Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: Courting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Courting Miss AmselCourting Miss Amsel by Kim Vogel Sawyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Edythe Amsel is single, pretty, independent, and the new schoolmarm at a one-room schoolhouse in Walnut Hill, Nebraska. Although the single men in town would like an opportunity to court her, she has only one goal in mind. She wants to teach her students, not be a wife and mother.

Miss Amsel's students love her, but the school board is quite irritated with her discipline, teaching methods, and broad subjects, since the children will simply become farmers when they graduate. Miss Amsel believes the children should know of the opportunities beyond Nebraska farming, though.

When she pushes the school board's limits by proposing the students travel to see Susan B. Anthony and a suffrage speech, Miss Amsel may be out of a job.

I enjoyed this story, even more than other books by Kim Vogel Sawyer. Although there are plenty of stories written about schoolteachers of this time period, this one held my interest.

I enjoyed the characters like Edythe, Luthenia, and Joel and his boys. I also liked the conversations between Edythe and Luthenia about God and faith. The crisis that brings Edythe to a moment of decision had me turning pages quickly.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction set in the 1880's. It's a lighter read but a good story about family, choices, relationships and faith.

I would like to thank Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a favorable review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Scripture

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11

Monday, April 04, 2011

Book Review: The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick

The Daughter's Walk: A NovelThe Daughter's Walk: A Novel by Jane Kirkpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a daring effort to save their family farm in 1896, Norwegian American Helga Estby takes her adult daughter Clara on a walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City to win $10,000.

Leaving their family behind and neighbors scoffing at her decision, Helga is willing to take a risk if it means she can help her family. But the journey is much more than she bargained for. It is harsh, secrets are revealed, and she returns home to loss and consequences that will be far reaching.

Upon returning to Washington, Clara goes in search of something that she can't find at home. She makes the decision to continue her own journey, leaving her family once again.

I found the story fascinating, particularly because it is based on real people and true historical events. The research Jane Kirkpatrick did to put this book together was extensive and intriguing, and she shares that process at the end of the book.

Although the characters stray from my own biblical view that a wife should honor and respect her husband as the head of the home, the Estbys were real people and this is their story. There were serious consequences which resulted from choices that were made, even though the choices were made with good intentions. I can't say that any of the Estbys responded to their hardships in a way that brought unity to their home, and unfortunately it wasn't an altogether happy story.

I highly recommend this book! The storytelling was terrific and engrossing. I found it hard to put the book down. It's amazing that Helga and Clara accomplished what they did, and it's worth reading the book to hear their story, a story that was almost lost forever.

If you would like to see a trailer of this book, check it out on Amazon

I wish to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group and their Blogging For Books program for providing me with a free Advance Reading Copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.