All The Rivers by: Dorit Rabinyan

All the RiversAll the Rivers by Dorit Rabinyan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two nations-one land-and the fact could not be altered by all the borders and fences and barriers and roadblocks in the world. The land is the same land. In the end all the rivers flow in the same sea.

Arab and Israel two nations torn by years of war so what happens when the two come together in a relationship with preconceived ideals that becomes a hidden affair with no connection to the future and the reality of the past. What can become of this?

Liat now living in New York – a former Israeli soldier meets Hilmi an artist in Greenwich. Their attraction is instant and with New York in the background their relationship becomes a deadline as they both will return to their families in Israel. Families with different perspectives, they live in the moment trying to make sense of their nations past.

I found this book interesting and haunting. So much back and forth, hearts being torn between love and loyalty. A book that is definitely breaks down the culture barrier.

A Special Thank You to Random House Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Sweet Smell of Magholias and Memories by: Celeste Fletcher McHale

The Sweet Smell of Magnolias and MemoriesThe Sweet Smell of Magnolias and Memories by Celeste Fletcher McHale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You can go on for years thinking you had all the answers until you realize you don’t understand all the questions.

A sweet romance with conflicting emotions and relationships. The beginnings of a novel are so important and this came with a bitter sweet moment that left you unsure of a couple obviously in love. Colin and Jacey met in the worst of circumstances, on top of a roof in Louisiana in the middle of storm getting to know each other while comforting each other not knowing if they would come out alive. Jacey was rescued by the coast guard along with a little boy and that is all she remembers. She remembers Colin in how he comforted and encouraged her but a year later, does not know how to get in contact with him.

As fate would have it, they meet again under different circumstances. It is in these circumstances that they each face their past. With all relationships, there is misunderstandings and this couple has plenty. The misunderstandings keep them apart but in in this time, they each learn something about their own broken hearts that need healing.

The character and plot development was engaging. Jacey had the support of a good friend that was witty and had her back at all costs. This relationship was fun and gave Jacey more depth in her character. Colin had issues with his father and came to understand that you don’t always know what battles others go thru. It is in these battles the war is won when we come along aside and work the differences together in knowing the whole picture.

There is plenty of irony with one and I enjoyed immensely.

A Special Thank You to Thomas Nelson and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear by: Michael Kinnamon

The Witness of Religion in an Age of FearThe Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear by Michael Kinnamon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Out of 122 pages, Netgalley only provided the first 14, so in lieu of that information, it makes it difficult to access what his message is about and how it affects the gospel. Kinnamon encompassed all religions in how fear is used to oppress the masses. So the question becomes does fear oppress or does it warn and what I have read in the short 14 was not sufficiently answered but it gave food for thought that fear is greatly used in politics, the media, and social media to divide and conquer.

In my own mindset, fear only divides when not used to bring people together to solve injustice. When blame is the driving force, fear follows. The topic interests me so if netgalley and the publisher is willing, I would be willing to read the rest of the text.

A Special Thank you to Netgalley and Westminster John Knox Press for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by: David A. Powlison

Making All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually BrokenMaking All Things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken by David A. Powlison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every deviant motive-whether lust of the flesh, lie, or false love- is a hijacker. It mimics some aspect of God. It unsurps some promise of God. Consider that about two-thirds of the psalms present God as “our refuge” in the midst of the troubles of life.

Many of us have sexual hang ups of some kind and those hang ups usually effect our healthy relationships with others. This text is balanced in the gift of sex for both victim and oppressor. Many times, those that have been victimized by sexual abuse became abusers themselves so the importance of expressing the gospel to both victim and oppressor is vital for healing.

The text helps the reader to uncover the root so that it can be removed and with replaced with the truth. The gospel can never be about behavior it must be about what is believed and what we pursue. Sex is a powerful tool, it sells, it is addictive but knowing God’s redemptive plan for sex keeps us focused on the good of sex. A shared intimacy with one that compliments the other.

How we look at sex reveals much about our hearts and the battle that lies within. How we see others as objects or created in the image of God. Sex is a gospel issue.

A Special Thank You to Crossway and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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Hedy’s Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust by: Michelle Bisson

Hedy's Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the HolocaustHedy’s Journey: The True Story of a Hungarian Girl Fleeing the Holocaust by Michelle Bisson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am only sorry I didn’t get more out of life while I could. She understood that she was going to die. If the Nazis were coming for one Jew, it was only a matter of time before them for us all.

What a lovely account of the author’s family in their escape from the Hungary. The illustrations will pierce your heart and their story will open your eyes to reality of the importance of equality for all. Equality meaning the pursuit of justice and the freedom of life and liberty. This book is geared for children 4th grade and up, however, as mom and a grandmother now, I would treasure this account with my own to instill in their own hearts the value of people.

The illustrations show maps of the escape and the difficulties making a simple journey. Their fears and their gratitude in their successful escape. I highly recommend.

A Special Thank You to Capstone Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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The Secret Room (Zoe Goldman #3) by: Sandra Block

The Secret Room (Zoe Goldman, #3)The Secret Room by Sandra Block
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let it all fade away. Everything. Every problem, evil texters, evil sisters. Probation. Patients who rely on you until you fail them. Apricots you don’t even deserve.

Zoe has a plate full. With her patients being killed mysteriously in the penitentiary and texts that arrive in riddles, Zoe must find out who is behind the texts to protect her patients. She suspects her sister Sophie is behind the texts but all her sister wants from her is her forgiveness as she is doing time for the murder of her mother. Zoe has her own issues.

The narration is done in Zoe’s voice has she has conflicting emotions about her sister, her patients, her relationship status, and the life-alternating surprise she keeps to herself. The other voice is the voice of a very demented female that is under the yoke of the Professor who manipulates her to do his bidding in the pen. Who has a agenda against Zoe and the people she loves. This part of the narration is very crass and even though each segment is short, can be very disturbing.

The who done it and why all comes together- Was I surprised? No because I have read this author before and enjoy how she leads her readers down many trails. It is more plot driven than character driven for me. A change of pace!

A Special Thank you to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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A Week in the Fall of Jerusalem by: Ben Witherington III

A Week in the Fall of JerusalemA Week in the Fall of Jerusalem by Ben Witherington III
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Within a generation not one stone would be left on another of Herod’s temple according to the prophecies of Jesus.

This short account of the fall of Jerusalem has two different narratives – the first being of what it was like in the last week of three women who were followers of Christ. Joanna, Mary and Martha. The 2nd narrative was more commentary with pictures of the actual sight and the significance. As always, history of what happened gives us a better appreciation of God’s redemptive plan and the church that is the vessel of that plan. That being said, I appreciated that part of the text. The novel type account of the followers of Christ was very one dimensional so it was difficult for me to be engaged in that part.

For the informative part, I would recommend this text as it gave new light to the early church and how the prophecies of Christ proved trustworthy.

A Special Thank You to Intervarsity Publishing and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

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