Sunday, December 9, 2012

Review of Translucent Facts: Cutting Boards and Roses by Barbara Sutryn

This is a beautiful love story, not a romance as the present genre is represented. This is gentle, tender, true love shown by people who love God and almost everybody around them.
As other people have noted, without naming a single person or place, we the readers always know who we are with and where we are in the book. I feel privileged to have seen a bit of these people's lives.
Decades ago I read another of Sutryn's books: The Sign Painter. I still have it on my shelves, and wish I could make everybody read it. Now she has written another that I wish I could make everybody read.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review of The Deepest Waters by Dan Walsh

The Deepest Waters is another book I won in a promotional giveaway and truly enjoyed.
At first I thought the cover showed a ship sailing off the edge of the world, but what I thought was falling water on closer inspection turned out to be grasses on a shore. I think the picture is a symbolic of the story.
The story begins with the deep grief of the many widows on a ship that has managed to rescue a couple hundred women and children from a sinking ship that was carrying California gold to New York. But only six of the hundreds of men were rescued before the ship sank.
The crew on the rescuing ship divvies up their food amongst the widows. During the struggle through the storm and then becalming, the ship runs out of food. Laura discovers that her husband has never told his cold family in New York that he is married. She has never met them, and considering his description of them in his final letter to her, she does not want to meet them. But where is she to go? She has left her small family behind in California during the Gold Rush, and has no idea how she will pay to get back, or even if she will reach land after this disastrous honeymoon cruise.
There is a bit of Shakespearean feel to multiple reunions and feel good endings. There is only one really bad guy in the whole book, though there are people who view things through different lenses than Laura does. The captain of the rescuing ship is a Christian and a slave-owner. The slave, who is glad to finally have an owner who treats him well, is kind to Laura and shows her how to have gratitude during trying times. He had lost his children years before when a prior master sold them. There is another captain who thinks that a bird hitting him in the head is a sign from God. There are steamship company owners who try to sneak away from liability. And there are speculators who lost everything in the sinking of the ship with its cargo of gold and men. And there is a silly mother who faints a lot. Sorry, I have trouble abiding such a person.
I enjoyed reading the adventure and the history and the bumping of people against one another's needs and assumptions. I think most people would enjoy this book.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Review of The Reunion by Dan Walsh

The Reunion is one of the three books sent to me by Dan Walsh after I entered one of his giveaway promotions. I'm so glad I won because I found a new author I enjoy reading.
The book has one of the cutest covers I have ever seen: Title and name in a red box against a green canopy of trees, and below that a red trailer house with red curtains and a string of Christmas lights along the top. The skinny door makes me doubt I could enter easily. In front sit two directors chairs with green backs, and in front of them rise a marching horde of green weeds.
Aaron Miller, the main character and Vietnam war vet, does not get to live in that cute trailer; he lives in a storage shed of a trailer park and is the maintenance man. No one knows he is a war hero, except for the three war buddies who want to find him and bring him to their annual reunion. They hire a reporter for the search.
There is some romance, bleh, but not for Aaron, also but not so much that those of us who hate romance (in books, not real life) will find it hard to bear. At the end, there are multiple reunions and fantasy happy endings etc. A feel good book. I like feel good books. It even has a funny explosion in it. If you are getting a little tired of the dreary you are reading, try one of Dan Walsh's books.
I am giving this book to a Viet Nam vet friend of ours. I think he will enjoy the gentle love for all our vets.