Finding Our Way Home

Finding Our Way Home by Charlene Baumbich is a nice book to read, with one caveat.  I would classify this book as wholesome, or inspirational fiction, rather than Christian fiction.
The characters are very relatable and human. I especially enjoyed Evelyn and would love to find a friend like her. Evelyn is very outspoken and a little pushy, but she does it with love and concern-not in a mean spirited or hateful way.
Sasha, the main character, has her ballet career cut short by a fall causing too many injuries to be able to return to ballet. The book follows her struggles with therapy, a marriage she ran away from and her equally headstrong assistant, Evelyn.
I was disturbed by the seeming “magical” quality of the snow globe and the fact that there was very little of a “Christian” nature in this book.  I’ve always felt a Christian book should have a clear message of salvation, Bible verses or at the very least people that go to church.  Having said that, if you can overlook the magic, perhaps this book is better suited to the more mature Christian and not a new believer.
I got into a lively discussion with another book lover as to whether the book was actually Christian fiction. Some of the questions floated were:
1) if the book were set in another country, like Saudi Arabia, would it be termed “Muslim fiction”?
2) do Christian books have to have Bible verses or a plan of salvation? (as this book has neither),
3)are the minor glimpses into Sasha’s marriage, especially the bedroom scenes, a mildly risqué part of the book, too much for Christian fiction?
I did enjoy the book, and as you can see it opened the way for quite a debate!  The characters came alive, and you felt empathy for them.  The story reads as true to life. I would hesitate, however, in recommending it for everyone, young people in particular.
This book was provided to me free by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased review.

A Delightful Book!

Where Lilacs Still Bloom, by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a wonderful book of fiction based on the life of Hulda Klager.
Hulda was born in 1863 and came to America with her family when she was two.  With only an eighth grade education she was able to turn her love of hybridizing and lilacs into a rich legacy by creating over 250 new varieties of lilacs.
Her father encouraged her in her experiments and cautioned her that not everyone would think what she did was a respectable or moral thing.  Indeed Hulda, herself, sometimes felt guilt that was induced by others, at what some perceived as tampering with nature.
In her 96 years of living, Hulda faced many, many heartaches and losses and even overcame a bout of major depression to triumph over most of the hardships.
Jane Kirkpatrick does a masterful job of integrating composite characters with real people allowing the reader to get to know Hulda, her family, and her hybridizing experiments even better.
The book is very inspirational and exciting. During the course of reading, I found that Hulda’s gardens have been restored and are still available for viewing.  I’ve decided, because of my love for lilacs, that I want to visit her gardens sometime soon.
This book was provided for me by Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an unbiased review.

E-co-nom-ics: A Simple Twist on Normalcy by Kersten Kelly

I have always been fascinated by the study of economics, though not always motivated to learn and/or study the finer points. The book, E-co-nom-ics, by Kersten Kelly, allows the reader to get a more in-depth look without bogging down in classic “higher learning” rhetoric, while still maintaining a teaching and learning application.
By using the illustration of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma,” Ms. Kelly applies economics practically, i.e., Cold War, tobacco, soda and other advertising.  E-co-nom-ics  shows how economics involves and affects all aspects of life.
As the title would suggest, the book is not an economics textbook, but a way to introduce the average consumer to the how’s, why’s and wherefore’s of our purchases and what helps to motivate one purchase over another.  Multiple aspects of life are examined to show how virtually everything is “economics” driven.
E-co-nom-ics is a  great book in easy to understand style that gives reader’s insight into their consumer choices.  Reading this book is an ideal way to get your feet wet before plunging head first into economics.
This book was provided to me by BookRooster in exchange for an unbiased review.