Monday, March 24, 2014

For Such a Time by Kate Breslin

In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy. Pressed into service by SS-Kommandant Colonel Aric von Schmidt at the transit camp of Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia, she is able to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller. However, in order to survive and maintain her cover as Aric's secretary, she is forced to stand by as her own people are sent to Auschwitz.

Suspecting her employer is a man of hidden depths and sympathies, Stella cautiously appeals to him on behalf of those in the camp. Aric's compassion gives her hope, and she finds herself battling a growing attraction for this man she knows she should despise as an enemy.

Stella pours herself into her efforts to keep even some of the camp's prisoners safe, but she risks the revelation of her true identity with every attempt. When her bravery brings her to the point of the ultimate sacrifice, she has only her faith to lean upon. Perhaps God has placed her there for such a time as this, but how can she save her people when she is unable to save herself?

Wow. This was an exciting page-turner. I loved Kate's inspiration of the biblical story of Esther – a Jewess in an unexpected place with the seemingly impossible chance to save her people.

Without giving too much of the story away, I couldn't wait to read the author's note to see if the fantastic escape she penned ever happened from Theresienstadt, a ghetto established by the German SS during WWII as a transfer station to other camps. Although the biblical Esther is real, and the inhumane treatment depicted in the book is accurate, For Such a Time is definite fiction.

Still, from beginning to end, I found the read unique and exciting, hoping the journey were true...and knowing if it weren't, that there are true cases of escape and revolt of some Jews during that horrific time.

I enjoy WWII fiction, and to me, these stories never get old. So many courageous men and women with tales to be told, whether courageously saving lives...or simply and desperately surviving their own. If you enjoy the same, you'll want to pick up your own copy of For Such a Time!

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book HERE.

Thank you to Kate and Bethany House Blogger Program for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**

Monday, March 3, 2014

Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar

I had the opportunity to check out this new book from Howard Books!

The four oldest Duggar girls (from TLC's 19 Kids and Counting) have recently released their own book, Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships.

If you're looking to see if Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger will reveal shocking secrets from the mega household (they do mention their mom Michelle's battle with an eating disorder in high school which was something I didn't know), you'll be disappointed. No, I've never met them nor do I think they are perfect (as they themselves readily admit), but I believe the life you see the Duggars live on tv is pretty close to their real life. Just like their camera appearances, the girls share in their book honestly, yet humbly, the biblical convictions on the standards they have come to hold.

In this case, they've focused their book on relationships – from the Lord first and foremost, which then effects all other relationships: from yourself to parents to siblings to culture to guys.

Although written primarily to teenage girls, with personal stories from each girl of their own struggles and victories, I was challenged as a mom in my own attitudes and habits, as well as areas my husband and I can do better in the raising of our own young children.

Trying to remember my teenage days (wow, that was a long time ago!), I realize most girls will want to see what the Duggar girls have to say about guys and dating. Not everyone will hold to their idea of 'courtship,' but having safeguards for accountability for that 'dating' time of life is very important. Godliness and purity starts in your heart and mind long before a guy ever comes around...

Dad has asked us girls, “What kind of girl do you think a godly guy will be attracted to?”

The answer is, a godly girl. That's what he and Mom are continually encouraging each of us girls to become. We know that a godly girl is not someone who has lived a “perfect" life but is someone who has received God's forgiveness and is seeking to put the past behind her and choosing to live every day for Him (page 115).

It's also crucial for Christian gals to understand that we cannot conform our patterns to a thoughtless lifestyle and still expect to somehow marry a godly prince. We need to always keep in mind that if we desire to marry a godly man, then we must strive to become the kind of godly girl a godly man will be attracted to. God desires to see us grow in character and live by His principles, and for us to have a strong relationship with Him – which is the best foundation and preparation any of us can make for a future marriage relationship (page 140).
I especially liked their reasons for 'dates' at home. Never gave much thought to watching a guy react to your little sibling spilling milk in his lap or your rambunctious brother being loud and noisy... anyone can be on their best behavior during a dinner out on the town, but character is often revealed during the chaotic 'everyday' moments!

I expected Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger's book to be a rehash of their parents' previous two books, just told from the kids' perspective, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although these girls' convictions may not match yours, their humility is evident and their challenge is clear: Jesus first, others second, you last.

AND FOR YOU, a peek into the book HERE.

Thank you to the Duggar girls and Chris from Howard's Blogger Review Program for sending me a copy to read and review!

Did you find my review helpful? Please rate it on Amazon and Christianbook.

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**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**
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