It's been a while since I shared some good books. So without further ado:
My Sister, My Soul: An Arabian Night's Tale by Joan Friday is an imaginative look into the lives of Sheherezade and her sister Dunyazad. I love stories about the bonds of sisterhood and Ms. Friday delivers with a superbly crafted story. Both characters are richly drawn and come to life and their growth through the 1001 nights is beautifully rendered. The details of life in the harem with both their luxuries and confines made me grateful to live here and now with all the freedoms I enjoy. It also made me want to have someone pour scented water over me, feed me peeled grapefruit, dress me in silky soft gowns, and tell me stories. Ah, the life.
The Woman in the Trees: a novel about America's first approved Marian apparition by Theoni Bell was another beautiful story about family. Think Little House meets a saint. In this case, the saint, Adele Brise, is real and Slainie's family is fictional. It starts with the terrible Peshtigo fire that killed thousands of people but which miraculously spared the chapel and the people on its grounds no doubt because of the prayers of Adele and Our Lady of Good Help. The author backtracks to Slainie's childhood, her family's emigration from Belgium to Wisconsin and the hardships they endure. Slainie's story resonated deeply with me, especially since she struggles with an unbelieving mother. I also enjoyed all the places mentioned because we lived in Belgium for a couple of years and I have a couple of writing friends in WI and keep thinking I need to make a pilgrimage to the Champion shrine. All in good time.
The Joy of Encouragement: Unlock the Power of Building Others Up by David Jeremiah was a book that came upon my radar in such a timely manner. This Advent, the Lord placed "encourage" upon my heart and no wonder, with so many people losing hope at the way our nation is going, we need to be salt and light. I am striving to live this daily.