Thursday, May 07, 2015

Review: A Home for My Heart

A Home for My Heart by Anne Mateer

Sadie Sillsby and Blaine Wellsmith are engaged. They are close to being married when they surprise each other with amazing opportunities. Sadie could be the matron of Raystown Home for Orphans and Friendless Children. Blaine could purchase land to start a farm for his future family. With the new surprises in their lives, they rush forward with good news without talking it through with their significant other.

A Home for My HeartRelationships work better with open communication. Surprises are great, but if they could be life-changing, it is best to talk with others close to you. Sadie and Blaine have a very topsy-turvy journey in this book. At the same time, Sadie is working through her career ambitions. Sadie's heart struggles offered a good read. Even in first person, I enjoyed her story. (I prefer third-person perspective.) There is also the aspect of the Raystown Home, but it wasn't at the forefront for me. I know it will draw in other readers.

For this reader, the most intriguing storyline was Sadie's career realizations. A career can be a fine line between passion and abilities. Careers can also change depending on the people around you and the situations that arise. I think Mateer addressed it well and wrapped it up the story well.

Time Period: Turn of the Century, 1910
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Reviewed from a library copy.

Title: A Home for My Heart
Author: Anne Mateer
ISBN: 9780764210648

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Review: Tiffany Girl

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

Tiffany Girl is the third book by Deeanne Gist that is written around the Chicago World's Fair. Her previous titles include It Happened at the Fair and Fair Play. I was intrigued by her first books, because I've greatly enjoyed Gist's writing in the past, but I never go around to reading them. I picked up Tiffany Girl, because the picture was interesting, the title was straightforward, and I enjoy art.

Tiffany GirlI'm so happy I read this book! It captured me. I felt a very close connection to Flossie. She loved art, she wanted a career, and she wanted independence. At the same time as being this "New Woman," she wanted a close knit family and relationships. I've felt the same way at times. Yes, I want to be independent and do what I wish, but I also want my close friends and family with me. It's a balancing act. Sometimes it tips one way, sometimes the other, sometimes it balances, and other times it completely falls over. Not everyone is happy all the time. Out of all the choices in life, it's important to keep your eyes on the Lord. He will guide your path. The path might not be easy. The path might be different then your original plan, but He'll not lead you astray. God will give you the desires of your heart.

Beyond the story, I appreciated the unique backdrop of the Chicago World's Fair and Tiffany's glass. Gist also shared the "new" horror of the "New Woman." It was very amusing given today's women living independently of their families and holding jobs. I felt she put a lot of research into her story. She shares a an opening note to the reader as well as author's note at the end of the novel. In addition to the notes, personal thoughts, and credits, Gist shares photographs and images to give the reader a glimpse into her character's world. Some of the images are historical while others were created to give readers a feeling of Flossie's art. I think those were a lovely touch to the story.

If you would like to read an excerpt of Tiffany Girl, visit Deeanne Gist's website!

Time Period: Victorian, 1890's
Location: New York City, New York, USA

Reviewed from an Edelweiss copy. Thank you, Howard Books!

Title: Tiffany Girl
Author: Deeanne Gist
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN:  9781451692440
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