Rezensionen / Reviews

A child’s view of a new world

Between the Mountain and the Sea by Gill Kimber

When an overworked vicar is posted to a remote island in the South Atlantic, his family faces an entirely new life. Tristan da Cunha’s rough but devout population – a couple of hundred lobster fishermen and their constantly knitting wives – live in simple houses, cultivate potatoes and herd cattle. Everyone shares what they have and cooperates, their daily activities dominated by the unpredictable and often fierce weather. Contact with the outside world is limited to intermittent radio messages and occasional ships from Cape Town bringing sacks of mail and supplies. This book gives the modern reader a fascinating insight into this unfamiliar world.

Torn between two lives

Being Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole

Being Lena Levi

Is she Marlene or Lena? For a fourteen-year-old English schoolgirl to discover ‘Mum’ is not her real mother and by birth she is a German Jewess is a life-shattering revelation. And who is the real ‘Mutti‘ is behind her glamorous but rather worldly façade; she’s quite a contrast to the Christian circles Marlene had grown up in. But how could Mum deceive her so cruelly?

Marlene decides on the spur of the moment to experiment with being Lena. She travels with Mutti by train and ship – how exciting! – to Haifa in Israel, and is introduced to the young Jewish nation’s struggle to survive in a hostile and rather neglected environment. On the way, a brief conversation with a sympathetic old man exposes her burning dilemma.

A passionate plea for mutual respect

Confessions of a Toxic Perfectionist and God’s Antidote, by Dr. George Verwer

I have great admiration for George Verwer, as a humble man of faith with tremendous courage and initiative as well as dynamic evangelistic, motivational and leadership qualities. My experiences on short-term stints with Operation Mobilization, though hugely challenging, proved spiritually enriching and I know several long-term OMers, whom I love and highly respect. As an organisation, OM does magnificent work in spreading the Good News of Jesus, while also serving practical, medical and educational needs in many countries.

Dramatic tension as the storm brews

Before The Storm 1685 by Paul C. R. Monk – an object lesson in creative historical fiction writing

Get your FREE copy of Before The Storm 1685 and learn how to write creative historical fiction

This free novella covers the same dramatic events as my work-in-progress, Gédéon. In my opinion, Paul C. R. Monk has not only written a captivating prequel to his trilogy, The Huguenot Chronicles but presents a masterpiece in regard to character, location setting and atmosphere.

These short chapters contain invaluable examples of how to draw a reader inexorably into the depicted scene, reveal the contrasting temperaments of the protagonists, and conjure a vivid feel for the horrendous experience of having one’s home commandeered by unscrupulous dragoons.

I’d like to quote some passages – narratives as well as dialogues – to illustrate these points.

Beautifully illustrated, inspiring coffee table book

Reflect with Sheridan

5 Stars
Reflect with Sheridan

Through short cameos from his own life and others – all accompanied by stunning photos – Sheridan Voysey stimulates you to reflect on yourself, your relationships and your Creator, who loves you.

Entertaining encounters of a Yorkshire school inspector

The other side of the Dale by Gervase Phinn

The other side of the Dale by Gervase Phinn
5 Stars

New on the job, Gervase several times has to ask for directions as he searches for the little primary school he is supposed to inspect in the tiny village with the delightfully tongue-twisting name. His frustration is compensated by the stupendous scenery as he winds his way through the narrow serpentine roads of the Yorkshire Dales. But he arrives too late. All the children have long since gone home. He’ll have to come back another time – at the very end of the book.

Over the next months, many another establishment waits for him to visit, staffed by colourful headteachers such as the lovely Miss Christine Bentley of Winnery Nook Nursery and Infant School. Too bad that his encounter with her rugby referee father proved less than warm.

Ein Leben daneben – als unerwünschter Gast im gelobten Land

Das Eidechsenkind von Vincenzo Todisco

Das Eidechsenkind von Vincenzo Todisco
four stars

Drei Mal klopfen bedeutet, dass das Kind nicht im Korridor sein darf und in der Stanza in forno verschwinden soll. So lernt das widerrechtlich in der Schweiz lebendes Kleinkind italienischer Gastarbeiter unentdeckt zu bleiben. Es schleicht sich, eidechsenartig, von Zimmer zu Zimmer, versteckt sich hinter Vorhängen, unter dem Tresen, im Wäschekorb oder im Kleiderschrank.

International intrigues at the highest levels

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

International intrigues at the highest levels
Four stars

Edge of Eternity – the final book of Follett’s perspective-shattering Century Trilogy – traces the vibrant lives of the offspring of the British, Russian, German and American families that we got to know in Fall of Giants and Winter of the World. Relationships come and go and fates fluctuate, revealing international intrigues at the highest levels. A salutary feature of the narrative is how most world leaders are revealed as dishonest, weak and morally corrupt puppets of various political and economic factions.

Mysterious coincidences and a surprising ending

Daisy’s Vintage Cornish Camper Van by Ali McNamara 

Having previously owned a similar vintage VW camper to Daisy-Rose, I was intrigued by this book from the outset. It starts on a rather sombre tone – the early death of a dear friend – but I was soon drawn in to share Ana’s mixed emotions and her encounters with a variety of unusual characters in a far corner of Cornwall.

Two people whose lives have been shattered by devastating experiences set out to trace the mysterious previous owner of an ancient, decrepit camper van. Curious assistants and enigmatic signs help them in their quest, which culminates with a couple of surprises. In the process they experience emotional healing and the chance of a new start in life.

Well developed characters and an entertaining storyline keep one in suspense to the end, but the uncanny denouement will not satisfy all readers.

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