by Carolyn Astfalk
Amazon Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Paul Porter’s relocation to Pennsylvania is a temporary move during his dad’s deployment. Or so he and his brother think, until devastating news lands on their doorstep. Paul’s new home with the Muellers provides solace, especially in the form of Rachel, his friend and confidante. Their abiding friendship deepens as they work side by side to uncover what could be lost treasure. Will they acquire the strength of character and virtue to take only what rightfully belongs to them or are they in way over their heads, with more than a few lost artifacts at stake?
My review: I recognize that I’m probably biased since my company is publishing this book. However, I enjoyed this young adult novel the very first time I read it. Even though it’s considered Young Adult, it kept my interest and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and plot. Highly recommend.
by Ted and Maureen Flynn
Amazon Synopsis: The Thunder of Justice provides messages from the major apparition sites in the world from the Blessed Mother. Messages include Church approved Guadalupe Mexico, Rue Du Bac France, LaSalette France, Lourdes France, Pontmain France, Fatima Portugal, Divine Mercy Sister Faustina, Beauraing Belgium, Our Lady of All Nations Amsterdam, Our Lady of America Ohio, Akita Japan, Kibeho Rwanda, San Nicholas Argentina, and many others. Major sites covered not approved by the church are Garabandal Spain, and Medjugorje Bosnia as well as many others.
My review: I’ve read this book before, but wanted to get the updated edition. It’s a great book if you want to read an overall summary of Marian apparitions. However, the Kindle edition left a lot to be desired. Formatting was sloppy and no photos or illustrations were included. It’s kind of difficult to read in places.
By J.D. Sallinger
Amazon Synopsis: Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. It begins, “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff bores me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them.” His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two, of course, are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.
My review: I have read this before, but re-read it last week to assist my youngest son with a project. Holden Caulfield definitely has some mental issues and major personality issues. Narrative voice is very clear and the best thing about this novel, but it’s never been one of my favorites because of the overwhelming negativity of his story.
by Mirjana Soldo
Synopsis from Amazon: Mirjana Soldo was only sixteen years old when she and five other children encountered a mysterious woman near the village of Medjugorje, ex-Yugoslavia. The woman—who possessed an extraordinary beauty and grace—identified herself as the Virgin Mary. The events that began on that summer afternoon in 1981 dramatically changed Mirjana’s life and brought intense suffering at the hands of the communist authorities. After more than 35 years of apparitions, people still flock to Medjugorje in search of answers to life’s big questions. Stories of miracles abound, and, according to Mirjana, more are yet to come—the Virgin entrusted her with ten prophetic secrets concerning the future of the world.
In My Heart Will Triumph, Mirjana tells the story of Medjugorje through her own eyes—the same eyes that, according to her testimony, gaze upon the most revered woman in history.
This is on my “To Read” shelf.
by Dorothea Crewdson and Richard Crewdson (editor)
Synopsis from Amazon: The evocative diaries of a young nurse stationed in northern France during the First World War, published for the first time. What shines out above all from the pages of these extraordinarily evocative diaries is a courageous, spirited, compassionate young woman, whose story is made all the more poignant by her tragically premature death at the end of the war just before she was due to return home.
I’m still reading this, but what I have read is compelling.
by Mary Potter Kenyon
Amazon Synopsis: “Where is the handbook for widows?” Mary Kenyon lamented as she planned a funeral for the beloved husband whose triumph over cancer she chronicled in Chemo-Therapist: How Cancer Cured a Marriage. During the ensuing weeks, as she attempted to make sense of his untimely death, she filled two journals, blogged, and read the inspirational writings of others who had gone down the road of grief before her—authors like C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle. She eventually found herself studying grief and bereavement in her quest to unearth answers to alleviating the pain associated with profound loss. In the process, she discovered a strength and emotional reserve she didn’t know she had, along with an evolving faith that helped her face the impending loss of an eight-year-old grandson.
“In the midst of the darkness of loss, I found light. Admittedly, in those first weeks, it might have been but a single small spark I sensed deep inside of me, but that spark guided me in the twisted, dark journey of grief. As I stumbled over the roots of hopelessness and despair, that light grew to illuminate my path, a path I sometimes felt very alone on. At some point in the journey I’d turned around, and there was God.
“That is grace.” In beautiful prose, touching metaphors and stories, and actual journal entries, Mary Potter Kenyon provides a balm for the grieving soul.
My Review: I enjoyed this beautiful book about grieving, although it was heartwrenching at times. I could relate to several sections because my mother was a grieving widow. This is an ideal book to give to widows or widowers who are still grieving.