“All That We Carried” by Erin Bartels
Review copy from the publishers
My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
About the Book:
Estranged sisters embark on a hiking trip on the tenth anniversary of their parents’ deaths in an attempt to reconnect. In the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula they’ll face their deepest fears, question their most dearly held beliefs, and begin to see that perhaps the best way to move forward is the one way they had never considered.
I had a hard time putting this novel down. The writing style is utterly engaging, and even when I did have to set it down, the story continued to play through my mind.Olivia and Melanie, the sister heroines in All That We Carried, could not be any more different. And yet, their bond is still clear, even when they have a difficult time seeing it.
I really enjoyed following along their journey through the woods, and all the…mishaps that entailed. One thing after the other happened for them, and they had their fair share of arguments for sure!A lot of their conversations were extremely interesting though – and definitely thought-provoking. Each held very different beliefs about religion, life, cause and effect, etc. and it was interesting to see how their views progressed as their hiking journey went on. The ending doesn’t really sum it all up, nor point exactly where their journey of belief took them, but I’d like to imagine they found the truth in God at some point. This book is certainly more one about being in the midst of the journey – it is open-ended. I will say that I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more concrete picture of them each finding God, or maybe just the couple side characters pointing towards Him with more clarity, but it was a well written story with a lot of complexities.And there’s no denying it, these characters went through A LOT. They were each likeable for their own reasons, and dislikeable for other reasons, but they were such well-built up characters that they seemed more like real people than fictional. All That We Carried is largely about searching. And I hope that any reader who doesn’t know Jesus will continue the search for themselves.
*I received a copy of the book from the publishers. I was not required to write a positive review.
“Dreams of Savannah” by Roseanna M White
Civil War Fiction
Review copy from the publishers
My Rating: 4.5 out 5 Stars
About The Book:
Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.
But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.
This novel isn’t quite the usual fair of what we’ve come to expect from author Roseanna M White – instead of set in England, “Dreams of Savannah” is set in the United States, during the tumultuous time that was the Civil War. I was curious to see how this new setting would read, and I was pleasantly drawn right in, just like every other White book I’ve had the pleasure of reading! The author’s writing style really is captivating, and it was easy for me to get lost in the story. The historical details were really well done, and I felt that the whole novel, from slavery, to the many other aspects of the war, were written with care and attention. I loved how Cordelia could spin a story from everything, and when she started realizing that every single person had a story of their own, her character shined even more. Phin was a dashing hero, and I loved how their relationship endured.Luther was one of the best characters for certain, and I was touched by how hard he followed after the Lord, and shared His care with others. All of the characters were given such care and details that their stories truly came to life. I thoroughly enjoyed Dreams of Savannah, and will definitely always read whatever this author writes!
*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publishers as apart of the launch team. I was not required to write a positive review.