Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Staff Picks - Inspirational Fiction

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall is an intriguing sequel to Ties that Bind. It’s a switched at birth story. The twist? One of the babies switched at birth was an Amish baby. This is an amazing story of how both families deal with the situation; along with the truth and “new” realities the teenage girls find themselves in. Cindy Woodsmall is one of my favorite authors. Be prepared to burn the midnight oil when reading this author's books. This series is inspirational and chilling! It's a book you won't soon forget.

Beyond All Dreams by Elizabeth Camden

Honestly, the cover doesn’t say pick me up and look inside. But my friend spoke highly of this author. It’s true. Don’t judge a book by its cover.  I liked how this dropped readers into the Library of Congress in 1897. Anna O’Brien adores books and is also obsessed with maps. I enjoyed her passion for books and was fascinated how the library works. This novel makes for an unforgettable, heart-warming fun read you won’t soon forget. This author blends history, a love of books, drama, and a little romance for an engaging read. This would make a great book club pick; the author includes eleven discussion questions to help create a lively discussion. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last.

The Alliance by Jolina Petersheim is a sobering look at an all too real crisis situation. I’ve read other books about this subject. The one fact other books have mentioned was that the Amish community wouldn’t be affected by an EMP - Electronic Magnetic Pulse. The pulse would wipe out all technology as we know it. This is a unique look at the disaster from within an Amish/Mennonite community. The author had readers instantly connect with the main characters as a plane drops out of the sky and lands in an Amish community’s empty field. Leora and a few others help the Englisher pilot out of the burning plane. No one knows what is going on, but all the Englishers’ cars have stopped running.

I was fascinated at how these characters evolved as they faced new challenges, tough issues and the life and death choices that had to be made. The author ended the novel on a hopeful note and in such a way that might be open for a sequel. This would make a great read and/or book club pick. There are twelve discussion questions to help ignite lively discussion for your meeting. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and it won’t be the last.

Nora St. Laurent
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