Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two Great Books

I received two books from Bethany House.  The first one I read was At Every Turn by Anne Mateer.  This was a fun book about a young, impetuous young lady named Alyce Benson.  In some ways, she reminded me of the apostle Peter.  She speaks first and thinks later, but her heart is in the right place.  She is willing to take a risk for the kingdom of God.  She is unconventional. 

The story is a fairly fast-paced plot that revolves around fundraising for missions and car racing in its infancy.  I found both aspects compelling.  I empathized with Alyce's desire to raise money to help missionaries on the Gold Coast of Africa.  It was also interesting to gain insight into the early race tracks and inner workings of the old-fashioned race cars.

I give this book 5 stars. 

The second book was Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden.  This book is a more serious work dealing with the opium trade and use in children's medication in the late 1800's.  The two main characters, Lydia Pallas and Alexander Banbridge, have both led hard lives.  Despite these things, Ms. Camden writes a novel full of hope and overcoming. 

On a side note, Alexander Banbridge's early life is described in the book, The Lady of Bolton Hill, but it is not necessary to read that book to enjoy Against the Tide.  (I did not even know the other book existed until after I finished this one.)

I enjoyed this book because it is a story of tenacity and striving to better the world and oneself.  Both characters are willing to do hard things to acheive a better life for themselves and others.  I greatly admire this quality.  I really felt like I got to know the characters and was better for it.

There is also a love story interwoven throughout.  This aspect was also pleasant while keeping a small level of suspense as to whether it would all work out in the end.

All told, it was a thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking read.  I give it 5 stars as well.