Saturday, August 23, 2014

Book Review: With Every Breath

NOTE: I was given a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Oh, I really liked this book. Elizabeth Camden is a talented, incredible writer. She has the ability to discuss historical social issues [in this story, tuberculosis] with accuracy AND make them easily understood. She chooses a good location [in this story, Washington, DC where all matter of important subjects are discussed] and includes a boardinghouse which allows the lives of all different sorts of individuals to intersect. She weaves just the right amount of intrigue into the story without those details becoming cumbersome to the flow of the story [in this story, Dr. Kendalls past was shared but always one MORE missing link about the one(s) intent on destroying him]. And the character development and dialogue in Ms. Camden’s novel is exceptional.  The banter between Kate and Trever McDonough/Kendall is both sharp & funny but written in a manner that is neither insulting nor cruel. When trading barbs back & forth as they do, that is not an easy task.

I liked the fact, too, that Camden tackled the cure for consumption/tuberculosis but instead of placing her characters during the time when a cure was found [which might have been the predictable setting], instead she placed them some fifty years earlier. During these years, as doctors attempted to find a cure, it was a time of great fear/uncertainty but the author was able to emphasize the importance of doctor’s work, even if they did not themselves live to see the results. I love the line “…it takes a higher type of courage to fight a losing rather than a winning fight.”

It’s a good book. A fun read. I recommend highly.

NOTE: For the sake of providing a completely honest review, I must say I did NOT like this cover. The cover depicts what I perceive as a graceful/delicate young lady but I visualize Kate, based on her character is this story, to be more spunky, more adventures, more alive! So, I don’t think the cover is a good representation of the book. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book Review: Love Comes Calling

Whew! After reading thru Siri Mitchell’s book, “Love Comes Calling” and attempting to keep up with the main character, Ellis, I simply need a moment to catch my breath!

While I am a big fan of Mitchell’s writing [The Messenger, She Walks in Beauty], this book missed the mark for me. I was never able to completely connect with Ellis and thought her character too immature and no altogether like-able. And the other cast of characters were so much in the background of the story, perhaps because of the first-person narrative, that I found them to be almost invisible to the ‘force’ that was Ellis Eton.

As stated in the Author’s Note, she “purposely gave Eton one of those impulsive, restless minds diagnosed by modern medicine as having ADHD.” This character trait was definitely well-developed. For my liking, almost too much. In the wordy-ness of this character development, I sometimes found myself lost as conversations bounced back and forth and often, it seemed, were left incomplete.

The historical aspects of the book – the clear descriptions of being a switchboard operator, the 1920s, Prohibition and the resulting speakeasies – they were all amazing. And I liked the author’s attempt to delve into the subject of whether it is possible to legislate morality. And bridging the gap between World War I and the Roaring 20s, offering insight into how one was impacted by the other. Yes, those parts of the books were excellent and well-researched.

So, not a bad book by a long-shot but not a favorite of mine either.

NOTE: I was given a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchanged for my honest review.

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 5K4Kids Fun Run

Fun times last Thursday evening at the 5K4Kids, a local fundraiser for Evangelical Child and Family Agency. X-man ran the 1/2Mile Fun Run. He finished in 4minutes and 30seconds [about 15 seconds than last year's race] and was thrilled to claim 2nd place. Loves his "real" medal and proclaimed himself an official Olympian.
Blake ran the 5K but I have no idea his time or ranking [whoops!], but hey, I am proud of him, too!


Take Him By the Hand...

Thinking about back-to-school this morning. [We do not start until next week]. Author is unknown but forwarded by my friend, Heather. So much to pray for as our little ones begin a new school year.

"My son started school this week. It's going to be strange and new to him for a while. And I wish you would sort of treat him gently. You see, up to now, he's been King of the Roost. Boss of the Backyard. I've always been around to repair his wounds and soothe his feelings. But now, things are going to be different.

This morning, he's going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand and start on his great adventure that will probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. To live his live in the World will require faith and love and courage. So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know. Teach him...but gently, if you can.

He will have to learn, I know, that not all men are just. That not all men are true. Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero. For every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader. For every enemy, there is a friend.

Teach him the wonder of books. Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even when others tell him they are wrong. Teach him to close his ears on a howling mob...and stand and fight if he's right. Teach him gently, World, but don't coddle him. Because only the test of fire makes fine steel. This is a big order, World, but see what you can do...He's such a nice little fellow."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cantigny Tanks with Elijah

These posts are coming at your out-of-order but, alas that is the current state of my mommy-brain. We got to spend a Sunday afternoon with Elijah at nearby Cantigny Park and as expected, the tanks were the highlight of the boys' visit. Here are a couple of pictures from our sunny/warm afternoon.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cousins Day @ the Childrens Museum

We had 3 active little people [and another that spent most of the time in the stroller] and the museum was PACKED. Taking pictures took a backseat to keeping track of little people but here are a couple of shots from our time with Karissa & Lavell yesterday. Lavell was the explorer of the group, darting from one display to the next and X-man/Karissa were the problem-solvers, working together to figure out how each display worked. Good times!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

3Months Old

Miss E. is growing quickly; getting to be a chubs! She's adored by her big brother though he is a learning [just a wee-bit] to give her some space. On her "lots of crying days" you'll most likely find X-man retreating to the out-of-doors! We are thankful for the gift she is to our family and the blessing of seeing our Alexander as a big brother, a title he has wanted for so very long.