A Promise Kept

20140223-200645.jpg

Title: A Promise Kept
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Published: January 7, 2014
Pages: 304

——————————

Allison’s dream can true when she met Tony Kavanagh. They fell in love in days, engaged within weeks, married and expecting a baby within a year. Her cup had bubbled over with joy, but years later, that joy was extinguished by unexpected trials. Those trials took their marriage in a bad direction. So one day, she issues her husband an ultimatum, hoping that it would save him and their marriage, but instead, he left and left her crushed in the wake. She was positive God had promised to heal her marriage, but now it seems she’d misunderstood.

So Allison retreats to her quiet mountain cabin she inherited from her single self-reliant great aunt Emma. There Allison must come to terms with her grief and figure out how to adapt to small-town life. Along with these struggles, she finds a wedding dress and a collection of journals in Emma’s attic. Reading these journals paints a portrait of her aunt that leaves Allison stunned. The portrait is of a heart broken woman a lot like herself and helps with Allison’s healing as well as letting her see a side of her aunt she never knew existed.

As Allison reads her aunt’s story, she’s forced to ask some difficult questions and work through some tough emotions but with The Lord nothing is impossible and sometimes promises you thought you misheard can come true in the strangest ways you thought possible. Allison greatest struggle will be giving up everything to God because she was always everyone else’s savior.

Can Allison work through her grief and anger toward her marriage or will bitterness consume her? Can something good come from a divorce or will only bad come from it? Is it possible top piece together a life broken or are the pieces too small to pick up? Can Allison give everything she is and has to The Lord or will she remain selfish and mad at God?
—————————

I’ve read a few Robin Lee Hatcher books over the years and enjoyed them but this one seemed so much more personal to me, probably because this book alludes to Robin’s own life and has elements of her own divorce and remarriage (to the same man) in it. The personal touch gave it a depth that I’ve very rarely seen and I loved the courage it took the author to be so vulnerable and write something so close to her own story. That wins some brownie points for me.

Despite the heavy tone of the back cover and premise, it’s actually a fairly light read and is really easy to devour. My favorite parts of the book were the story of Emma, Allison’s great aunt. Emma’s story is like many women’s but hers is different in the path she takes and I loved getting to “know” Emma through the chapters that made her the focal point. The whole story of this remarkable woman is played out but by bit and it really gets your emotions involved and engaged in the outcome of the story. I enjoyed every second of this book.

This book touches on two very different but just as sensitive topics: abuse and alcoholism. The way Robin Lee Hatcher addresses each instance is done remarkably well, it’s addressed without excuse but the whole book isn’t set around it. Instead, the book is set around forgiveness and surrender. Towards the end the forgiveness seemed to come too easily at times and the ending seemed too neat to be real life, but to have that neat little bow made the story have a happy ending and I love happy endings.

This book is one of the first divorce/marriage issue book that I’ve truly enjoyed and recommend to more than just married folks. It wasn’t a book that revolved around the divorce part but more of the forgiveness and healing that comes for God alone part. Because it didn’t focus so much on divorce, I understood this book, and though I couldn’t fully relate, I could empathize with each character and feel each pain in a different way. It definitely makes this book unique.

Robin Lee Hatcher did a glorious job making a book about divorce into a book an eighteen year old girl really enjoy. It was so well done that I just sped through it and enjoyed it too. This book definitely touches on some difficult topics but with grace and class that is amazing. Thank you Robin for having the nerve to put part of your story out there and doing it so well. I highly recommend this one.

Overall, surprisingly, I truly enjoyed this one. This book is perfect for anyone struggling with their marriage of some sort or even someone who wants a good book on healing. This book is probably bed left to the adults but there’s nothing keeping your teens from reading it. I give this book a four and a half out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

Advertisements

Captives

20140216-195910.jpg

Title: Captives
Series: The Safe Lands
Author: Jill Williamson
Publisher: Zondervan
Published: April 2, 2013
Pages: 416

————————

Eighteen year old Levi has just returned from Denver City with his latest scavenged finds, only to find his beloved village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many – including his fianc├ę, Jemma – taken captive. Now the leader of their village, Levi knows he can’t stay behind and forget about those he loves, so he’s on a mission to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means going into the infamous Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe.

Omar brought the enforcers to his village and he knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away but he get helping the enforcers was necessary. Omar is tired of living off the land and clinging to what he believes is an outdated religion and he’s ready to change his way of life for the good. The Safe Lands have offered him power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams if he just tells them where his village is. Omar never expected the carnage that would ensue.

Meanwhile, Mason, Omar and Levi’s brother, has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save his people and possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls. That is if he can manage to stay out of trouble and keep from falling for someone with the plague and destroying his chances of succeeding.

Can Levi rescue his people from the Safe Lands or will he fail and lose everything in the process? Will Omar realize what the Safe Lands really are or is the gilded cage enough to keep Omar satisfied? Will Mason be able to help his fellow villagers to freedom or will he get caught and get into serious trouble? Can Mason find a cure for the thin plague or will he have to choose between a girl he likes and freedom?
—————————–

With all the excitement over post-apocalyptic movies and books, I decided to see what all the attention was about and I chose Jill Williamson’s book to do that. Now I know what everyone loves and I must say that this type of book just skyrocketed up my list of favorite genres and I fully intend to find more books like it. This book was better than my expectations, and I had high ones, and completely surprised me with the intricacy of this book. Just when you think things will work out something happens to change that and it ended on a cliffhanger, guaranteeing that I’ll be back to see how all this works out.

Though this book is set in 2088, a year that is 74 years in the future, it doesn’t feel too far off or too extreme to really happen. In fact, the attitude of the Safe Landers isn’t that different from regular secular people today, it’s just a bit more extreme. With e-cigarettes and a party/casual sex attitude out world is well on its way to becoming the fictional Safe Lands. Jill Williamson’s realistic, just extreme, take on us in the future is the most fascinating part of this book and definitely makes you think and question. I think she did an amazing job if her goal was to make teens question their life choices and where their future’s headed.

Tense and nerve-wracking scenes are the pinnacle of this book and it definitely gets your emotions involved. You want the Glenrock residents to escape before impregnation but you also want Mason to find a cure, not because of all the Safe Landers but just one. It gave me conflicting feelings on top of the taut nerves and nervous stomach, leaving me absolutely involved and emotionally invested in the outcome of this book. Very rarely do I feel this so I’m incredibly pleased it was with this one.

Every character has different strengths, weaknesses, and personalities, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to see them all. However, I do look forward to seeing them in the next books in this series. From what I was able to see, I picked a few favorite characters: Mason, Levi, and Shaylinn. I liked Mason because of his willpower and strength in tough situations, Levi because he’d do anything for Jemma, and Shaylinn because I can relate to her and her body image issues. I think no matter the person, you can relate to this book.

Jill Williamson is a new author for me but she has amazed me with Captives and I fully intend to read the next books in the series and even see what else she has come up with before this one. She’s very good at making a book a teenager, both boy or girl, will love. She even managed to do it without vampires or werewolves! I highly recommend this book for any teen and even some adults.

Overall, I really liked this book. It’s perfect for people who love dystopian novels or teen sci-fi. This book is perfect for teens, adults and maybe mature tweens. I give this book a five out of five.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.*