Monday, July 4, 2011

Whisper on the Wind


Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang
Review by: Melissa J. MacDonald
Genre: historical Fiction
Publisher: Tyndale
Date: 2010

Whisper on the Wind takes the reader on an intriguing historical journey into Belgium during World War 1. Occupied by the Germans Belgium is no longer safe for its people and they are longing for escape. Against all odds Isabelle Lassone manages to sneak into Brussels in a desperate attempt to rescue the love of her life Edward Kirkland. Edward, however, has no desire to be rescued as he is busy running a very important underground newspaper that brings hope and revolution to his country.
Okay, let me pause for a moment. Don’t immediately dismiss this book because Isabelle and her
“daring” rescue into Belgium sounds simply ridiculous. I almost did and if I would have I would have missed out on an excellent historical read. At first Isa seems foolish and stupid and in many ways she is, she’s not even 18 yet and she’s from a wealthy family. Her heart is good but her methods are na├»ve. She soon realizes that she is not going to get her own way with Edward so she begins to work on his behalf.

Isa makes herself indispensible to the cause and to Edward’s family. She houses them in her Belgium mansion and eventually the entire printing of the illegal newspaper takes place in her secret basement. As the plot grows so does Isa’s maturity and faith. In the end she becomes quite likeable and admirable. Edward begins to find himself quite drawn to the brave beautiful young woman.
Danger lurks in Belgium in World War I and the plot twists will keep you guessing and cause you no small amount of anxiety. Germans invade the mansion and the woman Edward loves in suddenly in extreme danger.
And that’s all I’m going to tell you.
Lang writes with wonderful description and thoroughness. However, if you are looking for a light easy read this is not the book for you. The plot is a bit slow moving at times and the extremely descriptive war chronicles can get very long especially if you are not familiar with World War I. Isa is completely unlikeable at first but I promise she will grow on you. Edward is entirely intriguing either but he too becomes a character rich with depth. The plot is clever and will keep you guessing. As always, I appreciated the historical aspects but in many ways this was even a bit much for a history buff like myself. It’s definitely worth a read though, just be ready to sit down for awhile.  

Rated: Pg-13 for war violence

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Billy Graham in Quotes

Sigh....I absolutely love this book. Billy Graham has recently become my hero (for reasons I will explain in a later post) so when I had the chance to review this book I jumped at it. I'll also fully admit that I haven't read every single little quote yet because I'm still mulling them all over. Anyway, enough about that.


Billy Graham in Quotes is a unique collection of the thoughts of the most well known evangelist and pastors of our time. The authors have gleaned material from Graham’s seven decades of ministry, drawing from both his published and personal works. The material is then arranged topically for easy reference, covering subjects from A – Y, abortion to young people. Each quote is footnoted so you can find the source of the quotation.

A full 387 pages long this book will keep you reading and learning for days. There is nothing particularly profound about any of the quotes. They clearly reflect their author as they are straight shooting, down to earth, and easy to understand. Quotes such as, "once you have been to the foot of the cross, you will never be the same." and "God welcomes our prayers. He is much more concerned about our hearts than our eloquence." are absolutely beautiful in their simplicity.

This is a book you will want for your library. I've been using it as part of my devotion time and I am loving it. Graham is a man of integrity and a man who has walked with God steadfastly though his life. He continually points to Jesus and therefore I can read this and enjoy what God can do in a single willing soul.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com http://BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Inconvenient Marriage of Charlotte Beck

Charlotte Beck is young, impetuous, and she has big dreams. Alex Hambly likes looking at the stars and has no room for Miss Beck in his life. Quite unexpectedly Charlotte falls literally into his arms one evening. Sparks fly, and not the good kind. Charlotte is an American heiress on the verge of becoming a lady of society and Alex finds her both disarming and annoying all at the same time. Through a series of predictable events Charlotte and Alex are thrust into each others lives over and over again.  When Alex's father dies and he learns his family estate is almost in ruins Charlotte's father steps in to save the day. Promising Charlotte to him with a handsome dowry attached Alex and Charlotte agree to marry. Their marriage of inconvenience starts out as a sham but as you would expect it grows into something much more.

I'll be honest, Y'Barbo is not my favorite author. Her stories always sound enticing and fun and the covers always look amazing and yet I am always left wanting when I'm done reading. She's published a number of books so I can't say it's lack of experience but she almost writes that way. The characters are not well developed and in many cases she adds unnecessary characters to prove a point and it just gets messy. For instance, Alex's older brother who is troubled after war and is not able to take over the estate. He's brought in so the reader knows why Alex has to take over and then we never hear about him again. It's just a little messy and unnecessary in my eyes. However, this was an easy cute read. The Beck family is good friends with Buffalo Bill Cody and I enjoyed reading more about his Wild West Show. Alex's commitment to his marriage is admirable and ultimately the book ends just as you would want and expect.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.
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