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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015

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Mar 23, 2015
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is an autobiography of a young woman who - eventually - escaped from slavery. It's an interesting look into the life of a slave in the mid-1800s. A little confusing to me is that the book is written by Harriet Ann Jacobs yet the main character is called Linda. I'm not sure why that discrepancy. It isn't explained.

Most of the biographies I've read about people who have escaped slavery or were emancipated during the Civil War were of field slaves. Linda was a house slave and her story is quite different from any I've read before. She had a much different life - overshadowed by the evil that is slavery - than the field hands. In many ways, she was treated much kinder. She learned to read and write. She had some freedom to come and go and visit her relatives. And yet, she only had these freedoms at the whim of her master. Although a learned man and a doctor, he wasn't a noble character.

Fascinating look into a depraved society that kept their fellow humans in bondage and the creative and cunning ways the oppressed found to escape that bondage. Worth reading if you're at all interested in this subject. The author goes into detail about the evils faced, but also goes into detail about the kindness of others who helped her on her journey to freedom.
Mar 16, 2015
The Captive Imposter (The Everstone Chronicles, #3)The Captive Imposter by Dawn Crandall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The capstone on The Everstone Chronicles. Following the tragedy at the end of The Bound Heart (book 2 of The Everstone Chronicles), Estella Everstone considers it prudent to go into hiding for a time. Her goal is to keep her identity secret from others, but in truth, she learns much more about herself and her family. Thrust into a lifestyle as foreign to her as possible, Estella sees the world from a new perspective. And others see her very differently from what she's used to - if they notice her at all.

Dexter Blakeley manages an upper-class resort filled with spoiled rich women. He's seen enough of them to last a lifetime. But he has a soft spot for females in distress. When Estella finds herself abruptly unemployed and left - literally - standing beside the road, Dexter comes to her rescue. He doesn't connect the youngest daughter of his former employer with this charmingly shy lady's companion.

Plenty of romantic ups and downs to keep the reader turning the pages, while rounding out this series by author Dawn Crandall. I highly recommend reading this series in sequence. Each one builds upon the one before. This is a wonderful Christian historical romance series. It touches on some issues, very tactfully handled, that might not be appropriate for younger teens, however.

See my review of book 1 The Hesitant Heiress
See my review of book 2 The Bound Heart

Mar 12, 2015
Dauntless (Valiant Hearts, #1)Dauntless by Dina L. Sleiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charming medieval story! Aimed at young adults, there is plenty to please any reader who enjoys a dash of daring-do, a rumbling of romance, and good spackling of suspense.

Lady Merry Ellison leads a group outlaws - barely more than children - who protect the innocent remnant of a village scourged by the wicked King John. They survive by their wits and their commitment to each other, stealing only what they need to survive. Then one day, Merry lifts a box filled with gold coins from the top of a nobleman's coach.

Forced to move out of their usual territory to escape detection, they relocate too close to their old village. Discovered by someone she knew from childhood, someone who meant more to her than she's comfortable remembering, Merry is forced to make some soul-wrenching decisions. Decisions that will affect not just herself, but the lives of the children she protects. Who can she trust?

Well-written tale with engaging characters. It started a bit predictable, but soon morphed into a delightful romp that took the reader through medieval forests and towering castles. Is says this is book one, and I look forward to reading the following books in this series.

There are four days left to enter the Dauntless Contest with a
grand prize of a $250 Amazon Gift Card! Hurry and enter!
Mar 8, 2015
Spy of Richmond (Heroines Behind the Lines #4)Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Awesome read! Why can't I give it 6 stars?! This is the fourth book in Jocelyn Green's series about women whose lives were forever altered by America's Civil War. These books really should be read in order. While any one can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel, when taken together, they build a compelling set of stories about women - white and black, free and slave - who you can't help but admire.

Being the history geek that I am, the factual background through which these stories are woven, and the interaction of the fictional characters with real-life historical figures, pulls me ever deeper into each story. Jocelyn Green handles both aspects beautifully.

Sophie Kent is a native Virginian, born to a Virginian father and a northern mother. Educated in Pennsylvania, including a healthy dose of abolitionist teaching, she lives in Richmond even though she abhors the war and the reasons for it. Her father away with the Confederate Army, her mother lying in the grave, Sophie decides she needs to do ... something. What she never plans is the tightrope stretched between loyalties and principles that she'll have to walk to help bring the war to an end. Staying on top of that rope would be impossible without the assistance - and love - of people both black and white who pass through or live under her roof.

A perfect wrap-up of the series. I'm glad Jocelyn decided that a trilogy wasn't enough. Familiar characters will greet the reader like old friends and the ending satisfies the reader by bringing full circle the story lines we've come to treasure.
Mar 4, 2015
Anna's Crossing (An Amish Beginnings #1)Anna's Crossing by Suzanne Woods Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful story about a reluctant, yet brave, young woman who leaves her family behind to face the New World. Anna Konig agrees to travel to Penn's Woods with part of her Amish community as their only English-speaking representative.

Beautifully written story with details that bring this 1737 adventure to life. If you suffer from seasickness, you may have to be careful! It's that compelling. The rigors of the journey, the fears, the disease, but underlying it all - the hope in God to see them through.

Anna wants to see their friends settled and return to her grandparents in Germany. She doesn't expect to meet Bairn, a handsome sailor who tugs at her heart. But everything isn't as it seems. Greed and lies sail on the ship with the Amish immigrants. What will happen when the truth comes out?
Your chance to win a $250 Amazon gift certificate or a copy of Dina Sleiman's new release - Dauntless.
Mar 2, 2015
Joey's StoryJoey's Story by Ruth Ann Stelfox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a tough book to read. It shows the dark side of our culture, the side most people don't want to think about and don't want to deal with. I don't recommend this for younger teens because, while not graphic, it is straight-forward about what this young girl was exposed to.

Joey calls herself a "welfare brat" after she hears that name from others. Born into a dysfunctional family, she learns all the wrong lessons from a shockingly early age. After their mother dies, Joey and her siblings are taken from her father and pushed into the foster care system. Joey is shuffled around between some good - and some not so good - homes. Finally the four children are selected to be adopted all together into a family. However, tragedy doesn't stop there.

But God. Joey's story is ultimately a testimony to the grace and power of Jesus Christ.