Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009
This is the best of the best of southern fiction, set before WWII, at a time in our history when women weren't supposed to have dreams of their own. The narration MAKES this audio book . . . the story is there, poignant and sweet . . . Velva Jean is still a kid when she loses her mama . . . and her daddy can't stop his wandering for nothing . . . Some people may think that the book makes light of Christianity, but not me . . . it pretty much tells it like it is here in the south . . . God is real, but not all His followers ARE FOR REAL. Guess it's pretty much like that all over. All the things that happen in the mountains during the depression, how a moonshiner's son, turned preacher steals Velva Jean's heart, and then her dreams . . . well, it makes for such a rich and varied tale of greed, pride, selfishness, wisdom and love . . . you sure don't wanna miss it.
This is the second of the Caleb books, and Caleb is 25 years old now in the deserts of Ethiopia. He and his parents have rebuilt the monastery where he grew up as a child. They live there together and minister to a leper colony, and even though Caleb still believes, he has lost his zeal and fire for Christ. This book, though fictional, explores the need for childlike faith, for trusting when we can't see the road ahead, for joyous dancing and spending time in the presence of God, all the things that we veer away from after the newness of our salvation starts to wear off. I would say that I'm not sure that the turn of events in the book are totally biblically correct as they pertain to end time prophecy, however, there are many trains of thought regarding that. And a fictional book is just that, fiction. The book blessed me and brought about self examination about my walk with the Savior.
My husband and I listened to this audio book together on two long car trips. If you are offended by the language that soldiers and marines use, be forewarned, this book is full of it. At the same time, know that's how it really is and was. To think that God didn't walk with these brave men then or now in the heat of the battle, I believe is a wrong assumption. For God is surely with us all in the valley. The soldiers of Vietnam, for the most part were kids, just out of high school, naive, just out of boot camp, ready to be marines and win the war. Then they were dropped into a mess that no one ever could have prepared them for. My husband came into the army at the end of the Vietnam war, and thank God, and over his 22 year career never saw combat. Many of our friends were killed in Vietnam or had brothers who were killed or who came back completely changed after the war. This book is a book that every American needs to read or listen to. The truth about what politicians do when they send our young people to war is absolutely gut wrenching. And it continues to happen over and over, and the United States never seems to learn. I'm a mother of two soldiers who have served in Iraq. One of our boys is in Afghanistan right now. I am as patriotic and American as apple pie. But something has happened in America that is absolutely frightening. We don't know who the enemy is anymore.
This is the second in this series that combines murder mysteries with the goings on of a needlework shop, Crewel World and all those in the small town of Excelsior, Minnesota. I've grown to love the funny, experienced, as well as the fearful "I will never be able to do this" needle crafters, which by the way, include the shop's owner, Betsy, who inherited the shop from her sister. This audio book focuses on an old murder from 1949 when a boat sank in the harbor, and when they pull it up, a skeleton is found. The twists and turns in solving this very COLD CASE, are quirky, and will absolutely keep you listening and entertained. I didn't suspect who the murderer was until the very end. I will be listening to the next book in the series.
Few people know the inside story of what Navy Seals do, day in and day out for our country; even fewer have an inkling of the concept of what it takes for these men to put the mission FIRST, above their own safety, and even above their families. The tight brotherhood of the seal team is a bond that is like no other, sacred to the men on the team, understood and shared only by them. My husband (a retired army SGM) and I listened to this audio book together while driving to visit our son who works at the Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Virginia. Having two sons who served in the Iraqi war, and one now in Afghanistan, we are both very in tune to what goes on behind the scenes in defense of our country. Yet we cannot imagine being parents of a Navy seal . . . yes, we would be proud . . . but wartime service is hard enough for families . . . constant covert missions would be a nightmare. Thank God for these men, and their families who also sign on for whatever the MISSION brings.
When the book first started off, I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much as the first one, but oh, as it went on, I did, I SURE did! Some of the tale is a little far fetched, but hey, who's to say it couldn't happen in the south . . . As for old Moon Pie, there's plenty of redneck, criminals running around down here, all hyped up on drugs, alcohol and their own puffed up image of themselves. And thank God, there are plenty of the good guys, too . . . the good old Bible belt . . . this is a thriller, but also a really GOOD listen with an ending worth the wait . . . and this southern, country gal LOVES an ending she can sink her teeth into.
Our Sunday School classes is doing this study. It is eye-opening. As a Christian, I have been aware that Israel is God's chosen people, and that God is, indeed in control of the sun, stars, and moon that he set into motion. But this in depth study of God's timing and the four blood moons, really helped me to see that we are to be watching for the signs that the Lord sends to us. God does not "forget" his promises or his people. No one knows the time, not even the Son who sits at the right hand of God, but we are commanded to watch and wait. If you are serious about watching for the signs, and loving God's chosen people, the Jewish nation of Israel, you will gain much from this audio book. I would suggest buying the kindle book and audio book together for an additional savings.
This book has been compared to "The Help" by other readers/listeners. There IS NO comparison. It is a well written story and I liked it just fine. There is no discrimination, no abuse of blacks, and I found that refreshing. Abigail grew up playing with and loving the children that her grandfather had with Margaret, a black woman that he lived with after his wife died. Not only did she love the three children, she loved Margaret. The story of Margaret is one of grace and kindness, and the selfless choices that she made for her three children out of love are the best parts of the book. William Howland, Abigail's grandfather, was a simple and good man, wealthy beyond anything that Abigail could have imagined. Overall, the book is low key. The narration is reflective, not passionate. And when it is all said and done, there's no revelation or tying up of loose ends at the conclusion of the book. The ending of a book is a big deal to me, and this one just didn't quite END, it just stopped.
There's no writer quite like Bryce Courtenay . . . his stories of Australia are all so different, so crazy different, I can't even begin to tell you . . . and this one, about a drunk, a boy and a cat . . . First off, I don't even like cats . . . so you know, for me to choose and listen to this one, means that I gotta trust in the writing of Bryce Courtenay . . . My dad, whom I loved with all my heart was an alcoholic . . . and not unlike Billy, my dad was kind . . . and he was broken . . . and he couldn't stand to see anybody mistreated . . . I definitely went on a "journey" with this book . . . a sad, beautiful, longing journey, into my own past and into the tale of a much loved cat named Trim, who did much to heal Billy and a little boy . . . you will NOT regret listening to this book . . .
A dad taking his nine year old daughter on a hunting trip in Alabama . . . the girl wears camo . . . loves her daddy . . . high school sweetheart out in the boonies parking and necking before heading home . . . and a bunch of crazy doped up redneck drug dealers . . . well it makes for a mess . . . the sheriff's department in the podunk town has it's share of glory seeking deputies, all good hearted country boys, some akin to Barney Fife . . . This book is all about what us southerners like, hunting, fishing, family, defending what's ours. I couldn't stop listening. I was a little irked by the narration in some places, just not pure southern to me, a little strained . . . sure didn't keep me from loving the writing . . . can't wait to listen to the next one.
Absolutely gripping from the start . . . the scene in Afghanistan with Maggie and Pete . . . it tore at me like a saw into raw meat . . . Then as the story continued in LA when Maggie was donated to the police department and began working with Scott, the two wounded warriors began a journey that I couldn't stop listening to . . . both struggling against deep physical and emotional injuries so devastating that most folks have given up on them. As they team up together though, dog and police officer, you can't help but start rooting for them. There's a lot of mystery and suspense, and the deck is stacked against Scott and Maggie. This is a great listen!
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