Review: Shepherds Abiding

Shepherds Abiding (Mitford Years, #8)Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon

My rating: 4.75 of 5 stars

I’ve been making my way slowly through Jan Karon’s delightful Mitford series, relishing the many unique characters as they deal with their individual crises in the picturesque small-town setting that by now feels like home when I read the novels. However, I found the last couple I read plodding. Shepherds Abiding, which takes place in the months leading up to Christmas, though, is fast-paced and particularly heart-warming. With a slightly smaller cast of characters and narrower time frame, it is more focused and happier in tone than the previous books. It was the perfect read for the busy holiday season and a story that can be read over and over again.

If you enjoy a gentle read or heart-warming Christian fiction, I highly recommend reading the entire Mitford series.  It has an open-minded, open-hearted message and a leisurely pace needed when the world gets to be too much.

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Review: Lost December

Lost December
Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is my first Richard Paul Evans novel and, while he is a good storyteller, stylistically he is not a great writer. His narration is almost entirely in the passive tense and he definitely told rather than showed Luke’s story. I mean, Luke lived to excess while traveling through Europe, lived on the streets (and under them) of Las Vegas, and worked in a nursing home. If those experiences don’t provide ample opportunity to use all five senses, I don’t know what does. This kept me at a distance from Luke’s story.
And it is a good story. A familiar one that teaches the reader about human nature and hope and humility. And the list goes on. Personally, I feel that the whole learning experience was avoidable but then where would have Luke’s life been if he hadn’t had to rediscover his father’s love?

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