Sunday, January 29, 2012


The Versatile Blogger Award

I am honoured to have been chosen for an award. It means a lot to me when a peer, someone I respect, chooses to honour me. It still amazes me that people actually want to read what I write! I appreciate it! THANK YOU to "McGuffy Ann" for bestowing this lovely award to me.  Please visit her at:

Here are the rules that go along with this award:
1. In a post on your blog, nominate 5-15 fellow bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog.
4. In the same post, share 7 completely random facts about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Here are 7 Random Facts About Me:
1.  I read approximately 200 books per year.
2.  I won't read fantasy or western novels.
3.  I suffer from chronic insomnia.
4.  I love Susan Boyle's voice.
5.  I have been married for "33" wonderful and happy years.
6.  I'm a consumate dog lover.  Yes, I'm one of those "crazy" dog ladies.  I had 4 dogs but sadly, two passed away in 2011.  I still have a Black Lab (Buddy) and an all black Chihuahua (Maggie).
7.  I never "dream", or at least I don't remember them if I do.

I would now like to pass this award onto:

1.  Radiant Light at:

2.  Mike Draper at:

3.  Crazy for Books at:

4.  Gently Mad at:

5. Belle's Bookshelf at:


Story Description: 

Corban Addison leads readers on a chilling, eye-opening journey into Mumbai's seedy underworld--and the nightmare of two orphaned girls swept into the international sex trade. 

When a tsunami rages through their coastal town in India, 17-year-old Ahalya Ghai and her 15-year-old sister Sita are left orphaned and homeless. With almost everyone they know suddenly erased from the face of the earth, the girls set out for the convent where they attend school. They are abducted almost immediately and sold to a Mumbai brothel owner, beginning a hellish descent into the bowels of the sex trade. 

Halfway across the world, Washington, D.C., attorney Thomas Clarke faces his own personal and professional crisis-and makes the fateful decision to pursue a pro bono sabbatical working in India for an NGO that prosecutes the subcontinent's human traffickers. There, his conscience awakens as he sees firsthand the horrors of the trade in human flesh, and the corrupt judicial system that fosters it. Learning of the fate of Ahalya and Sita, Clarke makes it his personal mission to rescue them, setting the stage for a riveting showdown with an international network of ruthless criminals. 

My Review: 

This was a difficult book to read for me because it dealt with the horrible but very real world of exploitation in its worst form; the rape of young girls and women.  This despicable act isn’t just relegated to the farest reaches of our planet but happens every single day in our own backyards. 

A Walk Across the Sun is the story of two sisters who lose their family to a tsunami and then are kidnapped in broad daylight and sold into the sex slave industry.  The eldest of the two sisters, Ahalya who is seventeen, suffers unspeakable acts to her physical, emotional, and spiritual self.  Her younger sister, Sita, age fifteen doesn’t fare much better when she is sold many times in the course of two and a half months to perform physical labour that is gruelling to say the least. 

Thomas Clarke, one of the main characters, is powerless in his search for Sita.  Having been a lawyer with a large firm in the United States, he goes to Bombay, India for a year at CASE which is dedicated to the prosecution of these scumbags that buy these girls. 

Corban Addison has written a novel that has something for everyone.  It is part thriller, part suspense, part mystery and filled with a poetic beauty fit for the most discerning.  It is a novel of sex, rape, love, hate, hope, wisdom, forgiveness, and redemption. 

Between India, Paris, and the United States you are about to be taken on a journey with two of the most lovable girls you’ll ever have the pleasure to meet in fiction and ones you’ll never forget even after the last page has been turned.  I can promise you that once you’ve begun this novel, you won’t be able to put it down! 

I was enraged at the blaring disregard for women and I had many tear-stained pages throughout my reading of this novel.  I was thankful for Mr. Addison’s notes at the end of the novel on how to help stop human trafficking and is a must read!  This novel has moved me into action and I highly recommend everyone read it.  This would be a great book selection for book clubs.  It needs to be discussed and kept on the front burner and in the forefront of everyone’s mind.  We all need to pitch in and help.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Story Description  

In a humble fishing village on the shores of the Nile lives Asenath, a fisherman's daughter who has everything she could want. Until her perfect world is shattered.

When a warring jungle tribe ransacks the village and kidnaps her, separating her from her parents, she is forced to live as a slave. And she begins a journey that will culminate in the meeting of a handsome and kind steward named Joseph.

Like her, Joseph was taken away from his home, and it is in him that Asenath comes to find solace…and love. But just as they are beginning to form a bond, Joseph is betrayed by his master’s wife and thrown into prison.

Is Asenath doomed to a lifetime of losing everything and everyone she loves?


My Review 

This was the most satisfying and beautiful story, I didn’t want it to end!  I know it’s early in the year but this could very well be my favourite novel of 2012! 

Anna Patricio has penned the most incredible story of the wife of Joseph from the Bible.  Asenath is portrayed so well that it’s glaringly obvious that the author has spent a great deal of time researching the book of Genesis and her studies in Egyptology have paid off.  We all are familiar with Joseph and his coat of many colours, but few, including myself, know little about his beloved wife, Asenath. 

Asenath was born Kiya and grew up until she was nine-years-old playing on the banks of the Nile River in Egypt with her best friend, Menah.  A monstrous group of barbarians kidnapped the two kids to exact revenge for a killing that took place years earlier.  The son was exacting revenge for the killing of his father.  The invaders killed Kiya’s mother and father and she was used as a slave until rescued by Egyptian soldiers and taken to the City of Heliopolis. 

Kiya is told her parents were murdered and is eventually adopted by the High Priest and Priestress of Autumn-Re and they changed her name to Asenath.  She was told that the name Asenath “…will give you power in days to come.”  Kiya was now to be known as “Lady Asenath, Chief Daughter of the Sun.” 

As Asenath grows she is learning to be a “Royal” and getting used to servants and citizens bowing and greeting her but she never loses her “roots”.  I loved the fact that she never thought of herself as above or better than anyone else and maintains her true self, often talking to the servants and always maintaining the spirit of her days as a peasant. 

When she finally meets Joseph, he was a servant in another household in a different city.  They correspond through letters for a year and it is through these letters that Asenath learns Joseph is from Canaan and learns who his ancestors are and the fact that they worship only one God.  Joseph explains his close relationship with his father and his gift of a coat of many colours.  Asenath doesn’t understand why Joseph had come to Egypt instead of staying in Canaan when he had such fond memories and close relationships with his family there. 

Asenath finally gets to see Joseph again but he is accused of raping another woman and is thrown in prison.  She returns home, packs her bags, and against her parent’s wishes, goes back to the city where Joseph is to try and get him out of prison. 

Will she succeed?  Will she and Joseph ever be together again?  There is so much more to this story but I’ve already said enough and you’ll just have to purchase a copy to find out what happens.  I know I couldn’t put this book down, I just had to keep reading, I was mesmerized. 

I would love to see this author write a sequel to “Asenath” so we can continue to follow her life until her death.  I know I’d be first in-line to purchase a copy. 

Thank you Ms. Patricio for the pdf copy in exchange for my honest review.  I’m so happy that you contacted me as this is one story I wouldn’t want to have missed.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Story Description: 

Anna Larson's daughter, Lauren, is confused, broken-hearted, and misguided. It's the turbulent 1960s and, feeling alienated from her mother, Lauren chooses to stay with her paternal grandmother. However, repelled by the woman's manipulative and spiteful ways, Lauren returns to her mother, the river, and the Inn at Shining Waters.

But as time passes, Lauren, now a mother to her own defiant teenager, faces a new crisis, one that puts the entire family at risk.

My Review: 

Although Lauren was misguided, confused, and alienated from her mother, Anna, I wanted to strangle that girl all throughout the novel.  Lauren had a profound impact on me and I saw her as seriously spoiled!  She was an ungrateful, spoiled, temper-tantrum, whining child, teenager and young adult.  At every turn I was frustrated with her and couldn’t imagine myself parenting her.  On the other hand, I found her mother, Anna, to be a superbly pleasant, loving, tolerant and kind woman. 

Anna worked hard to keep her Inn in tip-top shape for guests and Lauren was no help at all.  When Lauren herself became pregnant and had her daughter, Sarah, history repeated itself but Sarah had her grandma Anna by her side which made her upbringing much better than Lauren’s had been. 

Living on the river as Anna’s relatives had for generations, brought healing and calm to this very dysfunctional family but it took an almost tragic event for Lauren to finally see the light. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it for everyone!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Story Description:

The life Kamila Sidiqi had known changed overnight when the Taliban seized control of the city of Kabul. After receiving a teaching degree during the civil war—a rare achievement for any Afghan woman—Kamila was subsequently banned from school and confined to her home. When her father and brother were forced to flee the city, Kamila became the sole breadwinner for her five siblings. Armed only with grit and determination, she picked up a needle and thread and created a thriving business of her own.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana tells the incredible true story of this unlikely entrepreneur who mobilized her community under the Taliban. Former ABC News reporter Gayle Tzemach Lemmon spent years on the ground reporting Kamila's story, and the result is an unusually intimate and unsanitized look at the daily lives of women in Afghanistan. These women are not victims; they are the glue that holds families together; they are the backbone and the heart of their nation. Afghanistan's future remains uncertain as debates over withdrawal timelines dominate the news.

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana moves beyond the headlines to transport you to an Afghanistan you have never seen before. This is a story of war, but it is also a story of sisterhood and resilience in the face of despair. Kamila Sidiqi's journey will inspire you, but it will also change the way you think about one of the most important political and humanitarian issues of our time. 
My Review: 
This was one book I simply couldn’t put down.  Kamila Sidiqi’s journey into entrepreneurship will inspire you.  In the face of war and with her community under the watchful eye of the hated Taliban, Kamila rose above the poverty and strict rules laid out by the Taliban to run a successful business employing neighbouring women by teaching them how to sew.  These women became independent breadwinners for their families during a time when women were looked down upon and treated less than human.  Without Kamila’s dedication, deep faith and belief that she could help to empower these women, their families would have starved to death or been forced to move during a dangerous time.   
This incredible true story of Kamila Sidiqi will leave you rooting for her and making you feel empowered to go out and contribute to society.  Ms. Lemmon has done a remarkable job at telling Kamila’s story and I’d like to say “thanks” for the best few hours of reading I’ve had in a while.


Story Description: 

A charming island village in the Puget Sound seems like the perfect place to raise their children when Patricia Koehler and her husband move in.  And the slow pace of life might be just the thing to bring the peace and quiet Patricia longs for.  When she discovers a wonderful friend in Susan – a woman as outgoing as Patricia is shy – she knows she’s made a friend for life.   

Yet all is not as it seems, and the Koehlers are not a perfect couple.  When Patricia shares her secret agony with Susan, she finds the courage to face the problem with the love and support of her friend…but neither woman is prepared for the consequences unleashed by revealing the truth.  

This moving story deals with contemporary family issues that come straight from today’s headlines. 

My Review: 

Ms. Nordberg introduces us to the sad subject of abusive relationships.  Patricia was so happy and so in love with her doctor husband and he was the guy every girl would want.  Taking Patricia on the most beautiful dates, attending to her every need, and lavishing her with flowers and words only endeared her more and more to this wonderful man.  However, once married, the good doctor began to change and became an abusive and obnoxious man.  I found it so hard to read through the beatings he laid on Patricia.   

With the help of God, her good friend Susan and a new community, Patricia is able to begin life anew.  There are so many twists and turns in the novel making for a very suspenseful read.  People often assume because someone is a Christian and has a relationship with God that they would never be in an abusive relationship and that is just not true.  You need more than a relationship with God you need courage and community as well to help you walk back into the light. 

This was one book I just couldn’t put down and ended up reading it in one sitting!!  Don’t miss out on this excellent book that provides us with a very important message.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


Story Description: 

The San Francisco Bay area dawns a typical day – sunshine, cool breezes, then rain – the afternoon Kate Langston’s entire world is set off-kilter.  Successful in their careers and happily ensconced in the empty-nest stage of life, Kate and Mike’s twenty-six-year marriage has settled into a comfortable, if somewhat predictable routine.   

A package sent through the mail shatters the world they have created together, and Kate walks out the door certain their marriage is over and wonders if her faith in God will ever be the same.  Mike, devastated by what has happened to their relationship, determines to win back his wife, whatever the cost, even though his company appears on the brink of a criminal investigation.  A voyage in the Pacific seems to be the lifeline he was seeking, but will Kate agree to sail with a husband she no longer trusts?   

My Review: 

Pacific Hope grabbed me from the very first page.  Kate is devastated by the package of photographs she receives in the mail showing her beloved husband, Mike, with another woman.  Kate walks out and flies home to be with her father who is ill with plans to divorce Mike when she returns.  She needs to pray and hopes that her faith in God will lead her in the right direction. 

Mike, on the other hand, has very different plans.  Although his company is being investigated by the FBI and it is not a very good time for him to be away from work, his love for Kate overrides all.  He agrees to pilot a sail boat from San Francisco to Hawaii for his friend and asks Kate to go with him. 

The scenes and happenings on the boat will have you sitting at the edge of your seat!!  At one point I was holding my breath.  Kate finds out just how much faith she still has and prays that God is listening to her to help her out of the predicament she has found herself in. 

Will she save herself and her estranged husband?  Does she truly have the depth of faith she requires? 

Bette Nordberg has done a fantastic job of telling about the workings of piloting a large sail boat.  I found the information very interesting.  I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Story Description: 

Callie O’Brians ordinary life takes an unexpected detour when social services places a four-year-old orphan, Keeshan Hernandez, in her care.  Overwhelmed, Callie is just about ready to give the boy back to the authorities when Marcus Jefferson suddenly arrives, claiming to be Keeshan’s uncle.   

In the face of Marcus’ challenge, Callie realizes the strength of her ties to the little boy.  Knowing she cannot simply give him to a stranger, Callie mounts a legal battle to keep Keeshan.  Willing to sacrifice everything, Callie is unprepared for the strange attraction she has for Marcus.  Can she let go of her own feelings long enough to do what is best for Keeshan?  Is Marcus worthy of the prize Callie has to offer? 

My Review: 

I’ve quickly come to learn that Bette Nordberg has the uncanny ability to take any mundane, every day situation and turn it into something with substance and meaning. 

Callie is a single woman who runs a coffee shop and an upholstery business and is just making ends meet.  Her friend, Celia, and her four-year-old son, Keeshan, rent the guest house on Callie’s property.  When Celia is killed, Callie is given temporary custody of Keeshan but Callie has never been around kids much and is feeling very inadequate about her skills as a caregiver to Keeshan.  

Just as Callie is settling into a comfortable routine with Keeshan, Marcus Jefferson happens upon the scene.  Marcus is a black man and Keeshan’s uncle.  Here Nordberg opens the subject of interracial relationships.  Callie becomes very protective of Keeshan as Marcus has applied for sole custody, but Callie also finds Marcus very attractive.  However, having grown up with a racist father, the old tapes from her childhood are running through her head.  Can Callie overcome her father’s voice from the past?  Who will win custody of little Keeshan? 

This is a story of accepting the detours that pop up into our lives and of learning to trust ourselves regardless of our past.  I didn’t want this book to end and would love to see Ms. Nordberg write a sequel!!

Monday, January 9, 2012


Story Description: 

With candor and compassion, Silver Angel award-winning writer Bette Nordberg explores the struggles and heartaches associated with homosexuality and AIDS to create a gripping novel that reveals the comfort of a personal relationship with Jesus. Colleen is wary when her brother Stephen arrives, but she refuses to dwell on his homosexuality. After a family fight, Stephen angrily leaves. Colleen follows him, discovers he has AIDS, and invites him to live with her family. As Stephen's illness progresses, Colleen encounters fear, prejudice, and judgments from "it's a shame" to "God is punishing Stephen." Slowly Colleen considers a new answer. Maybe AIDS isn't a condemnation. Perhaps God has granted Stephen time to evaluate his life and discover the love of the Master Healer.  

My Review: 

If you don`t completely understand the true meaning of ‘grace’ in the context of your faith, you will by the time you`ve finished reading this novel. 

Colleen hasn`t seen her twin brother, Stephen, for years until he shows up at Colleen`s house for their mother`s birthday party.  Stephen has been away from his family due to disagreements over his alternative lifestyle and after another disagreement at the party he storms out of the house and goes home.  Colleen is terribly upset and vows not to lose Stephen again and hops into her car and drives across the state to his home.  Once there she finds out Stephen`s truth – he has the AIDS virus. 

Colleen brings Stephen back to her home and eventually invites him to stay and live with her family so she can care for him.  However, Colleen didn`t ask her husband, Kevin, or their two teenage kids how they felt about Stephen living with them.  Travis, Colleen`s son doesn`t even want to be in the same room as his Uncle and Kevin questions her allowing Stephen to help bake Christmas cookies.  The family`s fears about AIDS are depicted so well and pretty much mirror image how a lot of people in society today still view AIDS patients even with all the education that has been done.  I think there will always be some type of stigma attached to AIDS and some will never feel comfortable with it. 

Even in her church, Colleen faces criticism from fellow parishioners, including one woman who gets up, turns off the keyboard Colleen just finished playing on, and proceeds to clean every single white key, black key, and all other buttons before she herself would play it.  Can you even begin to imagine how that would make you feel if you were in Colleen`s shoes?  

Not only is AIDS a huge part of this story but so is faith.  Colleen has a secret that her family knows nothing about and I think that held her back from really participating in her conversations with God and her ability to hunker down and feel totally at peace.  But her decision to move Stephen into her own home basically forces her to delve deep into why she “really” brought him there and why it is so important for her to care for Stephen in his final days.  

We need to remember that God allows us to experience grief and pain because it is a gift and through that we learn the true meaning of grace. 

A Season of Grace would have been a difficult book to write I would imagine, but Ms. Nordberg handled it with grace, humility, and great compassion.  This is more than just a novel it's a lesson, an opportunity to learn.  Unconditional love is a great thing!  I would highly recommend that everyone read this novel. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Story Description:

In this contemporary romance, young widow Brandy Beauchamp inherits a long-established bed-and-breakfast on Vancouver Island from an old friend. It needs energy and commitment if the beautiful but neglected property is to be restored.

With her five-year-old daughter, Gabby, Brandy moves to British Columbia and sets about building a new life only to discover that a local property developer has very different plans.

The quirky old house is symbolic of the strange characters peopling this novel, each one a composite of its influences-as the house is a composite of its owners. Brandy Beauchamp's success becomes our success, despite treachery, adversity, and misfortune.

Nordberg has interwoven themes of courage and treachery with personal growth and discovery. 

My Review:

Brandy, a young widow, and her five-year-old daughter, Gabby, head for Vancouver Island in Canada from Florida.  Maggie Blackburn, the woman who took Brandy in as a wayward teenager and raised and loved her as her own has had a stroke and lies unconscious in the intensive care unit.  Sadly, Maggie dies and Brandy inherits the bed and breakfast where Maggie lived.  The B & B was no longer being used as such but a home for Maggie that was packed to the hilt with furniture, collectibles, antiques and the like.  There was even an entire hull of a boat suspended from the ceiling in the great room! 

Despite having no money, Brandy uproots her and Gabby’s lives in Florida and moves to Canada to prepare Maggie’s home to once again become a functioning Bed & Breakfast.  However, along the way, Brandy is up against Murphy’s Law at every turn.  After some renovations had been completed, a large fir tree crashes through the roof during a particularly bad wind storm.  A nasty and under-handed developer wants to purchase the property from her and isn’t above conducting himself in some shady deals in order to hopefully force Brandy to sell to him. 

Brandy struggles with her faith and is learning to listen to God and to follow His voice, but can she follow Him completely in the face of the tragedies she must endure?  In the meantime, Brandy takes in teenager Celeste and her 10-year-old sister, Danny, while their Grandmother recovers in hospital from a broken hip and some other health problems.  Then a fire breaks out and her little Gabby gets hurt and she has run out of money. 

Brandy is now really struggling with her faith and needs to make a decision whether to carry on and hope for the best, or pull the plug on the entire project and move back to Florida and resume her old life. 

GENOA BAY is a touching story of love, loss, grief, faith, courage, resilience, and the redemptive power of believing in trusting God and allowing oneself to move forward in that faith.  I loved this book and will be keeping it as part of my permanent collection.  Thank you Ms. Nordberg for a wonderful story that kept me turning the pages late into the night!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Story Description: 

A terrible car accident occurs. Richard and Sonia, a couple with a crumbling marriage, stop to help the critically injured victims. In the process, they find a 140-year-old journal by the side of the road. Six different people have written in the journal. Though the entries span three centuries, the writers share a quest: the search for meaning in their lives. These stories take Richard and Sonia on a personal and historic journey: across Canada to the jungles of India and back to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, where a final mystery awaits. 

My Review: 

Richard and Sonia happen upon a car crash on the highway.  There are two people trapped inside an over-turned vehicle.  The woman is hanging upside down in her seatbelt and the man is pinned in by the steering wheel.  Sonia calls 911 on her cell phone to report the horrific scene displayed before them.  Quickly the smell of gasoline permeates the air and the rush is on to remove these two people from their car before it catches fire or explodes into a fireball.  They finally free them and manage to drag them to a safer place.  The female is bleeding profusely from a chest wound where a large piece of glass has impaled her chest and the man is making horrible gurgling sounds from his throat.  The ambulance finally arrives and the victims of the accident are on their way to the hospital. 

Once the ambulance has gone, Richard and Sonia notice that the personal belongings of the passengers are strewn about the highway.  Feeling badly for the couple they garner some garbage bags from the police and two old suitcases from the back of the car and begin the process of collecting their property and packing them in the bags and suitcases.  When they are done, they head over to give the property to the police to deliver to the hospital for the couple, in case they survived, but the police wouldn’t have time and asked Richard and Sonia if they wouldn’t mind dropping them off themselves.  They were a little taken aback but quickly agreed.  As they were walking back to their own vehicle, Richard suddenly sees what looks like a book under the bumper of his car and bends down to retrieve it.  Once inside the car where he could see, he quickly realizes this book is very, very old and appears to be a diary or journal of some sort. 

It turns out to be a journal that is 140-years-old and has been passed along to different people who have recorded a story from their own lives into it.  Although each person’s story is somewhat a condensed version, they are riveting stories that you simply can’t stop reading.  Mr. Prendergast has smartly woven these stories together with a constant character that has come into possession of the journal. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the amalgamation of stories from the different time periods.  The characters in each life story were well-developed and the vividness of the writing made me feel as though I myself was there.  I could see the sights, surroundings and smell the odours.  I also loved the fact that the book was written by a Canadian and set in various parts of Canada! 

The Impact of a Single Event had me pulled in right from the beginning and held my attention non-stop until the end.  Speaking of the end, I loved the ‘twist’ at the end, totally unexpected but absolutely perfect!  Don’t miss out on this one, once the word is out about how good this book is, it’s going to be a roaring success!!!  Well-done Mr. Prendergast!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Story Description: 

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant's name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he'd been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man's journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit. 

My Review: 

This isn’t normally the type of book I would choose to read but something about the synopsis on the cover propelled me into buying it and I’m glad I did.  This is the incredible and true story of Louis Zamperini. 

Louis Zamperini was a young child when his parents moved to Grammercy Street in Torrance, California.  As a toddler he was inquisitive and incorrigible, as a youth he became a delinquent causing trouble, fighting, and stealing his way through each day.  Louis was high strung and needed a positive outlet for his destructive and abhorrent behaviour and took up running.  Little did he realize when he first began that he would be heading to the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany chasing the 4-minute mile record!  Louis trained hard and more than earned every win and every trophy.  He constantly broke records set by previous runners and became quite a sensation. 

Louis joined the air force in the Second World War and became the squadron’s bombardier, a job he took seriously.  One bright morning in May of 1943 his team flew out over the Pacific on a mission only to crash into the ocean.  Only Louis and two other airmen from his flight survived.  They floated in a raft over miles and miles and miles of ocean for 47 days and struggled with extreme heat, salt sores, swollen lips that grew grotesquely up to their noses, hunger and starvation, extreme thirst and large sharks that attempted to jump into their quickly shredding life raft.  On the 47th day they were rescued by the enemy Japanese and sent off to POW camps.  There Louis faced the toughest days of his life.  One particular sadistic guard had a penchant for Louis and sought him out daily to apply beatings so severe that you wouldn’t believe any human being could survive. He was tortured, punched repeatedly, had buckle belts swung and smashed into his head, and was demoralized and dehumanized.  

Unbroken is the unforgettable story of Louis’s survival, and redemption and the resilience of his mind, body, and spirit.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Story Description: 

In Space, Emily Sue delivers us a deeply moving story of a family on the brink. Dan and Deede Stowe have worked for years, planning and saving for their idyllic retirement years. Just when they finally are about to realize their dream, their adult, recovering drug-addict daughter, Faith, moves back in with them and everything changes. Their “”miracle child, complete with druggie baggage, upsets the tranquil balance of the Stowes existence.  Private romantic moments evaporate. Faith’s endless needs intrude hour by hour, devouring both their finances, their emotions, and most crucially, their space. In turn, Faith finds herself bereft of everything she cherished most, her health, her marriage, her child, her family, her reputation and, most of all, a space to call her own.

Amid chaotic challenges, all three battle to find peace with each other, a harmony that doggedly eludes them. For the sake of family solidarity, each is forced to sacrifice elemental components of self, until desperation turns them one against the other. Will love be enough to turn the tide? Is it strong enough to warm again hearts grown cold?

Space is a vivid, candid, and life-affirming story from a masterful storyteller of the heart. 

My Review: 

Dan and Deede Stowe are a match made in Heaven.  They love each other immensely and are looking forward to retiring and spending all their time together.  However, those plans are derailed once their drug-addicted, divorced daughter, Faith, moves back in and changes their entire family dynamics, the course of all their lives, and most importantly, impedes on their space.  She begins the long arduous journey of destroying each of their psyches and relationships and forces Dan and Deede to sacrifice their life-savings to pay for drug rehabs, court costs due to issues with police, and hefty lawyer fees.   

This is truly a well-written book.  I was so sucked in to the story that I kept forgetting that it was “fiction”.  The story is so well penned and I actually know a couple of people who went through an almost exact situation with their own children.  I was really expecting to find out at the end of the book that Ms. Harvey had tricked us into believing it was fiction only to find out it was non-fiction but that wasn’t the case.  This was a solid read and included extended family members and their faith in God to cope with Faith’s tragic life.  This is one of those books that I would read again and will highly recommend to all my friends.