Cousins of the Dove, My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould; 2016; 364 pages; $14.99; Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon; 978-0-7369-6290-2; provided by the Publisher for the purpose of review; 9/6/16-9/9/16
Why did I read this? Because one of the authors is a good friend of ours and she writes good stories. This combines two of my favorite genres, historical fiction and mystery. It is also the second book in the Cousins of the Dove series, the first book My Brother’s Crown is reviewed here.
This is a timesplit novel, story of two sets of sisters one in the beginning days of the United States and one contemporary. The two sets of sisters mirror each other in their behavior and attitudes. Both stories really drew me as I got upset at a couple of the choices they made when they couldn’t seemingly see what was right in front of them. It took a couple of chapters to really grab me but when it did it became a real page turner. The early American sisters are tricked into indentured servitude in the colonies by a dapper soldier who then colludes with several other men to keep the sisters in indenture. They are rescued by a couple of men of simple means but great character. The current sisters are involved in a murder mystery from their childhood, one of the sister is a professional perfectionist and the other is a recovering drug addict who is incapacitated in a severe auto accident. The addict moves in with the perfectionist to recover from her injuries. The connecting thread between the two stories is a series of letters written by the early American sisters, whom are the ancestors of the contemporary sisters.
Amish Sweethearts by Leslie Gould; 2016; $14.99; 373 pages; Bethany House, Bloomington, MN; 978-0-7642-1524-7; sent from Publisher;1/3/1/16-2/3/16
A continuation of the story which began in Amish Promises. Zane and Lila are from different worlds, as Lila is part of an Amish family and Zane’s father is a veteran of the U.S. Army. They have grown close together being neighbors, perhaps too close as the are closing in on eighteen. Lila is being courted by another member of the Amish community and pushes Zane away, he impulsively joins the U.S. Army and after training is deployed to Afghanistan. Absence seems to make the heart grow fonder and bought Zane and Lila come to realizations that will change their lives and the lives of those around them.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, it was a good story of young love and complicated relationships which were made even more complicated by the differences in faiths.
My Brother’s Crown by Leslie Gould and Mindy Starns Clark; 2015; $14.99; 358 pages; Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon; 978-0-7369-6288-9; sent from the publisher asking for review; 9/14/15-9/16/15
Much like one of my favorite authors, James Rollins, this story takes place in too different time periods. One story line takes place in the time of kings and their courts, the other is now. Connecting the two is a pamphlet that helped persecuted Huguenots flee France, only one copy of the pamphlet has survived to the present day. It has stayed in the family over the centuries and is about to be presented to the Smithsonian. In the current day one of the descendants has determined that there is a secret message within the pamphlet. She only has forty eight hours to find the message within the pamphlet before it leaves the family custody. Also there is a romance in each time period and a murder mystery lurking in the background of the the current time. Lots of interesting relationships throughout the story, cousins, brothers, sisters, mothers and romantic entanglements.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes, I enjoyed both stories and the connection between the two time periods. Each character was fully developed and each story was interesting in itself.
What is with the title of the review? The only impediment to complete enjoyment of the story was how easily two of the characters were able to decipher the message hidden within the pamphlet.
Amish Promises by Leslie Gould; 2015; $14.99; 361 pages; Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, MN; gift from the author;4/28/15-5/2/15
Why did I read this? Leslie is a great author who tells an awesome story and she is a friend of ours.
What is the story? Amish farmer Tim Lehman recently lost his wife and Joel Beck was wounded in Iraq. Joe, his son and his pregnant wife move to Lancaster, PA next door to Tim and his family. Tim’s sister Eve has moved in with him to take care of his children. Joel’s friend, fellow soldier and unit medic, Charlie, comes from Philadelphia to help with Joel’s rehab. The action starts right away with Joel hurting himself again and one of Tim’s children getting kicked in the head by a horse. As time goes on there is conflict between the Amish and the Englisch family, but they come to a understanding. Meanwhile a romance blossoms between Eve and Charlie, and as they grow closer they are both burdened by their past.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, Leslie is a great storyteller and she tells a great story of the conflicts and understanding reached between the two families.
What is with the title of the review? Often love is able to overcome the differences between people.
Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould; 2014; $14.99; 348 pages; Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN; 978-0-7642-1034-1; fiction; gift from the author and publisher; 9/30/14-10/2/14
Leslie Gould ties together her Courtships of Lancaster County series with Becoming Bea. Bea Zook is the younger sister of the family, who has decided that she is never going to marry, when her heart was broken earlier in the series. She and Ben Rupp love each other but are stubborn, hard headed and grudge holding. Bea has always seemed introverted and until she takes a job helping with some newborns she has seemed standoffish. She learns how to be a member of community and learning many life lessons. Love, stalkers, babies, misunderstandings, and more lead to an fun read.
Did I enjoy it? Yes, I laughed, cried, got angry and got deeply involved in the story. Leslie continues to amaze me with her talent. I always look forward to her books.
What is with the title of the review? The two main characters battled in spelling bees for years, so many of their insults to each other are spelled out.