It’s not every day an author can both entertain and make you think in the same book. These two new releases do just that.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Entertaining Books that Make You Think
While I love beach reads, I also love a well-written historical fiction title which will make me think (or rethink). Christian publishing has finally offered a historical title where the people of color share an almost equal role with the white main characters. The author had input from Blacks to ensure she portrayed the characters correctly and didn’t perpetuate any stereotypes. Bravo. It’s about time.
The second book I’ll review has multi-generational main characters, and will make you think about mother-daughter relationships, sacrifice, and what you would do when faced with impossible choices.
The Heart’s Charge
By Karen Witemeyer, Bethany House Publishers, June 2021, 384 pages.
Mark Wallace and Jonah Brooks deliver a horse in Llano County, Texas for Matthew Hangar, their friend, employer, and leader of Hangar’s Horseman. Mark doesn’t expect to end up delivering a baby, as well. When Jonah returns with the local doctor, the man directs them to a nearby foundling home where they hope to leave the infant. The woman who opens the door of the run-down looking Harmony House takes his breath away. Thousands of miles from home, he’s run smack-dab into his first and only love. The woman who turned him down.
Katherine Palmer’s girlish ploy to get the attention of her school crush goes horribly awry. Bucking convention, Kat refuses to marry Mark Wallace and vows to make better choices for the rest of her life. Her vow leads her to Eliza Southerland, a black woman on a mission to start an orphanage for children society has rejected. Together, the two women start a foundling home. Kat never expected to see Mark again, much less find him standing on her doorstep with a wailing infant in his arms.
Mark wants to stick around and help around the orphanage, and Jonah agrees to stay with him after a local boy tells him about the kiddy-snatchers. If the rumors prove true, Mark and Jonah agree it’s a cause Hangar’s Horseman can get behind. Jonah won’t mind getting to know the sassy Miss Southerland better, either.
Will Mark and Jonah’s quest for the missing children lead them to love? Something neither one ever expected?
Why I Loved This Book
Witemeyer leads readers on a wild chase around Llano County. Pillars of the town might be rotten and the tight-knit community cares little for homeless children. The second in the Hangar’s Horseman series, The Heart’s Charge can stand alone (but you won’t want to miss the first book, At Love’s Command). The pages ripple with intrigue, danger, friendship, and love.
Unlike most books written by white authors, the two Black characters don’t play token roles in the story. Jonah and Eliza exemplify how people from different races can collaborate if they make a commitment to focus on similarities rather than differences and strive to live out God’s command to love each other.Don't miss #TheHeartsCharge by Karen Witemeyer from @BethanyHouse #historical #inspy #amreading Click To Tweet
By Lynn Austin, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, June 8, 2021, 432 pages
Lena wants nothing more than for her children to live in safety and love God. She loves working along with her husband on their farm in the Netherlands. But when Nazis invade their neutral country, she struggles to let go of her dreams of safety and replace them with the conviction that God wants her to help others. Even if doing so puts her family at great risk.
Lena’s daughter Ans escapes quotidian farm life by moving to Leiden. Her new job, as a companion to a professor’s wife, fills her life with culture and things she could never experience on the farm. New friends and a handsome young police officer provide sweetness in her new life. But as the Nazis take over her country, Ans must choose between following the law or following her conscience.
Miriam and her father escape Germany and flee to the Netherlands. While living in a refugee camp in the Netherlands, her father applies for a job at universities all over Europe. Miriam meets a young man and the two fall in love. At first, being Jewish in the Netherlands doesn’t pose a problem. But as the Nazis invade, they bring the hate and regulations with them.
Austin brings together three women and their vastly different experiences in ways that will convict readers. To do what is right will always bring more satisfaction than to do what is popular—even if the right-doing comes at great personal cost.
Why I Loved this Book
As a history buff, I love reading well-researched period pieces. The questions faced by Lena and Ans remind me of questions we face today. Should we do what seems popular and easy, or should we work tirelessly and sacrificially to help others?
We often forget the horrors of war, but Chasing Shadows helps us understand the heroic decisions ordinary people made in extraordinary times. The story reminds us we all have a responsibility to fight for what’s right.Don't miss this sweeping new historical from @LynnNAustin! You won't be able to put it down. #amreading #WWII @TyndaleHouse Click To Tweet
I’m not usually interested in western-ish books, but The Heart’s Change sounds intriguing. I always love Lynn Austin.
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