Book Review~ William Henry is a Fine Name, by Cathy Gohlke

William Henry is a Fine Name is a book you don’t want to miss reading!  It’s an excellent account of the intricate workings of the underground railroad, slavery, plantation life, and all seen through the eyes of one 13 year old boy named Robert Glover, son of a woman who had grown up pampered, on a Southern plantation, and a man who was God-fearing and compassionate towards his fellow man.

Robert has a best friend, William Henry, who is a slave, but to Robert, he’s just a friend.  They did everything together, until things begin to happen that are a mystery to Robert, but not so to William Henry. 

Cathy Gohlke’s first book, such a great book indeed.  It’s obvious that she put her heart into this story, with the huge amount of information she collected and put together to tell this tale of the north, the south, slavery, and freedom’s price for many. 

The quilt on the clothesline, the pattyrollers, Quakers, Stargazer, Uncle Marcus, Grandfather, Ashland, Pa, Aunt Sassy, the moss on the trees, and the drinking gourd, all are unforgettable pieces of this story that will absorb your attention and keep you reading well into the night. 

I highly recommend this book, both as a history lesson from one person’s perspective, and as a book that will get you thinking.  There’s suspense, drama, politics, insight, and genuine love.   Get yourself a copy and settle in for a great historical fiction read.

Advertisements

Bible Study

I’ve been working through a good bible study course, offered free by  a church in Greenville, MI, called Liberty Baptist Church:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

So far I’ve finished a study on Islam, and a study booklet about music, what is Godly, and spiritual, and how to tell if music is appropriate for Christians to listen to.  They talk about content, control, and context of music.

Some quotes from the booklet:  “There is no such thing as neutral music.  All music has an effect upon the listener-without a word ever being spoken.  That is why God stated that all music which Christians listen to must have a melody to it, something with harmony, organized tones, and a sweet and agreeable sound. Very little of today’s contemporary Christian music can pass this test.”

They also bring up the fact that many churches entertain rather than exhort, reprove, and rebuke the members.  The booklet states:  What is true of babies?  They cannot do anything for themselves.  They have to be entertained, or they cry.  …… He cries out…..I cannot understand that old King James bible, so he finds a church that entertains with worldly music and a watered-down translation of the Bible.

If you’re interested in this free Baptist bible study, you can get some booklets mailed to your home or office, free.  Go here:  http://www.libertygospeltracts.com

Here’s the church’s web page:  http://www.libertybaptistgreenville.com/

 

Also, I’m reading another book by Cathy Gohlke, called, “William Henry is a Fine Name“.  It was her debut novel, and it won a well-deserved Christy Award.  The book will appeal to everyone from young adult to senior citizen.  A review is coming soon, God willing.  In the meantime, get yourself a copy, and read it.

Book Review of Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke

Promise Me This~ by Cathy Gohlke
Book Review

Cathy Gohlke truly gives God the glory in this book, by repeatedly referring to our need for Jesus Christ, and His great love for us. This book is a good Christian historical fiction novel for that reason, and for the fact that the romance is very, very subtle, and the history is well-researched. The whole book is profound and penetrating in awareness and understanding of the history of that era, and the heart of man and his important relationship to God.

The story begins with the Titanic, vividly describing the wealth, luxury, and fanfare that went along with the maiden voyage of this vessel.

In Chapter One, you meet Michael Dunnigan, a poor, abused child trying to earn money and doing his best to keep out of the way of his angry, drunken uncle. Then in Chapter Two,you briefly meet Aunt Eleanor, who will become one of the vilest creatures in the story. Her twisted hatred and manipulations of the family will shock you.

Owen is also introduced in Chapter Two, and he has a true Christ-like heart and lives a life that surely pleases the Lord Jesus. The main character, Annie Allen, is the sister of Owen, and she is briefly rescued from the clutches of Aunt Eleanor by him, in hopes of bringing her to America after he has established a gardening business.

This book has so much to offer you, I  hope you read it. Like I said, it begins with the Titanic, and takes the reader on through World War One, powerfully described and unforgettable as Mrs. Gohlke vividly describes the horrors of war. You feel as if you’re on the front lines in Verdun, in Northeastern France, alongside the British Voluntary Aid Detachment nurses. The bombing by the Germans, the horrific casualties of the war, was aptly portrayed in this riveting dramatic story. 

The lovely relationships and blossoming romances (all rated G) are but a glimpse into the love Mrs. Gohlke must have for her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
I don’t want to give away too much of this story, it’s deep and profound, on so many levels a truly good Christian historical fiction novel. It would be wonderful if a movie was made about this. Simply wonderful!

Thank you, Cathy Gohlke, for using the talents God gave you to write such books that educate, entertain, and make us think about OUR relationship to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the ONLY Way into Heaven and eternal life. May God richly bless you. Please keep writing, and never give up.
Jesus loves you.     Romans 10:8-13,  John 3:16-21

Product details

  • File Size: 11475 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 20, 2012)
  • Publication Date: January 20, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00724LJ0W
    Stunning and powerful Christian historical fiction novel by Christian author, Cathy Gohlke.

Book Review~ Troublesome Creek by Jan Watson

I liked everything about this book, even the cover!  I was impressed that this was Jan Watson’s first novel, since she doesn’t write like a novice.  Perhaps it’s her nurse’s training that helped.

This story is set around the 1800s in a coal town in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky.  I got a real feel for life there through Mrs. Watson’s well turned phrases and descriptive words.   This is a clean, Christian historical fiction novel, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a really good book to read.

I enjoyed learning about the simple life of a young girl named Copper, her fairly carefree life in the mountains of Kentucky, living with her dad and her stepmother.  The  author really knows how to pull you into the story, and identify easily with the characters.  I felt the warm summers, the bitter cold winters, I got anxious when one of the family got ill, was happy when good things happened, enjoyed hunting in the woods, and the story about Copper’s background was engrossing, I could not get enough of the rich details and even the heartbreak.  The good relationship she had with her dad was comforting, and the closeness of the family in general was very upbeat and encouraging.  Their Christian faith was solid and enduring.

This is the first of Jan Watson’s books, and I’m already reading the second of the series, called Willow Springs, which is a continuation of Copper’s journey through life, and the many changes and adjustments of new surroundings.

Product details

  • File Size: 20517 KB
  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (December 16, 2010)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GHNLMM

Book Review~The Road Home by Beverly Lewis

This is a story of an Amish family torn apart by the death of the parents, and of the long but loving journey back to healing and moving on with life.

Lena Schwartz has 9 siblings, and after their parent’s demise, the Centerville, Michigan Amish community finds suitable homes for the brothers and sisters, and Lena, the oldest, has to relocate to her dad’s cousin’s house in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.   Harley and Mimi open their home and hearts to Lena, and gradually, Lena begins healing from her huge losses.  She is always planning to save enough money and return to her family in Michigan, and keeps working for Mimi.

This book was a very gentle, very CLEAN and CHRISTIAN story, and I was quite pleased at the author’s skill in weaving several stories together so expertly.  There are many interesting characters and plots in The Road Home, and I enjoyed reading it, and finishing it.  What I got out of this book was a look at the everyday life we lead, and how we make changes, adjustments, and why we persevere in the midst of troubles and even anguish and mourning.

There was no tension in this book, which I liked, but some of Mrs. Lewis’s fans might miss.  Many of her previous books had edginess and friction in the story, but this book isn’t like that.  It’s a mature, Christian account of what life is really like for most of us, and how Jesus’s love, protection, and comfort is there if we only follow HIM, and not the deceitfulness of our emotions.  I was spiritually inspired by one of the prayers from Lena, during her frustrating trials with her beau.  It was well said, and I can tell Beverly Lewis has endured similar trials of her faith.  Trusting in God alone, and yielding all of ourselves to Him is the only way to victoriously make it through hard times.

I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House publishers, in exchange for an honest review.

Bible Memorization

Psalm 145:16- Thou openest thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing.   Psalm 145:16

After a rough week, I decided it would do me well to memorize bible verses.  I found I could only recall a few verses to help me through, even though there is such a depth of riches in God’s holy Word that I could have thought of to help me, strengthen me, and calm my fears and anxieties.

So, I remembered seeing a little plastic loaf of bread on a relative’s table, years ago, and it was Our Daily Bread bible promises, in the King James version, which is the only completely inerrant version.  I found a King James online store, and ordered one for myself, and some as future gifts.  Here’s the store:  https://www.thekjvstore.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=our+daily+bread

I hope YOU get a little bible promise box for yourself, and memorize Scripture.

Book Review~ Bonjour! Let’s Learn French

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked most about this book was the free downloadable audio version which includes how to pronounce French words in the book.  There is also a read-along, which may encourage children to study on their own.

If you buy this book, and download all of the activity sheets, and read the tips for parents, your child will learn French, basic French, easily, if you study along with him or her.  Or even just sit in the room with them while they listen and read along.  There’s even a good lesson on how to paint the impressionist technique!  Also, in the back of the book, there is a list of words introduced in the book, organized by chapter.  All in all, it’s a thorough basic French course for your child. (or even beginner adults!)

What I liked least about this book was the difficulty I had in navigating the website. I’m a grandma, so maybe that has a lot to do with it, but eventually I figured out what to do at polyglotkidz.com.

Judy Martialay did a great job:

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

First of all, I liked the intelligent writing of Heidi. If you read this book, you’re going to have to pay attention to the words, not just skim and speed read. Mrs. Chiavaroli does have a gift, a talent from God for writing interesting historical fiction. The book was very interesting, and even grippingly suspenseful at some points. Gritty, even. Part of the story revolves around a school shooting.

There were 2 rape scenes in this book, so be forewarned. She mentions Chris Tomlin as a Christian musician. In my opinion, he’s not. Christian Contemporary Music has successfully watered down most worship into carnality and idolatry. This book, in my opinion, could present a stronger, firmer Christian perspective than what it does.

Now, if God gives you a talent, and you tell people you’re a good Christian, shouldn’t you use that talent to glorify Him as much as possible? In my opinion, I think the author, in her own way, was trying her best to present all 3 main stories, and sub-stories, in a good way, but I must say I didn’t like the shaky morality in her book, and, her philosophy of no moral absolutes was easily recognized through her book. Each character hid behind a facade, and the fiance of the hanged Nathan Hale, Mercy, was the one who rationalized her lies more adamantly than Natalie, the mother of Chris and Maelynn.

I can’t say her book was uplifting spiritually, and some of the factors that helped me come to this conclusion were: some of the character’s rationalizing of habitual, lifestyle lies, her mention of Yoga (!) and “vibes”, which are both evil, and so foreign to true Christianity that it should not be used in conjunction with Christianity. So, vibes and yoga, were strikes against it, then she mentioned the movie, The Patriot, which should NEVER be in the video library of ANY serious, born again Christian. The Patriot has graphic violence, and that, my friend, is something Jesus does not condone ANYWHERE in a Christian’s life. Also, one of her characters had gone through a horrible ordeal, and she has the woman thinking the Word of God might be lies. Blasphemy! Jesus says: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

The thing that bothers me MOST about this book is, it’s marketed as being CHRISTIAN Historical Fiction. If Mrs. Chiavaroli had sold this book under secular, non-Christian advertising, I’d have no problem with it.
She won an ACFW Genesis award. What’s ACFW? https://www.acfw.com/about ~ “ACFW’s mission is to advance Christian Fiction by inspiring writers to join with God in the creative process, training them in the craft, and educating them in the publishing industry.”

In my opinion, this is not a Christian book, it’s a secular book. No where in the bible does God condone lying, or worshiping other gods, (Hinduism, et al.) which is what yoga is. To make one of the main characters practice yoga is inconsistent with pure Christianity.  I was dismayed to see these things presented in a good light.

I did like her story about Natalie, Mike, Chris, and Maelynn. It brought up a good point: parents are sometimes CLUELESS and in denial about their teens, which can lead to all kinds of sin and disaster. She took a heavy subject, and at least brought some awareness of the problems that contribute to tragedies like that in families.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.