November Book Review
Wow! I was surprised to learn that this author was only 26 years old when this book came out. Kudos to her for such an ambitious effort. The book was well researched and heart wrenching in some parts. Unfortunately, it took several chapters for me to fall into the rhythm of her story-telling style. At first it felt dis-jointed and I kept having to go back to the family tree at the beginning of the book, to clarify how the current chapter connected to the previous chapter. I have to admit I expected the paths of the two lineages to have a much wider divide in their experiences than they did. But I thought the characters would connect sooner. As it was, both lines endured suffering. I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster, feeling the depths of their despair and disappointments. I was hoping against hope for reconciliation and restoration for the characters. There was a sense of resilience among the characters that resonated throughout the book. As I like to say, “When a book causes the reader to experience emotional reactions; anger, sadness, joy, relief, etc. I believe the writer has done their job well.” And Yaa Gyasi did that!
Darlene Pryor, author of Dreams Of Tamar
October Book Review
When a book causes the reader to experience emotional reactions, anger, sadness, joy, relief, etc. I believe the writer has done their job well. The author did an excellent job of crafting a story that swept me along on an emotional roller coaster. This is the type of book that makes the reader squirm, and not in a good way. Which is probably the reason for some of the low reviews. I am currently reading this book with a book club, but I could not wait. I read ahead and finished. The topic is a little uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I could see Forty Acres as a movie, but I am not sure if mainstream Hollywood would bite. Great job, Mr. Smith! I enjoyed this book and I keep telling others about it.
Darlene Pryor, author of Dreams Of Tamar
February Book Review
What a pleasant surprise. Wings Of Eagles is a great selection for the young adult/teen reader. I was drawn in by the main character, so much so, that I found myself crying when she shared her story. I love stories that chronicle the Christian walk of believers at all stages in their faith. With a little polish, I believe this book would be utilized to entertain and encourage a massive audience. I look forward to reading the next segment.
January Book Review
I am humbled and grateful to share this review with you. Dreams Of Tamar will be available for free on Amazon Kindle January 15-January 22. Enjoy this story of military brats who were able to sustain the bonds of friendship that carried across oceans from a military base in Germany to a small town in Alabama. All feedback is welcome.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
"Dreams of Tamar: A Tale of Rejection, Redemption, Restoration, and Faith Volume 1 by Darlene Pryor is listed as Christian fiction, a story that will appeal to women who have suffered a lot because of love, one with a promise of hope. A woman with twins meets and falls in love with a man and she almost believes her life is complete, but events that follow will try her spirits and drive her to the edge of insanity. She suffers from lucid dreams and has a lot of challenges to face, plus her marriage is under serious threat, notwithstanding the fact that she is pregnant again. A book that is driven by Christian values and principles, filled with hope and energy, readers who are into romance will enjoy it.
Readers will enjoy Diedra as a character, and her determination to create meaning from her painful, trying experiences is something that will come to others as a powerful call to take responsibility for the love they have received. Other characters in the story are well-imagined and the role they play is nothing but fitting; they fit naturally into the tapestry and contribute to the huge conflict. One of the things I enjoyed is how the author skillfully weaves the Christian theme of redemption into the story, without coming across as preachy. The writing is excellent and soothing. Darlene Pryor is a great storyteller and she knows how to mirror the psychology of her characters, penetrating their raging emotions without telling much. Readers will find themselves in the story. It’s so real; it’s so convincing one feels like they are part of it. Dreams of Tamar is a spiritual romance with a big lesson for anyone in love."
Link to the actual review below.
October Book Review
No review this month.
September Book Review
The Shack, by Wm Paul Young, is the story of the spiritual journey of Mackenzie Allen Phillips. Mack grew up in a troubled household, the son of an alcoholic and abusive father who possessed standing in their church. One day, in the aftermath of a particularly brutal beating, Mack laced every bottle of liquor on the family property with poison and he walked away from his family, never to return.
After several years of leading a transient lifestyle, which included a stint at a seminary, Mack settles down to marry the beautiful Nan. They raise five children, including the inquisitive Missy. Mack takes his three younger children on an end of summer camping trip while Nan is away on business. The last morning of their stay at the campsite, tragedy strikes. His family is devastated and tries desperately to recover.
Three years later, during a snow storm, Mack finds a mysterious note in his mailbox inviting him back to the shack. He returns to the site of his life's greatest horror and has a fantastic encounter that changes his life.
I loved this book? After reading this story I felt like I really wanted to know more about the author and his own spiritual journey. I have to say that the forward was a bit misleading, but it helped to draw me into the story. It was thought provoking and insightful. I truly enjoyed reading this story and I highly recommend this book.
August Book Review
REDEEMING LOVE: by Francine Rivers
Redeeming Love is a historical Christian love story set in the gold rush days of California. It is a story that demonstrates God's redemptive love for all who will accept it.
Angel is a brothel woman who has suffered heartache and abuse from the time she was a small child. She has been rejected by the people who were supposed to love and protect her. She has nothing. The only thing she has of her own is her name, which she keeps tucked away and protected from everyone. After all the abuse she has suffered, she does not believe she deserves to be happy.
Michael Hosea is a man who loves God and seeks to live his life according to His Word. When He meets Angel, sparks fly, not all of them good. The two struggle to find their way together. She is afraid to love and to receive love. Michael allows God to use him to show Angel His love.
I loved this story. It was gritty. It was emotional. and it was real. I believe it would make a great movie.
Redeeming Love is not a new book, but it is still available in book stores. If you have never read it, I suggest you do. You won't be disappointed.
July Book Review
THE GOLDENROD By Dan Barnwell
I loved the way Mr. Barnwell threaded the beautiful Calhoun County landscape through this tale of two men from different backgrounds, who both learn at different stages in life that we are each responsible for our own destiny.
Kudos to Mr. Barnwell for an enjoyable tale of sport and competition.
June Book Review
THE SEARCH FOR SUNSHINE: By, L. Denet Stephens.
The Search For Sunshine, is a poignant yet compelling tale of the dysfunctional life of a child who grew up ensconced in the instability of a life bridged between the foster care system and her extended family members.
As I read Sunshine's story of abuse and neglect I was drawn in to her experience and I cried for her and the countless other children subjected to an imperfect system, managed by mostly well-meaning individuals.
This is a story that should be read with the realization that it is not an isolated incident, but thankfully, it is not universal. Fortunately, Sunshine did encounter genuine people in her young life who managed to counter the negativity she experienced.
I highly recommend this book. I read it on my flight from Burbank to Atlanta. It is a quick read, but the effects will linger long after you have turned the final page.