Friday, February 5, 2010

Book Reviews -- Linda Chalkin & Lynn Austin

Tomorrow's Treasure (Book 1 in “East of the Sun” series)
Linda Chalkin

Welcome to the world of Evy: foster daughter of the vicar and his solemn, stern wife, confident of Mrs. Spencer the house keeper and cook, attendee of the village school, friend to the grave digger, pursuer of a juicy bit of a tale, mistress of a witty and sharp tongue and a heart that sought to do right. Evy's life seems planned and packaged safely. She is to attend conservatory to study music. She is to marry a boy whom she had known and played with her entire life. She is to settle in the very safe but dull countryside of small village in Britain, living out her days among her acquaintances and friends.

But there is a mystery. A well dressed, handsome stranger in the forest, with questions that puzzle her. Whisperings of a stolen diamond and a questionable parentage. And why are the rich and influential neighbors taking an interest in her? Aunt Grace won't talk about it and tells Evy to not think of such things. But when her Uncle is killed, leaving them nearly penniless, life suddenly seems a little less safe.

And then, there's Rogan. “Aye, the young master lives up to his name,” Mrs. Spencer clucked her tongue. Evy divides her time of acquaintance with Rogan the rogue by sincerely disliking him and engaging in fierce verbal battles with him. And yet, he continually surprises her and makes her wonder if the true Rogan is hidden under a facade. In spite of herself, she feels a growing attraction to him that she does not like nor understand.

Linda Chalkin wrote her story in the style of well known author Victoria Holt. I liked the setting, the romance, the style, the message... I usually do not care for series of books that stretch out a mystery. But I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading the remainder of the series.

Until We Reach Home
Lynn Austin

“I just want to feel safe!”
Elin has secrets she dares not tell anyone and a promise to keep that she will protect her younger sisters. America is the only way.

Kirsten has a broken heart and secrets of her own. Part of her wishes to go far away from what has been home for her fifteen years. But what will America be like? Will life be as good as Elin promises?

Sofia is timid and it is her fear of change and the unknown that makes her angry. Life was not wonderful in Sweden but it would most certainly be worse in America... the land of no familiar faces.

There are few christian novels that I enjoy. This is because the message is rarely told realistically and believably. But this book was different. I felt every emotion these girls experienced. I struggled with them as they tried to forgive God... and go further by realizing that God loved them, in spite of mistakes and stumblings. In spite of trials. In spite of circumstances. In spite of themselves.

Bravo to Lynn Austin. She is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.


bekah said...

Sorry I haven't been here in a while. :) I did receive your letters, btw, and enjoyed them. Will write asap. Enjoyed all your updates. :) And as for Lynn Autin, I have read "Until We Reach Home" and her "Refiner's Fire" series. I didn't care for her style as much as others, but they were still good. :)

Naomi said...

You enjoyed Jeanette Oke's?

Glad you got our letters! Your Grandpa called last night. Thanks for passing the # on. ;)