Friday Reviews

The WitnessesThe Witnesses by James Patterson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love James Patterson’s books. This doesn’t disappoint. A family in hiding. A suspicious man keeping them together. A neighbor who keeps watch expecting the worst. All this leading to a surprise ending.

The Designer Bag at the Garbage DumpThe Designer Bag at the Garbage Dump by Jackie Macgirvin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This is a wonderful book for anyone who has questions about their faith in God. Julie finds herself on a train to New York having something to eat with Jesus. He tells her that she has been chosen by him to do some work for him. Jesus gives her a bible and tells her. When she gets off the train she finds herself in India instead of New York.

She doesn’t speak the language, loses her suitcase and is completely sickened by the smells and noise of the city. Every time her cab stops, beggars appear with their hands grabbing at her. She is dropped off and left by herself.

Julie meets orphaned children living on a garbage heap. They are digging through the garbage to find something to eat. Jesus tells her to feed his sheep. Julie’s designer dress is turned into rags and is filthy. She is sleeping on the ground in the dirt. Her hair is matted and dirty. She is exhausted. But she begins to buy food for the children. They begin to depend on her feeding them. She loses her heart to them. Her story continues with her learning to trust Jesus and learn obedience to his plan for her and the orphans.

As Jesus’ plan unfolds, other people become involved with the orphans. A church rents a house for the children and Julie assumes responsibility of the monthly rent. She gets all of the children new clothing. She sees them happy in their new home.

It’s time for Julie to go home. She has a newborn little girl and a 10 year old boy that are going home with her. She can’t wait for her husband and son to meet the rest of their family. As she walks off the train, Michael and Logan are there to greet her. She introduces them to the baby and little boy. They are welcomed into the family with open arms.

I really loved this story. I thought it was well written with a great perspective of what it means to know the Lord.

Play Dead (An Allie Babcock Mystery)Play Dead by Leslie O’Kane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a story about the murder of a wealthy eccentric woman, named Hannah Jones, who has a dog names Sage. Hannah is very enthusiastic about the no animal product life style. She teaches vegetarian cooking classes and comes in contact with Beth Gleason one of her students. Beth has become embroiled in Hannah’s life and has been taken by Sage.

When Hannah is found dead, her death is ruled a suicide. She has had cancer and the idea is not out of the real of possibilities. Her neighbors take the dog in, but decide they cant keep him. They take the dog to the animal shelter. Beth Gleason has left her name at the shelter asking to be notified if a collie turns up. Beth is ecstatic when they call her to come get Sage.

Allie Babcock has just moved to Boulder and has opened a dog psychologist office. She is a guest on a radio program and gets a call in from Beth Gleason stating her dog is not eating and he has reacted terribly when a man has come near him. The host of the show tells everyone that the dog can identify the murder of Hannah Jones. Allie tells Beth to meet her at her office so that she can tell if the dog has any issues. Beth Gleason is found stabbed to death by Allie after Sage shows up at her office alone and his leash has blood on it. The story continues with many twists and turns with so many suspects in the murders.

I enjoyed the book very much.

My Father's House: a novelMy Father’s House: a novel by Rose Chandler Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lily Rose Cates is a woman trying to find herself. Her father had died when she was sixteen and she never got over her loss. Her mother withdrew into herself after his death. Thankfully Lily Rose had Annie Ruth who became like a mother to her.

Lily Rose went to college and became close friends with Julie. She was her best friend. They planned to go to France after school and visit all the great museums. However, Julie falls in love with her French professor and they elope. Lily Rose is despondent because of all the plans to travel have fallen apart.

After graduation, Lily Rose stays in the little house that she has shared with her two roommates and gets a job for the paper. She also works at a flower shop part time. She has no social life and is lonely. She flies to New York to spend time with her cousin. They have a wonderful time and Julie meets Manuel, their handsome waiter at dinner. He asks for her phone number and she gives it to him.
A whirlwind romance ensues and they marry. The honeymoon is barely over when she discovers that her handsome, considerate husband is abusive. She loses a baby. Lily Rose stays for 2 1/2 years then realizes that she must leave for her own safety.  Her friend Julie who lives in Canada helps her get away.

Lily Rose has the house her daddy grew up in and Manuel knows nothing about the house. She travels to Georgia where she begins the process of healing. She meets her neighbors and they all had known her as a little girl from when she and her daddy had come to visit with her Aunt. While walking to the town from the highway, a little dog joins her journey. She falls in love with the dog.

She meets Sam when her dog eats a bag of Hershey Kisses.  A friendship develops and they begin to spend a lot of time together. Unfortunately Manuel finds Lily Rose and forces himself on her. Sam shows up the next morning after her husband had left. She is beside herself. She tells Sam her husband was there. He walks away from her. Lily Rose is pregnant. And feels alone again,

This is a story of fear, loss, grief, strength, growth, love and a relationship with God. Sam finds his way back to Lily Rose and they find the happiness they both had been searching for. Lily Rose gets her forever after.

From the Heart (Sandy Cove #5)From the Heart by Rosemary Hines

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is book 5 of the Sandy Cove Series, but it is a great standalone book too. I didn’t realize that it was part of a series until after I had read it.

Joan is grieving over the loss of her husband. She feels alone and lost. Not wanting to live with her daughter in Portland, she insists she is staying in the home she shared with her husband. She has wonderful friends and a neighbor who check in on her. After injuring her back, her daughter Sheila begins to look for a place for Joan near her. Joan is slowly coming to terms with the fact that she really needs to be closer to family. As she is going through things, she finds a box with a letter attached to it from her husband. It’s marked do not open until Christmas. Joan falls and fractures her arm. Her move to Portland comes much sooner that she had expected. Joan has spent her life as a minister’s wife and her relationship with God helps her to make this change. I really liked the book. I had never read any of Rosemary Hines’ work before. I plan to read the other books in the series.

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