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Tag Archives: 1700’s

Book Review: “The Loved One,” by Catherine Palmer, Peggy Stoks

Genre: novella; contemporary Inspirational

Plot Summary: Meg Chilton is proud of her son who is about to graduate from high school and leave for college.  But as his graduation draws nigh, Taylor announces to his parents his decision to join the military.  Devastated, Meg loses herself in her genealogical research—and learns of family’s courage and sacrifice stemming from great love.

My Book Review: I have a few books by Catherine Palmer on my TBR and this is the first I’ve read of her, co-authored with Peggy Stoks.  Actually, this was more of a novella and I zipped through it pretty quickly.  Published in 2007, it is a little dated but the content and story is still good.

The story has a strong, patriotic bent. But by the time I got to Chapter 2, I could see where the story was going and it was predictable.  However, the book flips back and forth between present day and the story of the Chilton forbears and it is the historical fictions that are the most interesting even if the contemporary scenes were repetitive.  I appreciated that the stories from the Chilton past were not wrapped up with nice little bows at the end.  Rather, the characters sacrificed family, emotional well-being and physical safety in order to do what they knew needed to be done: defend their country.

If you are interested in family history, or are looking for something patriotic to read this season, this short book will probably be just for you!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2019 in Book Reviews

 

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Book Review: “Love’s Reckoning,” by Laura Frantz

Genre: Christian Inspirational; romance; historical fiction; 1700’s 

Playlist…

Plot Summary: It is the winter of 1785.  Eden Lee has grown up under her harsh father’s influence and longs to escape to Philadelphia to work among orphaned children.  But things change when a young apprentice joins her father’s blacksmith business.  Liege is determined Silas Ballantyne will marry one of his fair daughters and the eldest Elspeth has her eye set on him.  But Silas doesn’t seem to be fond of either.  As the pressure of circumstances builds around them, how will Silas, Eden, and Elspeth respond? 

My Book Review: I had never read any of Laura Frantz’s books before this one although many of her titles are on my TBR.  I loved the look of this particular cover—the light and shadow and beauty of the heroine’s long tangled fiery hair.  Kudos whenever book art draws me in!  But I wasn’t so sure how I would care for the plot.  It sounded too predictable. 

At first I thought it would run the course of so many cheesy Christian romance novels.  But I stuck it out and things got better and more interesting as it went along.  (So many twists and turns…!)  About two-thirds of the way through it I realized this plot sounded very similar to the Bible story of Jacob and Rachel and Leah.  OH NO!  That means…  Yikes! (If you know how that particular story goes.)  My stomach turned sick and I wasn’t sure I could go on to read what happened next.  

But, of course I did and then all of a sudden a super plot twist turned things around… for the worst!  Nearly covered my eyes I did and gave a heartrending sigh.  I was getting so involved in this; more than I ever expected.  So, by the time the last chapter turned around, I was bawling my eyes out and needed a box of kleenexes.  Yes, it was really that compelling.  Laura Frantz has won me over, and I do not need to tell you I’ll be reading the next and the next after that in the series (The Ballantyne Legacy). 

The settings and descriptions played out much like a movie in my mind.  The candlelight, snow, grime, greenery, a yellow silk gown and the strains of a violin were all so very vivid.  One of my favorite things about the book was that it took place in Pennsylvania, my home state.  Part of the setting is the newborn city of Pittsburgh, which was so interesting during that time period.  I love it when historical novels actually turn out to be historical and well researched. 

I think most lovers of Inspirational fiction will enjoy this one, especially those who do not appreciate cliché, preachy novels.  It wasn’t just entertainment for me, but affected my heart on a deeper level.  Well done, Laura Frantz!

I also recommend…

 
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Posted by on April 4, 2019 in Book Reviews

 

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More Audio Dramas- Last of the Mohicans!

There’s more free audio drama immersion to be had right now on BBC Radio 4 with James Fenimoore Cooper’s “The Last of the Mohicans”!  I’m looking forward to hitting play on this one.  Reading the book can be a struggle, and the movie is very much changed from the book.  But the story is such an evocative tale set in the early days of American history and an exciting one to boot!.  Plan to enjoy listening soon because this is only available for a limited time.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2019 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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BBC Radio Drama: Les Miserables

6eaf7f12c03b5a8fd35eb0b6335ce7b1For Les Mis fans:  BBC’s dramatized audio version is currently playable for a limited time on BBC Radio 4 Extra.  You can listen to it by clicking here or the picture.  I prefer the Focus on the Family version, but this is also entertaining.  It is also grittier and probably not as made for family listening.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2015 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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Book Review: The Heart of Princess Osra, by Anthony Hope

9881332Genre: classic; adventure; romance

Plot Summary: These are the stories of the men who fall in love with the red-haired  Princess Osra, unequaled in beauty throughout the little fictional European kingdom of Ruritania.  Who will win the fair hand of the princess when her father the king and brother, Prince Rudolph, are intent on executing those they deem unfit for her?

My Book Review:  Many years back I watched the movie The Prisoner of Zenda (Stuart Granger and Deborah Kerr version) and absolutely loved it!  I must have rewatched it 3 times within a week.  I’ve always wanted to read the book, but later I learned it is the second in a trilogy.  So The Heart of Princess Osra was my foray into this series by Anthony Hope (his full name was Anthony Hope Hawkins).

This light and fun novel fully satisfied my love of melodramatic adventures!  It actually is a collection of short stories, all bound by the common theme of one man after another falling in love with the Princess Osra and what each one’s fate is.  Some are killed off by her father and brother, some are banned from the country, another commits suicide…  There is a lot of sighing and swooning and sword fighting.  That might not appeal to some, but I didn’t mind.  It read like an old-fashioned black and white film and was just plain fun!

It was interesting see how each man conducted himself with Osra, as they are all different.  Some are selfless and put her honor and reputation before their very lives.  Others start out self-seeking, but are changed through knowing the Princess.  The princess herself is a good-hearted person, but not perfect and is not free from vanity and pride.  This keeps us from thoroughly gagging on sugary-sweetness otherwise.  I have to mention that this novel is completely Victorian and oftentimes unrealistic.  Men cheerfully throw their lives away on a whim for this maiden.  Rather than take it too seriously, I just laughed and turned the page to see what happens next.

About the only thing I didn’t like was since each chapter is a tale in and of itself, they are each very long.  I don’t relish long chapters or long books or long anything, so I got a little antsy finishing it.

There are nine chapters, and so at least 9 different male characters who serve as love interests for the Princess.  The early 1910 edition I read had black and white illustrations, but I didn’t much care for them.  So it was fun trying to imagine what each hero (or sometimes villain) looked like.  Here is what my imagination came up with while reading:

 

You’ll have to read the book to see which of these guys wins the Princess’ heart (and how)!  This book is for those who want a light, silly read full of adventure and romance. You don’t have to worry about sex scenes (in fact there is only kissing in the last chapter if you don’t count the times gentlemen kiss a lady’s hand).  Just pretend you’re watching a black and white film and I’m sure it will be entertaining!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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BBC Drama: The Master of Ballantrae

1e87ed8349ecfa7bca33634b832a4e6bParts 1 & 2 of the exciting audio drama, The Master of Ballantrae is available for a limited time on BBC (click here).  I read this Robert Louis Stevenson classic several years ago.  To be honest I didn’t take to the book very well, but I found this dramatized version much more interesting!  Full of mystery, pirates, blackmail, Scottish accents, and sword fights!

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in Audio/Radio Dramas

 

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Day 12- A book you used to love, but don’t anymore…

Ruffles and Drums

“Ruffles and Drums,” by Betty Cavanna

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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