The first four books are ones that deeply touched my soul. Each involves choices, each deals with threat and fear, and importantly, each underscores the resilience of the human spirit.
The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is a memoir of surviving Auschwitz. The circumstances are horrifying, but they bear relevance to today's embattled world and that is what grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. This is a powerful and transformative book, one you will not forget.
Simple by Anita Dawes is a very different story, but there are overlapping themes to The Choice. The setting is a backwoods family - a brutal and disfunctional family. Survival is tenuous at best. Dawes is masterful in drawing the reader into this complex situation. Her prose is almost poetic as she reveals a story of love and loss.
Telling Sonny by Elizabeth Gauffreau marks time through the pregnancy of the protagonist. This is heart-tugging story that again involves choices. There were no extremes, so startling revelations. Rather Gauffreau skillfully leads us to a decision that must be made. I was and am in awe of Gauffreau's beautiful writing ability.
Maude by Donna Foley Mabry is a historical biography of the writer's grandmother. It is a captivating story of the early 1900s. The reader accompanies Maude through the Great Depression and the Pandemic of 1918 and follows her from her marriage at 14. The theme of choices is again prominant, even though often those choices were not freely made.
These four books earned 5-stars from me and I highly recommend each of them.
Life Is Like A Bowl Of Cherries by Sally Cronin is a collection focused on the everyday miracles of life, those unseen moments when a person makes a selfless decison to reach out to another person. The characters are ordinary folks. They are approachable, relateable...they are like you and me. This is a beautiful book, even a preicous one.
Things Old And Forgotten by Mae Clair spans genres. From whimsical to chilling and poignant to heartening, there's something for everyone. I appreciated the focus on choices made and choices regretted, as well, the glimpses into the reasons for those choices.
Both of these books are gems!
Oh Baubles by Harmony Kent is a love story between two struggling individuals, who in the process of finding love, also manage to heal their buried grief. Kent writes beautifully and powerfully. I found this book to be very life-affirming.
A Long Walk Home by D.L. Finn is a story of contrasts -- light and dark, good and evil, cold and warmth. Underlying it all is the theme of the book which is hope. If you love angels, magic, and tenderness, this one is for you.
No Such Luck by Staci Troilo is a light romance involving a past attraction and a long-time childhood friend. This feel-good story is perfect for the holiday season, as you'll feel joyful at its conclusion. Well-written and beautifully crafted, this is a delightful read.
Mountain Laurel Christmas by Jan Sikes takes us through a lifetime of ups and downs, until finally, there is a life-changing awakening. Hope abounds in this story, as we easily idenitify with the character and celebrate with him.