Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Salt Covenants by Sylvia Bambola

I really enjoyed Sylvia Bambola's The Salt Covenants. It is the story of Isabel, a 'Converso' Jew during the Spanish Inquisition. While yet a young teen she is divorced by her arranged 'husband', forced to marry a man she does not love. She must then leave her home and family in order to join her husband on Christopher Columbus' voyage to the New World. 

The Salt Covenants is an interesting book, but by no means a quick read. The Characters are well developed and the book is full of historical information.I learned quite a bit about the Jews of the Middle ages in Spain and about the history of Christopher Columbus' voyages.I found myself cheering Isabel on and cringing at some of the plots in the book. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart as there are some graphic is the Inquisition after all! So if you love history and don't mind a slower pace, I can certainly recommend The Salt Covenants as a great read.

I was given this book by the author for review purposes, but the opinions stated are entirely my own.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Harvest Of Hope

I never pass up a chance to visit Blessing North Dakota. A Harvest of Hope is the 19th book about the people of Blessing and it did not disappoint. I love the way Lauraine has made the town and characters come to life. Ingeborg and Kaaren still guide their family with the help of John Solberg, and just as in real life there are changes. It is the same with Blessing. A Harvest of Hope takes place soon after the death of Ingeborg's beloved Haaken and everyone is in shock. Dr.Elizabeth is expecting a baby and is confined to bed leaving Dr.Astrid to care for the townspeople with the help of her nurses. Through love and laughter, grief and tears Nurse Miriam Hastings from Chicago helps the town through several tragedies as she is being courted by Trygve.Should she give up all of her plans and follow G-d's plans for her life? Does G-d even care about her, or is He as malicious as she has always believed?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest

The Huntress of Thornbeck Forrest is Melanie Dickerson's newest YA novel. Odette Menkels, an orphan has been raised by her Uncle Rutger in great luxury. She is allowed to learn to read and spends her days doing as she pleases. She is also allowed to choose her own husband, an unheard of privilege. She also spends her nights poaching deer to feed the poor.
Jorgen Hartman is the Margrave's forester charged with protecting the king's deer. He fall's in love with Odette the first time he sees her.

I really enjoyed reading this retelling of Robin Hood with a charming female cast in the traditionally masculine role. I found myself cheering for Odette, hoping she would decide that Jorgen, although poor was actually a much better person than the rich Mathis. The story brings to the forefront a moral dilemma, is it morally right to poach deer if you are doing it to not to benefit yourself, but to provide for the wellbeing of children who would otherwise starve? G-d must be on her side, right?

I was given this book by the author in return for my honest review, but the opinions are my own.