Reading for Me

The Books I Have Read…..Just for Me

#46: Comfort and Joy (Kristin Hannah)

Joy has lost everything. Her marriage has fallen apart because her husband and sister have had an affair. To make matters worse, Joy’s sister announces that she is pregnant and the two will be married the following summer. What a horrible Christmas gift! Joy decides to set out on an adventure for parts unknown, leaving her tragic life behind. Before reaching her destination, her flight crashes in the middle of the woods. Mildly injured, Joy walks away from the crash site and finds herself at a lodge run by Daniel and his precocious son, Bobby. Or does she actually walk away? Comfort and Joy is an intriguing story filled with Christmas magic as Joy searches for her comfort away from the heartache that the holiday brings.

Leave a comment »

#45: The Christmas Note (Donna Van Liere)

I’m a sap for a good Christmas story. The Christmas Note is a charming story from the author of The Christmas Shoes. Gretchen and her two children are moving into a new condo when they meet Melissa, a grouchy neighbor who doesn’t want to be disturbed by life. Gretchen is quickly put in the awkward position of relaying a message to Melissa regarding her mother’s recent death. The relationship that develops is both unexpected and life-changing….and it all begins with an unfinished note that Melissa finds in her mother’s apartment.

Sprinkled with funny and heart-warming characters, The Christmas Note reminds us that there are no coincidences in life and encourages us to listen carefully for those “snaps of Heaven” that guide us daily.  Such a charming book!

Leave a comment »

#44: Life Everlasting (Robert Whitlow)

Life Everlasting is the second volume of Whitlow’s Santee series and shares many of the characteristics of the first novel.  For my thoughts on that book, check out last week’s post. There’s really not a lot that I need to add that I have not already mentioned there.

When I reached the end of Life Everlasting, I found myself with several questions remaining. While the situation between Rena and Baxter has been partially resolved, the door is wide open for another volume in the series. Alexia’s relationship with Ted has reached a new plateau despite unexpected tragedy for the music minister. I really enjoyed these characters. Mr. Whitlow, if you happen to stumble across my humble blog, this fan (as well as many others based on the comments I found on your website) would welcome the opportunity to return to Santee to check in on our favorite divorce lawyer and those that surround her.

Leave a comment »

#43: Life Support (Robert Whitlow)

The end of the semester was extremely busy this term and my reading life had to take a back seat. I’m happy to fall back into my routine and share with you the marvelous story by Robert Whitlow.

Life Support is the first of Whitlow’s novels featuring Alexia Lindale, an attorney in South Carolina. Alexia specializes in divorce cases, but finds herself in a new situation with her latest client, Rena Richardson. While on a hike, Rena’s newlywed husband, Baxter, plummets over a cliff to the rocks below. Rena immediately assumes her husband died in the accident; when medical personnel arrive, they discover that Baxter is severely injured and comatose. A legal battle ensues between Rena and her powerful father-in-law over whether or not to terminate life-sustaining medical assistance. The novel thrills with intrigue, deception, and legal twists throughout. As in Whitlow’s other novels, spiritual truths are finely woven into the book’s fabric. I found myself pausing in the midst of my reading to meditate on the insights Whitlow expresses.

As a pianist, I am especially fond of the character of Ted Morgan. Ted is a music minister at the church Alexia has begun attending. A gifted pianist, Ted’s improvisations are musical expressions based on Scripture that give birth to Alexia’s faith journey as well as music therapy to the comatose Baxter. With expressive description, Whitlow vividly captures the connection between music and the holy presence of Almighty God that can only be fully understood through first-hand experience.

Life Support ends with the ultimate cliffhanger that (I hope) will be resolved in the second book of the series, Life Everlasting. I see a trip to the library in my immediate future to continue the story of Rena, Baxter, Alexia, and Ted.

1 Comment »