eve’s most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

When a plane crashes as she’s en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?

My Thoughts on the Book:

This is a story historical romance fans will love. It is set in German-occupied Brussels during World War I and incorporates vivid cultural and historical details. It’s particularly cool that its characters are based loosely on actual historical figures (see the author’s note in the book for details).

The plot features espionage, danger, and intrigue alongside the emotional joys and uncertainties of a chance at reclaiming lost love. The characters, while at times larger than life, are struggling with relatable issues like guilt, mistrust, and fear.

Despite the promising premise, the start of the story dragged a bit for me, under the weight of a little more exposition early on than I would have liked. Fortunately, I stuck with it, because once the action and romance kicked up a notch, I was hooked.

The character development was well done and the action and romance plotlines brought readers along to a satisfying conclusion. Recommended to adult fans of historical romance and suspense. Because of the difficult things Eve and other characters have to go through in the story, I’d recommend parents preview the book to determine if they feel it’s appropriate for their teenage readers.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The wide range of Nationalities represented in this book could have lent itself well to voicing characters with a variety of different accents. While the narrator did not take full advantage of this opportunity, she did distinguish between character voices, to the extent that I was never in doubt about which character was speaking. The reading was clear and pleasant listening, with emotions well reflected in the performance. Overall, the audio edition makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library via Hoopla. I was not expected to write a review, but I wanted to share.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection: October 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the October 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s October selection is Home by Ginny Yttrup. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. October’s selection is Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall.

For October, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky AND Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for October is Anna’s Healing by Vannetta Chapman. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the current title is An Anthology: 365 Readings by George MacDonald.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter (Thomas Nelson, June 2017, Contemporary Romance)

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden (Thomas Nelson, June 2017, Contemporary Romance)

A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd (Harvest House, July 2017, Amish Romance)


 

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Book Review: The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin

Title: The Mountain Between Us
Author: Charles Martin
Publisher: Broadway Books
Published: June 2010
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Kate Winslet and Idris Elba. An atmospheric, suspenseful and gripping story of two people finding love while fighting to survive.

When a blizzard strands them in Salt Lake City, two strangers agree to charter a plane together, hoping to return home; Ben Payne is a gifted surgeon returning from a conference, and Ashley Knox, a magazine writer, is en route to her wedding. But when unthinkable tragedy strikes, the pair find themselves stranded in Utah’s most remote wilderness in the dead of winter, badly injured and miles from civilization. Without food or shelter, and only Ben’s mountain climbing gear to protect themselves, Ashley and Ben’s chances for survival look bleak, but their reliance on each other sparks an immediate connection, which soon evolves into something more.

Days in the mountains become weeks, as their hope for rescue dwindles. How will they make it out of the wilderness and if they do, how will this experience change them forever? Heart-wrenching and unputdownable, The Mountain Between Us will reaffirm your belief in the power of love to sustain us.

My Thoughts:

This book made me cry. I’m not talking a dab-at-the-eyes, misty-eyed kind of cry. I’m talking an ugly, tears-rolling-down-for-probably-far-too-long-given-these-aren’t-real-people, tissues-piling-up kind of cry. And not for the reasons you’d probably think from the book blurb either.

An unexpected twist in the last few chapters totally blindsided me and I loved this book sooo much, precisely because of that. Because it all made so much sense and I had to rethink everything, and how had I not seen that coming?!?

Obviously, I won’t spoil it for you, because, how could I do that to you? I mean, really. I can’t. But if you haven’t already read this book, you need to. Pronto. I hear the movie’s coming out soon (part of why I read this book when I did), and you know it can’t possibly be as good as the book, but you know you’re gonna want to see it anyway, so you’ll probably want to read the book first, so the movie won’t spoil it for you.

Right? Or am I the only one who thinks this way? 😉

This one’s a must for those who like survival type TV shows, unexpected plot twists that make you rethink everything and then realize it makes total sense, beautiful literary turns of phrase, and a subtle but resonant message. Okay, maybe that’s way too specific. Just read it, okay? You’ll be glad you did. Um, but maybe stock up on tissues first?

I borrowed an electronic copy of this book from my local library. I was not expected to write a review.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site