Sunday, June 23, 2019

No Ocean Too Wide - Carrie Turansky

Between the years of 1869 to 1939 more than 100,000 poor British children were sent across the ocean to Canada with the promise of a better life. Those who took them in to work as farm laborers or household servants were told they were orphans--but was that the truth?

After the tragic loss of their father, the McAlister family is living at the edge of the poorhouse in London in 1908, leaving their mother to scrape by for her three younger children, while oldest daughter, Laura, works on a large estate more than an hour away. When Edna McAlister falls gravely ill and is hospitalized, twins Katie and Garth and eight-year-old Grace are forced into an orphans' home before Laura is notified about her family's unfortunate turn of events in London. With hundreds of British children sent on ships to Canada, whether truly orphans or not, Laura knows she must act quickly. But finding her siblings and taking care of her family may cost her everything.

Andrew Fraser, a wealthy young British lawyer and heir to the estate where Laura is in service, discovers that this common practice of finding new homes for penniless children might not be all that it seems. Together Laura and Andrew form an unlikely partnership. Will they arrive in time? Will their friendship blossom into something more?

Inspired by true events, this moving novel follows Laura as she seeks to reunite her family and her siblings who, in their darkest hours, must cling to the words from Isaiah: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God."

My Review: We are introduced to the McAlister family in No Ocean Too Wide. When their widowed mother is admitted to the hospital due to illness, the 3 children (twins Katie and Garth, and 8-year-old Grace) remaining at home are placed into what they expected to be a temporary home. By the time the oldest sister finds out, the children have become among many British Home Children being sent to Canada. This is Book 1 of a trilogy and the focus is on Laura, the oldest, and Katie. 

The characters in the book are endearing, and sometimes frustrating with the decisions made at times, but this makes the story that much more relatable. The storyline of the British Home Children is one that seems unbelievable... yet it happened. The idea was built on a genuine concern about the best way to help children, but greed and evil also played a role in the lives of too many of these kids. There is also the matter of what was the cultural attitude of the early 1900s, including separation of classes. Laura is strongly attracted to the son of her former boss, but also has a distrust of wealthy young men. Andrew's interest in the child emigration program brings them together and provides a romantic, hopeful element to the story.

Author Carrie Turansky can be depended upon to develop characters you love and want to get to know better. The only thing I dislike is that... I want more of the people I met in this book but have to wait until the other books come out. I do recommend this heartwarming story of struggle, faith, love, and hope.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the WaterBrook Multnomah Launch Team. I was not required to write a positive review.

Buy the book!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

CSB He Reads Truth Bible

The CSB He Reads Truth Bible includes robust, well-crafted theological extras to draw the reader back to Scripture, increase biblical literacy, and foster a growing affection for God and His Word. Color-coded by genre, each book of the Bible features detailed book introductions, a reading plan with supplemental passages for deeper understanding, and full-color maps, charts, and timelines by the He Reads Truth team. In addition, the CSB He Reads Truth Bible features 66 key verses, artfully lettered to aid in Scripture memorization. This Bible invites every man to count himself as part of the He Reads Truth community of “Men in the Word of God every day.”

Features include: 66 hand-lettered key verses, 17 full-color timelines, 21 maps, 122 charts (including infographics and lists), and 4 illustrations, reading plans for every book of the Bible, one-year Bible reading plan, detailed book introductions, key verse list, smyth-sewn binding, two colored ribbon markers, and wide margins for journaling and note-taking.

The CSB He Reads Truth Bible features the highly readable, highly reliable text of the Christian Standard Bible® (CSB). The CSB stays as literal as possible to the Bible’s original meaning without sacrificing clarity, making it easier to engage with Scripture’s life-transforming message and to share it with others.

My Review: If you are looking for a new Bible for yourself or a special man in your life, I definitely recommend
the CSB He Reads Truth Bible! There are timelines, background history, reading plans, key verses, and maps. If you are a note-taker, the wide margins will please you. The additional features included invite you to dig deeper into God's Word and develop a greater understanding of what was happening and how the stories may connect in other books of the Bible.

The only 2 problems I had are not going to be an issue for most. The print was a little smaller than I prefer, but it's a personal preference. Each page can be easily read for most people. The other difficulty for me is that the book weighs 3.90 lbs. I could hold it in my hand to read, but it was a bit heavy. (Of course, if it had larger print, that would have meant more pages and added weight.) 

The good, however, far outweigh the things that I had slight problems with, though. It's an excellent study Bible that will hold together through years of use. It would also make an outstanding FATHER'S DAY GIFT!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Logic of God - Ravi Zacharias

The Logic of God: 52 Christian Essentials for the Heart and Mind by Ravi Zacharias is a weekly offering on the topics that are important to Christians on why the Bible and God are still vital, relevant and life-changing. Ravi says, "I am convinced that Jesus Christ alone uniquely answers the deepest questions of our hearts and minds." Each week's reading provides Scripture, questions for reflection, and some practical application steps that apply to your life.

The book itself is a beautifully bound hardcover that is meant to be used frequently. It's not necessarily one you would normally read straight through but to be used in either your own quiet time and study or as part of a small group. Some of the topics are going to make more of a personal impact than others, but each is important as part of your faith-walk. I rushed through much for review purposes although some did cause me to linger a bit. I look forward to reading the book again as part of a weekly devotion. As always, Zacharias uses rational thinking, courtesy, intellect, and humor to challenge the reader to seriously consider the topic. 

I received a copy of this Zondervan published book from BookLookBloggers at no cost to myself for review purposes. I was neither influenced or required to write a positive review.

Ravi Zacharias website is 
Thomas Nelson books