The Pharoah's Daughter

by Mesu Andrews

Fiction, 2015

 

We know the Bible stories from the perspective of the lead characters God calls and shapes.  But what would happen if we saw the same story from the perspective of a key secondary character.  This is the gift of research specialist and amazing storyteller, Mesu Andrews.  The Pharaoh’s Daughter tells the story of Moses from the perspective of the one who found him in the Nile and raised him as her own.  While she fills in gaps with her own, satisfying what-if details, she has also linked some fascinating details from the biblical genealogy.  For example, she draws the two midwifes, Shiphrah and Puah, into the heart of this story in remarkable ways. 

 

I was introduced to this prolific biblical fiction writer when I attended my first Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference. Her workshop on research was phenomenal.  The first book I read was award-winning Love Amid the Ashes, told through the eyes of women in Job’s life, including Job’s wife.  This is my second book by Mesu Andrews, but it won’t be my last.

A Light So Lovely

by Sara Arthur

Nonfiction, 2018

 

I have waited for this book’s availability as soon as I read that it was being written.  It is a book about Madeleine L’Engle, Newberry winner for A Wrinkle in Time and the unplanned creator of a new genre for young adult Christian fiction:  Christian fantasy.  Sarah Arthur is a die-hard fan of L’Engle whose own writing and editorial career was shaped significantly by reading her books and meeting her.  Arthur’s book summarizes the spiritual legacy of this sometimes loved and often misunderstood author.  The book introduce you to the formative details of Madeleine’s life using her writing and the people who knew her.  Chapter titles preview the journey you will take about the "Sacred and Secular," "Truth and Story," "Faith and Science," Religion and Art," among others.  This book is for those who want a thoughtful stretch in areas that may not be comfortable.  This book is not for everybody. 

L’Engle’s influenced my writing significantly. Her book, A Circle of Quiet, an interesting compilation from her popular writing workshops, taught me the ontological (her word) discovery that writing requires of a writer.  She believed that writing is more than wanting to write about a subject or tell a story. It is a way to know yourself and the God who created you with His good words.

If I Were You

by Lynn Austin 

Fiction, 2020

 

Lynn Austin is a storyteller.  I read the manuscript for the first in her series Chronicles of the Kings (Old Testament kings and prophets) when I served on the consulting board for Beacon Hill, who first published it. Based first in England before and during World War II, it is a story about an emerging friendship between the upstairs aristocrat and a downstairs maid.  When the war offers a leveling space, their lives entangle in ways that change their futures after the war.  It is a story of leaving expectations and privilege to grow courage.  It is a story of leaving jealousy, secrets, and shame to find forgiveness.  It is a good story!

Chasing Vines

by Beth Moore 

Nonfiction, 2020

 

I’ve participated in my share of Bible studies by Beth Moore and learned much from them.  However, this book is fefferent.  From a trip to Tuscany with her daughters, Beth fell in love with vineyards.  It was as if God chose this time to help her make the connection He has always made between vineyards, growth, fruitfulness, and His chosen people.  Divided into sections about The Vineyard, The Vinedresser, The Vine, The Fruit, The Harvest; I learned more about God’s way of growing and how organic it can become if we allow the Vinedresser free control.  I’ll be sharing some of my lessons and posting some of the quotes in the days to come.  While there are resources for group and personal Bible study, the book reads well for any independent learner.  If you read it or share in a Bible study with it, let's compare notes!

The Things We Cannot Say

by Kelly Rimmer

Fiction, 2019

 

I’ve read many World War II stories, but none that took place in Poland.  This book leap frogs between the present story and the past story.  I am usually not fond of this technique, but this time it worked so well, I looked forward to time change.  Allina is the young girl in the past story, lost in young love before the Nazi invasion that changed everything.  Alice is the granddaughter who accepts her grandmother's dying wish to return to Poland for missing pieces to her story.  There are many things that these characters cannot say. The grandmother is silenced by a paralyzing stroke, Alice feels no one understands her autistic son except herself, her son can only speak through his iPad, and Allina’s Thomaz is in a one-man war against the Nazi’s and can’t explain to Allina why he is so driven.  The twists and turns make this a hauntingly satisfying story to remind all of us that we have words we haven’t spoken.  What are we waiting for?