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September 9, 2021

3 New Books in Christian Fiction

by Susan Roberts

Even though Revell is a new publisher for me, it's been publishing books for over 100 years. Based in Ada, Michigan, their goal is to bring Christian faith to everyday lives.  I have read many of their new books and find them very comforting without being preached to.  Here are reviews for two of their recently published books plus one that is publishing soon.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for honest reviews.  

Under the Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Under the Bayou
August 2021; Revell; 978-0800740023
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); romance

It's 1949 and Ellie has decided that she needs more adventure in her life.  She accepts a teaching job in the bayou of Louisiana in the small town of Bernadette and leaves her family home in Alabama. She's a strong-willed woman and isn't sure that she'll fit in her new life but knew that she had to try something new and not get locked into the normal life of marriage and children as many women did during this time period.  When she gets to the small town she is going to teach in, she's amazed at the beauty of the area.  She quickly finds out that many of the children don't like school because the previous teacher had punished them for using French in the normal conversation -- the state wanted to wipe out this part of their heritage.  As the townspeople begin to accept this new teacher, she finds that she's making enemies with the school board and a local politician who has secret plans for the area. She soon meets a Cajun fisherman Raphe and the nephew that he's raising.  He teaches her more about the people and the area and even tells her the story of the elusive white alligator who has been seen in the swamps.  The more time they spend together, the more their feelings for each other grow.  A shocking event that affects the entire town makes them both question their lives.  Will they be able to move ahead with their lives and find their happily-ever-after ending?

I have read and enjoyed previous books by this author.  She has a way of creating very real characters that her readers care about.  She also described the bayou of Louisiana so beautifully that it was a major part of the story.  I look forward to whatever she writes next. 

Buy Under the Bayou Moon at Amazon

The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick  

The Healing of Natalie Curtis
September 2021; Revell; 978-0800740535
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); historical fiction

She came to the West for rest . . . what she found was a passion

Natalie and her family lived in a nice home with servants in the Boston area.  George, the oldest brother and the best friend that Natalie has, just returned from a working trip to the Western States.  He wants to take Natalie back to help her heal from her chronic sickness.  She was a trained pianist who had a breakdown just before her debut with the   New York Philharmonic.   She lost her love of music and has kept herself isolated for the last five years.  George thinks that taking her out West for a visit will renew her love of life and her music.  Their parents were reluctant for her to make the trip but she felt like at her age - in her late 20s - she could make that decision herself.  Her love of music begins to return when she is mesmerized by the music of the Indians.  She wants to hear more but at that time, the tribes were not allowed to sing their own songs and rely on their tribal customs.  The Indian affairs bureau was trying to make them into Americans.  Instead of allowing them to continue following their customs, they were punished if they sang or danced or even spoke their own language.  When Natalie hears the music, she knows that it needs to be preserved before it is forgotten so she begins to record the music of various tribes.  She becomes a strong advocate on keeping Indian history alive and even meets with the President of the US to get his support.  She also wrote a book about her travels and became a popular speaker in the East.  She found herself and her love of music again through all of the work she did with the Indians.

I haven't read many books about the American Indians in the early 1900s so I found this book very informational and interesting.  It went into a lot of detail about the customs of some of the tribes living in the west - their pottery, their food, and mostly their music. It's apparent that the author did considerable research on the subject and presented a story based on real people at a time that the west was changing.  Be sure to read the Author's notes at the end to find out about the real people - especially Natalie and her brother George - that the book is based on.

A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott 

A View Most Glorious
October 2021; Revell; 978-0800740542
ebook, print (368 pages); historical romance

This beautifully written novel takes place in Tacoma, Washington, in 1893.  Cora is from a rich family and her mother has picked out the man for her to marry.  Cora isn't the normal socialite of the time.  She went to college, works in her stepfather's bank, and has no intention of marrying Cash Kincade, the man her mother thinks is perfect. Cora is part of the suffragette group and has been asked to climb Mt Rainier to prove that women can do anything that a man can do  She needs a guide for this treacherous climb and hires Nathan- a man who's turned his back on high society and is content to live by himself out of the city.  Her mother has agreed that if she is successful in climbing Mt Rainier, she will quit pushing her to marry Cash so Cora has two good reasons to be successful.  The trip is dangerous and difficult but the more time Cora spends with Nathan - the more she realizes that he and his lifestyle may be just what she needs to be happy.

Along with two great characters and a good plot, we also get beautiful descriptions of Washington and the land around Mt. Rainier.  Cora finds out that she is much stronger than she thought she was and that achieving her goals will bring her happiness in her life.

Buy A View Most Glorious at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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