Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

"A Fifty-Year Silence: Love, War, and a Ruined House in France" by Miranda Richmond Mouillot is a touching story of a granddaughter desperately trying to understand the relationship of her grandparents who had not spoken in 50 years.

Miranda tells the story of her Holocaust-surviving grandparents, each of who were successful in their own right (she a doctor, he an interpreter during the Nuremberg Trials), and their indifference/hatred of the other.  The author wants to know the reason for their silence, yet both grandparents speak "around it"... until the end of the book.

During this hellish time of our world history, I found myself wishing that this couple could have somehow had a different outcome to their relationship when they had lost so very much already.  This was not their story, though, and this book brought to light that those that had lived through that awful time did not go on to live fairytale lives. 

My favorite quote toward the end of the book happens when Miranda asks her grandmother if she is upset that Miranda married a Catholic, not a Jew.  Her grandmother's response?  "...You have to live your life forward..."

Good advice.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know by Kari Kampakis

As the mother of a young teenage daughter, I want to help her to be the best person she can be.  There are a lot of good books out there on this topic, many which I've already read.  So, I was curious if "10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know" by Kari Kampakis had anything of value to add.

First of all, I think Mrs. Kampakis has a great style of writing.  I felt like she was sitting with me, having a conversation.  She's not "preachy" at all and gives some really valuable advice on mean girls, boys, self-esteem and self-talk, patience, and perseverance.  Included in each section are discussion questions with a place in the book to write your answers, Biblical quotes, and quick quizzes.  The printed format is pretty, youthful, and current.

I would definitely recommend adding this book to your/your daughter's reading list. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Book Look Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt

Esther: Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt is written in the first person by two individuals, Hadassah (aka Esther) and a eunuch named Harbonah.  This is their account of Queen Esther's life.

This story was a fresh look at the classic Bible story and brought new insight to how Esther may have felt about her situation.  I appreciated the "humanness"  of her character and how this was not a fairy tale romance or a story of her charmed life as the chosen second Queen of King Xerxes of Persia.  Believably, Esther was portrayed as a humble, yet beautiful young woman whose wisdom was uncommon with someone of her age.

Harbonah, the eunuch, shed light on what it may have been like working in the court of the King.  He made me think about what his life might have been like as a captured and castrated young boy, and the challenges of having his life's most basic choices taken from him.  He was a trusted friend of both Esther and her uncle, Mordecai.

Although I really enjoyed this book, I do wish that the author had included the personal stories of at least the King and Haman.  Although it would have made for a longer read, I think it would have made for a more well-rounded story.

All in all, I would highly recommend it and appreciated that the author kept true to the Biblical account.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.