BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

LET'S BE REAL - INSPIRATIONAL READ

Let’s Be Real
By Natasha Bure
Published by Zondervan
ISBN#978-0310760931
224 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: From singer, model and YouTube celebrity Natasha Bure, the daughter of Candace Cameron Bure, comes a real, honest conversational book that doesn’t hold back. Everywhere she goes and every video she posts has one basic message: this is real, this is life, and we all go through it. Whether it’s acne, boyfriends, faith, stress, or having fun, Natasha’s view is to simply be honest, simply be real, no matter what you face. Natasha’s real and relatable tone paired with personal notes and stories will help readers see that living a “real” life is the best life.

REVIEW: Natasha has been on The View, The Voice, has her own YouTube channel and has done modeling. Natasha has wisdom and courage beyond her eighteen years. Raised by parents who have made family and faith more important than money and fame. The teen says, “I’m grateful for strong values my parents instilled in me. But figuring out what made me who I am was something I’m still working on.”

I liked how her book was laid out and that she talks about topics everyone deals with. For example, some of the tools she’s uses and things she wants readers to think about are: The real value of family – five ways to gain parents trust; how to negotiate with your parents – Parents situation and solutions, journaling out frustrations; play it safe on social media, ten top reasons it rules to be single; how to make new friends – friends situations and solutions; how to be a good friend; how to build confidence, achieve goals, (And much, much more. It’s real, hopeful and practical help)

I’m a fan of her mom Candace Cameron Bure and wanted to see what her daughter had to say about life and the challenges she faced growing up. This young lady honestly shares from her heart and encourages teens to look at life, failures and hard times in a different way; hoping that they take a look at what’s going on inside themselves and in the world around them. All the while giving readers courage and motivation to be transparent. It’s done in an honest and non-preachy way.

We’ve seen so many young child stars go wild and lose their way because they’ve tried to be everything to everybody. This young lady encourages teens to be true with themselves and others; about their strengths and weaknesses. She says, “I can’t let social media run my life – instead, I had to learn to look at life for what it really is:…..Once we break down the facades and let our true selves out – blemishes, embarrassing moments, mistakes, and all – we welcome others to connect with us on a real level.”

This is a refreshing, encouraging and informative read everyone can learn from.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookLookBloggers site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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THE BOOK OF GREENS - A COOK'S COMPENDIUM REVIEWED


The Book of Greens
A cook’s compendium
By Jenn Louis
With Kathleen Squires
Published by 10 Speed Press
ISBN#978-1-60774-984-4
318 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: From one of Portland, Oregon’s most acclaimed chefs comes this encyclopedic reference to the world of greens, with more than 175 creative recipes for every meal of the day.

For any home cook who is stuck in a “three-green rut”—who wants to cook healthy, delicious, vegetable-focused meals, but is tired of predictable salads with kale, lettuce, cabbage, and the other usual suspects—The Book of Greens has the solution. Chef Jenn Louis has compiled more than 175 recipes for simple, show-stopping fare, from snacks to soups to mains (and even breakfast and dessert) that will inspire you to reach for new greens at the farmers’ market, or use your old standbys in totally fresh ways. Organized alphabetically by green, each entry features information on seasonality, nutrition, and prep and storage tips, along with recipes like Grilled Cabbage with Miso and Lime, Radish Greens and Mango Smoothie, and Pasta Dough with Tomato Leaves.

REVIEW: This book blew my mind about the wide-ranging shapes and sizes of the 40 varieties of greens listed inside this beautiful hardback book. I was amazed by what you could create with them. This writing team includes familiar and obscure greens in the recipe mix. The recipe headings include Starters and Snacks, Salads and sides, Fish and Seafood, Pasta, Grains and dumplings, Meaty mains, Drinks and sweets, and Veggie mains.

The authors begin the book with the basics. They talk about getting started. 1. Buy fresh in small quantities. 2. Be gentle with your greens 3. Dress and season salads just before serve 4. Eat fresh and abundantly.

After greens training 101 they kick off the recipes with a chart on salad bowls and how you can be creative. Then they go through the sections I’ve listed above. First, there is an explanation about the dish and the vegetable which include many lovely pictures. The serving size is given (the recipes range from one - two serving size to 12) Then the ingredients are listed. Many of the ingredients you can find in the store but some of the main star greens are hard to locate. On many of the recipes, they give an “Other Greens to Try” option.

The author states, “When I was learning how to cook, I would shop weekly and buy something I had never cooked or eaten before. You should do this too, go to an Asian grocery store and marvel at the varieties that are familiar and unfamiliar. Check out every local farmers’ market you can and talk to the farmers. Ask questions and buy some greens that you have never tried before.”

You can feel the authors passion through their words, they love greens and the adventure in finding them, cooking them and sharing them.

After looking at all the pictures and recipes I don’t feel that passionate about greens. I made Eggplant Puree, Celtuce Frittata and got the ingredients for Kulcha with Celtuce but after re-reading the instructions when I got home I was overwhelmed by the process and steps. I didn’t make it. I never could find Celtuce so I went with the alternative green celery. Some recipes in this book were easy like the Eggplant Puree and some were complicated to create like the Kulcha with Celtuce. My family did not like the Eggplant Puree but loved the Frittata.

I’ve reviewed many cookbooks. This is the first cookbook I’m donating to the library so other “passionate” veggie green folks can enjoy it. If you are as passionate about greens like the authors are this is the book for you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Blogging for Books site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
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FOOD SWINGS by JESSICA SEINFELD REVIEWED


Food Swings
By Jessica Seinfeld
With Sara Quessenberry
Published by Ballantine Books N.Y.
ISBN#978-1101967140
288 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOKS: An all-new collection of more than 125 delectable recipes that reflect the way we really eat: sometimes healthy, sometimes indulgent—delicious, either way

Food Swings offers a range of simple and satisfying recipes that speak to both sides of your food brain. Here you’ll find the perfect go-to dish for when you want to eat light or for when you are in the mood for something more indulgent. The first half of the book, “Virtue,” provides recipes for your controlled side, while the other half, “Vice,” is for when you need to feel the wind in your hair. All of it is meant to be enjoyed equally in this fun something-for-everyone collection. So, whether you’re a home cook looking for new inspiration, a big eater who is ready to party, or a human who might be occupied with watching your waist, you will find what you are looking for in Food Swings. Those who are eating gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free, or almost-vegan, you have come to the right place!

VIRTUE: Quinoa Bowl with Almond Butter, Strawberries, and Hemp Seeds
Ginger Salmon with Sesame Cucumbers
Whole Roasted Cauliflower, Tomatoes, and Garlic
Roasted Plums with Honey and Pistachios

VICE: Cinnamon Buns
Buttermilk Panfried Chicken
Lasagna Bolognese
Chocolate Fudge Cake

REVIEW: The cover first caught my eye with the doughnut and broccoli then the title Food Swings. I had to look inside. I was then captivated by the mouthwatering extraordinary photographs (of almost every yummy dish) that made me want to make everything I saw. The next thing I loved was the fact that the recipes had easy to find ingredients with simple instructions.

When I delved into the solid blue pages the author gave a peek at her personal life. I liked that she has a passion for creating good simple food for busy people. She isn’t a chef and doesn’t play one on T.V. She does happen to be married to a famous comedian Jerry Seinfeld. In her past cookbooks, she has had a desire to help motivate people to cook. I liked having healthy and vice recipes in the same book. As she puts it “sometimes you need to feel the wind in your hair” She talks about eating wholesome foods; eat what your body craves and occasionally eat treats. This way you can feel satisfied and enjoy life.

I like her philosophy about cooking. She says, “We use a few select ingredients to achieve maximum flavor at minimum cost…I don’t pretend to have all the answers on how to eat or live. Like most people. I am just trying to figure out what works for me. My goal is simply to be helpful to those who share a low-key, high-quality approach.”

Recipes I tried and loved (so did my family) Eggplant & Cauliflower “meatballs” Veggie burgers with Pickled cucumber and onion, Brown Rice bowl with Black, beans, Avocado, and sweet potato. These recipes are flavorful and my family asked for seconds. Amazing!

Recipes I want to try on the Vice side are the Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake, Creamy Mushroom Pasta, Eggplant cutlets and Pepper Jack and Zucchini Quesadillas. This book has over 125 recipes. I look forward to trying everyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I checked this book out from the public library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins  www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
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THE PROGENY TOSCA LEE REVIEWED


The Progeny
By Tosca Lee
Published by Howard Books
ISBN#978-1476798691
337 Pages

ABOUT BOOK:  Emily Jacobs is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted.

She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. It is a story about the search for self-filled with centuries-old intrigues against the backdrop of atrocity and hope.

REVIEW: “Everything I thought I knew was a lie.”

The opening line had me wholeheartedly invested in Emily as she wakes up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Emily is a strong feisty young lady who needs help to navigate her new life. She doesn’t know who she is or why she’s there. Who can she trust?

“I don’t even know what I’m running from. What propels a person to leave her life, fake her death, and start over in a tiny town Maine? And if it’s that bad, why didn’t I relocate to Greenland or Better yet Fiji? The packet with my driver’s license and letter to myself contained 18 thousand dollars. A person can do a lot of disappearing with money like that.” She’s stumped.

Emily reads the note she wrote herself before her memory was erased. Nothing in it makes sense or helps her in any way. It just creates more questions like Why would she do this to herself? Why be in a cabin in Maine? Why is her caretaker leaving? What is she supposed to do? And the few mentioned above.

Someone is out to kill her and she doesn’t know why. Two men want to protect her. She has to trust somebody and quick. But who?

I liked how, through this fast-paced adventure, the author simultaneously reveals the mysterious past to the main character Elli and the reader. The author had excellent timing with the drama, action, and suspense, as she gave readers time to regroup and breathe before something unexpected happened again.

Elli learns her real name is Audra Eillison. She’s the daughter of Ameri Szabo a direct descendant of Elizabeth Bathory, serial killer. Audra can’t understand what they’d want from her? It was apparent she could trust no one not even herself? Is this why she erased her memory?

Stated in a note to the reader this story is loosely based on Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Barthory de Ecsed (1560-1614) serial killers, descendants; I didn’t know where this story would take me and/or if it would get gross or graphic. I knew I’d bail if that happened. I’m glad to report it didn’t go there. There were a few swear words (hell-damn) but nothing that didn’t fit the characters in this compelling story.

Given this authors’ passionate faith (seen in her other books) I was pleased to see some of it shine through into this story in a very natural way.  A reference here or there not at all preachy. It was a refreshing light amongst all the darkness. Things are not as they appear so hold your judgments of these characters, their situation, and the story line until the end.

Just when she (and the reader) think she has things figured out something happens that shakes up her current situation and brings about a new reality. This is a riveting tale, that makes for an amazing ride. Hold on to your seat when reading and remember to breath

This author pulls out all the stops in this captivating, suspenseful story filled with rich historical detail, in a modern setting that kicks off in Maine and takes readers to Europe and introduces them to a secret society, layered with some people that have paranormal gifts. This author just blows things out of the water as she created a believable Progeny culture. The events are like puzzle pieces where things had to fit together in order to solve the mystery. This is the first book in the series titled Descendants of the House of Bathory. Book two it titled First Born.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book from the library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org 
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com 
Book Fun Magazine
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THE DIVIDE BY JOLINA PETERSHEIM REVIEWED

THE DIVIDE
By Jolina Petersheim
Published by Tyndale
ISBN#978-1-4967-2144-9
377 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: In this gripping conclusion to The Alliance, nearly six months have passed since Leora Ebersole’s Old Order Mennonite community fled to the mountains for refuge after an attack destroyed the power grid and altered life as they knew it. Since then, Leora has watched and waited for news of Moses Hughes, the young Englischer pilot who held off invading looters long enough for everyone to escape. Unsure Moses even survived, Leora has begun to warm to the affections of Jabil Snyder, who has courted her patiently. But she struggles to see herself as the bishop’s wife, especially when she learns that Moses is alive and has now joined a local militia.

An unexpected encounter in the woods deepens Leora’s crisis, as does a terrifying new threat that brings Moses’ militia into the community’s shaky alliance with the few Englischers left among them. When long-held beliefs are once again put to the test, Leora wrestles with the divide between having faith and taking action. Just how much will her shifting landscape.

REVIEW: Moses doesn’t know if he’s ever going to see this woman who’s captured his heart again. He realizes his attraction to Leora is sweet and protective but fragile; with the EMP and people’s reaction to it have turned the whole world upside-down. He encourages her to go find a safe place with her Old-Order Mennonite family.

“You never know how hard something’s going to be until it’s too late to change your mind,” Moses says as he gets ready to fight the good fight. He’s a likable guy with a deeply troubled past who has stayed behind with a few Englischers to slow down an angry desperate mob, giving the Mennonites time to run for their lives.

Leora is strong and brave, but vulnerable at the same time. She’s gone with her family and people to start over. It’s been a little while (few months) no word. Surely, he survived. Would she ever see Moses again? Why didn’t he come for her? Leora finds herself being pulled between two worlds, Moses’ and the family she loves and is desperate to protect. But she can’t live another day without knowing what’s happened to Moses.

I like how the author gives readers a chance to walk in these characters shoes and think about how they’d react given the same scenario. I liked that the story was written from alternating first person point of views that were clearly marked so you knew who was who. It gave a wider perspective on the crisis.

Readers see the collapse of society and how crazy things and people can get when desperate people do desperate things to survive. The intensity and strength of the story are seen through a variety of believable edgy characters this author has created, which adds to this heartfelt, devastating situation mix in the suspense and drama and you’ll find yourself up reading into the wee hours of the morning.

The Alliance left readers wondering what happened to the Mennonites, Moses, Leora, and the crazy mob. What did the world look like after everyone realized this was their new normal? This sequel shows readers a possible hair-raising scenario about what might be. This story is filled with hope, faith, courage and love. If you like a good Christian romantic suspense story or compelling Amish fiction you’ll enjoy every page of this story that has a satisfying ending.


ABOUT AUTHOR: Jolina Petersheim is the bestselling author of The Midwife and The Outcast, which Library Journal called "outstanding . . . fresh and inspirational" in a starred review and named one of the best books of 2013. Her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications such as Reader's Digest, Writer's Digest, and Today's Christian Woman. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live on a solar-powered farm in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin with their young daughters. Follow Jolina and her blog at jolinapetersheim.com. 


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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NOAH and the NOISY ARK REVIEWED


The Beginner’s Bible Noah and the Noisy Ark
By Zondervan
Published by Zonderkidz
ISBN# 978-0-310-759577
18 Pages Board Book
4-8 Yrs old Grade Preschool to 3

ABOUT BOOK: The Beginner’s Bible® has been a favorite with young children and their parents since its release in 1989 with over 25 million products sold.

It’s time for Noah’s big adventure! A rainstorm is coming, and Noah needs to build an ark and find two of each animal to keep warm and dry inside. This retelling of the story of Noah’s Ark will take little ones from building a big boat to seeing a rainbow in the sky after the storm. Featuring brand-new art from the beloved The Beginner’s Bible, a die-cut format, and a beautiful foiled cover, parents will love sharing this board book with their children.

REVIEW: I love how the Beginners’ bible is illustrated. It’s a cartoon/film adorable type of picture that makes me smile. This board book has a built-in handle at the top, which makes it easy to carry.

I like how they summarized the biblical story of Noah and the flood in just 18 pages. It’s a great way to talk about this bible story with your little one. It’s an easy to read board book that will help them bring this bible story to life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zonderkidz Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine

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ALL THINGS BRIGHT and BEAUTIFUL BOARD BOOK


All Things Bright and Beautiful
By Thomas Nelson
Illustrated by Dawn Machell
Published by Tommy Nelson
Board Book 10 pages Preschool and up

ABOUT BOOK: All Things Bright and Beautiful, a charming new padded board book for young children, will be a bright, glittery addition to any home.

This padded board book with plastic handle sparkles with its eye-catching cover and colorful, fun illustrations. With glitter on every page, your little one will be engaged with the lyrics from the classic hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful.” Enjoy celebrating God’s beautiful creation through this adorable book that your children will want to read over and over again!

The padded covers, thick pages, and handle are perfect for little hands, and the glittery artwork and simple, classic lyrics will appeal to any young child. All Things Bright and Beautiful will delight your family as you cuddle up and read all about God’s care in creation.

REVIEW: This is an adorable padded board book filled with cute and colorful pictures that grab your attention and drive home message on each page. What is so great about the pages is that they are textured. For example, on the first page, there is a huge bright rainbow shooting out of an elephant’s trunk. When you feel the rainbow, it has tiny bumps. They look like sparkles and feel like them too. Each page has something fun and texture to find.

The book opens with this, “All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.”

The words are all in white except for the word bright which has the rainbow colors. I enjoyed the variety of animals sprinkled throughout the two pages. They made me smile.

I had heard this poem-hymn before but I wasn’t sure where. I googled it and found out that it was originally a hymn first published in 1884, in a collection of hymns designed to raise money for special needs children. It was written by Mrs. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95), wife to the Archbishop of Armagh and Protestant Primate of Ireland. Later on, Martin Shaw arranged this hymn to the swinging tune, Royal Oak. Schools often use a simplified version by William Henry Monk.

I most likely learned this along with my kids in Sunday School. This book is adorable and the phrases are catchy. My granddaughter loves to carry things in her arms. I won’t worry about her hurting this board book. It’s padded, sturdy and durable. She will have so much fun with a book she can take with her and read on the go.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tommy Nelson Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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GINNY OWENS IS INSPIRATIONAL

Ginny Owens has always been an inspiration to me. Her songs are powerful. This is her newest CD Cover. The title song will blow you away.




Below is an oldy goldy. Made even more powerful set to these pictures. 


Hope this encourages you today. 

Nora :o)

GIADA'S FEEL GOOD FOOD RECIPES

Giada’s Feel Good Food
By Giada De Laurentiis
Published by Clarkson Potter
ISBN#978-0-307-98720-4
256 Pages HB

ABOUT BOOK: The number one question that Giada De Laurentiis is asked when on book tour is, "How do you stay so trim?" Admirers then ask about her favorite recipes, her nail polish color, her exercise routine. . . and much more. In Giada's Feel Good Food, she answers all of these questions in her most personal and also most hardworking book yet.

Here are 120 recipes for breakfasts, juices, lunches, snacks, dinners, and desserts--each with nutritional breakdowns--that can be combined into 30 days of delicious feel-good meals. Special sections delve into Giada's everyday life, including her beauty and exercise routines, how she satisfies sugar fixes, what's always in her bag, and her ordering tips for eating in restaurants. With 100 color photographs, Giada's Feel Good Food is a beautiful guide to leading a happy, healthy lifestyle.

Food Network's most beautiful star shares her secrets for staying fit and feeling great in this gorgeous, practical book with healthy recipes including nutritional information, and personal lifestyle and beauty tips.

REVIEW: I loved the diversity of recipes in this book. I enjoyed the beautiful pictures sprinkled throughout, they made me want to try every recipe. There are 120 recipes that are her favorites. She has ingredients that are easy to find and simple instructions.

What makes this cookbook different from the others?  She’s included the calorie count and nutritional analysis for each recipe, along with a colored icon that signifies if the dish is GF (gluten free) DF (dairy free) V(vegan) VG (vegetarian) it also contains the servicing it makes.

This chef gives readers a peek into how she takes care of herself from skin care, exercise and rest. She says, “everyone is different; …(this is a )…personal look into how I keep my body and mind in a happy and healthy balance.”… “My philosophy on eating: Eat a little of everything, but not a lot of anything.”

This author is quick to say this is not a diet book. She is just showing readers how over time she came to the routines and food choices that have worked for her and her family.

My family enjoyed the following meals; California Tofu Hash, Sweet Potatoes with Creamy Tofu-Lime Vinaigrette, Kale and Mushroom Wrap and Lemon-Mustard Potato salad. These were easy to make, yummy best of all my family loved them.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I checked this book out of the local library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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Today May 5th through Tuesday May 9th!!

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WWII DRAMA


WITH LOVE WHEREVER YOU ARE
By Dandi Daley Mackall
Published by Tyndale
ISBN# 1496421213
481 Pages

ABOUT BOOK: Everyone knows that war romances never last . . .
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time.

Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real—and their marriage more and more like a distant dream. If they make it through the war, will their marriage survive?

Based on the incredible true love story, With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel from beloved children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall

REVIEW: I enjoyed the fact that this is not your typical WWII love story. I also liked how this author used personal letters with blanked out sections which created an intimate feel.The reader could also see what was censored out of the letters sent to loved ones. Although this story setting is in a hospital and on the battlefield the focus is on relationships.

Each chapter was told from a different POV. The author clearly listed the name of who was speaking in the beginning so you knew who was doing the talking. I felt like this author gave me a front row seat at how families dealt with the craziness of WWII and an insightful look at many of the curve balls that time period had to throw. I was surprised to discover in the end of the book where the author tells, “The Story Behind the Story,” that the letters were actually written by the author's parents during the war. I didn’t realize that mail traveled extremely slow and someone may not receive mail for weeks. But when it finally arrived several letters could arrive at once. I saw how this added to the miscommunication and mishaps of that time period.

In the same section, the author says, “This novel is a work of fiction, based on the stories and letters between Frank and Helen”…The author goes on to state, “Even though I had letters and stories it was tricky imagining thoughts and emotions, adding the conflict and opposition that a novel needs…I kept writing and wrestling into a narrative that would touch a reader’s, heart. “

I think the author accomplished her goal. I like how the story came full circle with the author telling the reader how she came upon these letters and what her parents wanted her to do with them. The author doesn’t bog the reader down with a bunch of facts and statistics, instead, this novel provides a richer understanding of the emotions, fears, questions, and doubts those fighting during WWII had.   After reading the first chapter I was emotionally invested in the story and the characters. When I closed the book, I felt like I had hung out with friends. It didn’t feel like I read a 481-page novel. I walked away having a new insight and learned a few things I hadn’t known before. This is a win, win in my book.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine
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