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Michele’s Memoir

I finished reading Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life by Michele Cushatt a few days ago. I cannot even begin to tell you the impact this book had on me. Maybe you can guess some based on my departure from the norm on book reviews.

I would give this book 100 stars were that possible.

Michele writes with a raw openness rarely seen in books. Her memoir is not sugar coated; in fact, at times it is downright gritty. This grittiness and openness allow her to reach out to the reader and make a profound impact.

Her story resonates with truth and fear, hope and disillusionment, faith and doubt, turmoil and peace.

We, the reader, are able to follow Michele through her journeys of marriage and divorce, single life as a parent, remarriage, adoptive parenting and cancer. An unrelenting, recurring and mind-numbing story of cancer, yet, through it all, you feel her drawing closer to God and learning to lean on Him more each day.

Michele’s story is not all sadness and gloom, though; there are many, many instances where her humor and wit shine radiantly through her story.

You will laugh, cry and reread the book many times because one reading only skims the tip of the iceberg. You will want to digest her little gems of wisdom and truth scattered throughout Undone.

I know the Lord brought this book to my attention because I needed to hear the truths within.

The blurb on the back includes this line: “The secret to peace is finding eyes to see.”  Michele has found the eyes; I pray that I will, too.

Undone goes on sale March 10th and if you pre-order the book, you will receive a beautiful downloadable print made especially for the book’s release.

I received this book free from Zondervan for being a member of Michele’s launch team.

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Friday’s Fiction

Where Trust Lies (Return to the Canadian West) by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan is book two in the series. Even so, it only takes a little reading to become caught up with the previous book’s story.

Beth Thatcher has returned home for the summer after teaching in Coal Valley, part of the Canadian West. She had hoped to spend some time relaxing with the family; however, her mother decided the family should take a cruise from her home to Florida and back.  Scarcely having time to enjoy being home, she’s whisked off on the cruise.

Beth had hoped to spend time with her sisters and mother. She wanted to be able to tell them about her adventures and her boyfriend, Jack “Jarrick” Thornton, but before she is able to say much of anything she is whisked off on the cruise.

While on the cruise, Julie, Beth’s younger sister, develops a friendship with Jannis, Penny and Nick. Even though Beth has no real reason for concern, she doesn’t think the three new friends are all they say they are. As time goes on Beth begins to believe that Julie’s friends may be just what she needs to avoid the boredom on board; the three are caught up in a whirlwind of tennis, roller-skating, swimming and concerts while on the ship. Julie is even able to convince the more sedate Beth to join them on several occasions.

Just before reaching New York, the Thatcher family faces a crisis that tests everyone’s faith.

Overall Where Trust Lies is a good book, lots of faith backed by scripture and rich history. My only complaint, if you could call it such, is too much packed into one story. The trips to Prince George’s Island and other ports of call are resplendently portrayed, and I would have liked to spend more time getting to know the areas.

Where Trust Lies is another enjoyable book by Janette Oke and is co-authored by her daughter, Laurel Oke Logan.

I received this book from The Book Club Network, Inc/ in exchange for an honest review.


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Monday’s Mention

I have been selected as a member of Michele Cushatt’s UNDONE Launch Team.

I am honored to be part of this team. Michele’s story is indescribable.  You can read about Michele here. She is heroic, awesome and God-loving.

As we get deeper into the launch I will be posting more about the book.

I am so excited!

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Friday’s Fiction

Another Christmas story to enjoy!

Christmas at Harmony Hill: A Shaker Story by Ann H. Gabhart begins with Heather Worth on the Civil War battlefield with her husband, Gideon.

Heather marries her true love and is condemned for it by her father.  In desperation, she follows her husband onto the battlefield as a washerwoman.

As winter sets in, Heather realizes she cannot continue as a washerwoman. She would be unable to survive the cold and her pregnancy, which she has successfully hidden, will soon be revealed. Heather decides to return home, even though she dreads her father’s censure. She knows her mother will never turn her away, especially in her delicate condition. Unknown to Heather, her mother and brother had passed away while she was on the battlefield.

Heather’s trip home is arduous and cold, but she survives, only to have her father threaten to kill her if she comes a foot closer to their house. Discouraged, she hides in the family’s barn and sets out in the early morning to find her Aunt Sophrena and the Shaker Village she lives in at Harmony Hill.

Heather and the Shaker’s endure many adjustments to each other as Heather seeks refuge there. Heather also becomes much closer to the Lord and her Aunt, as Christmas and her due date draw closer.

Christmas at Harmony Hill is a captivatingly written story, revealing many insights of the Shaker religion, one I knew very little about.




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