C. S. Forester may be best known for his Horatio Hornblower series, but this book deserves some attention as well. I am astounded by Forester’s ability to create a sense of narrative tension despite an utter lack of action or dialogue in the entire first chapter (which really feels more like a prologue in some ways). This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed despite the sad overarching theme of a man who is very devout yet has no joy or peace. I enjoyed it not only for the story but also for the rhythm of the writing and the picture it painted of life at sea hunting German submarines among friends and allies and men one is never sure one can completely trust.
Welcome to the inaugural Back to School Christian Fiction Scavenger Hunt! I’m joining over two dozen other authors for this fun event. We hope that throughout this hunt, you discover some new books and get to know a little more about us.
A few things before you begin:
This hunt is a blog hop. Collect the “clues” (pieces to the longer phrase) at each stop. Enter the individual giveaways along the way, then click on the link to the next stop and repeat until you reach #28, where you will input the full phrase as your entry for the grand prize drawing. The clue for this stop, #13, is in green italic type at the bottom of the post.
A sweet story. I enjoy Nicole Deese’s writing style and her talent with characters. The foster home angle was especially deft—Before I Called You Mine was the first of Deese’s novels I had read, and here as there her heart for adoption and children in need was evident. The gradual deepening of Molly’s character throughout the course of the story was excellent, especially how her focus shifted from herself to others’ needs, and her “breaking point” scene was particularly strong. Silas was a good foil to her assumptions—and she to his—as their personalities clashed and complemented by turns, although it wasn’t always easy for me to instantly identify which point of view I was in. Her contact name for him in their texting conversations was a nice touch. Silas’s care for the teens under him was endearing, and I loved how the tensions and interactions between him and his brothers added new dimensions to his serious demeanor. I’ve always been interested in beauty and fashion, so having a heroine with that as her passion was enjoyable for me—so much more than just a fluffy personality. It was interesting to see the nuts-and-bolts work of being a big-name influencer.
I have always enjoyed books about apologetics. Because of that, parts of this book were fairly familiar to me. Its strength for me was its concise descriptions of the secular humanist philosophy that our world—to say nothing of human nature at its core—is built on. That was a challenge to me: Although I claim the authority of the Word of God for my life, how often do I act as if I’m the ultimate authority? The four-part breakdown of this mindset (feelings are the ultimate guide, happiness is the ultimate goal, judging is the ultimate sin, and God is the ultimate guess) really encapsulated the attitudes we see around us—they’re nothing new and nothing surprising; they’re the natural outpouring of human beings who have rejected God’s authority in favor of their own. And unfortunately, they crop up in my own life far too often.
The Great Awakening was a time of great spiritual revival in early America. All over the Thirteen Colonies, people realized that formal religion and their own good works were not enough to make them right with God—that only trusting in Christ’s righteousness could save them from God’s wrath toward sin. Lynne’s novel The Shenandoah Road brings this heart change to life. Here she shares her thoughts about the book and what she does when she’s not writing. (The Shenandoah Road is part of the Prelude to Freedom: Independence Day Giveaway that runs until July 3, so enter here if you love Christian historical fiction!)