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review 2017-06-24 21:45
Tell It to the World
Tell It to the World - C. Mervyn Maxwell

The beginnings and the early development of the Seventh-day Adventist church spans continents and over a century that sees a handful of disappointed believers grow into a worldwide church with millions of members.  Tell It to the World is a popular history by Mervyn Maxwell who used his long career teaching students to write church history in an engaging way.

 

The history begins with William Miller beginning his ministry about the coming of Christ in 1843-44 and how for years he remained in small towns until events brought his message to a much wider audience.  The events in the United States and around the world at the same time that contributed to the Great Second Advent Movement before the Great Disappointment gave background not only to the times but the individuals who would soon shape the Seventh-day Adventist church.  The aftermath of the Great Disappointment brought about division among Millerites and one small group formed what would become the Seventh-day Adventist church through Bible study and the Voice of Prophecy.  The slow process of organizing the church along the concurrent beginnings of missionary work first around the nation and then across the world are interwoven together to show how both helped and harmed one another until a more centralized structure brought things into place.  But this only took place after 16 years of crisis that brought reforms to the structure of the church that would allow it to continue to grow into the 20th Century.

 

Though the text is only 270 pages long, Maxwell packs a lot of information and anecdotes into the 32 chapters of the book that many Adventists would appreciate.  Being a popular history, this book shies away from scholarly prose but Maxwell’s professionalism makes sure that footnotes are peppered throughout the text so those who question statements or wanting to know more could examine his sources.  As stated above Maxwell used his long career in teaching to write so his students would enjoy reading and because the book was first published in the late 1970s, the ease of reading holds up very well.

 

Tell It to the World gives readers an ease to read history of the beginnings and early development of the Seventh-day Adventist church that is informative and riveting.  Mervyn Maxwell’s book brings to focus a lot of Adventist history that many lifelong and new members of the church will find inspiring and instructive.  If you’re a Seventh-day Adventist and haven’t read this before, I encourage you to do so.

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review 2017-06-24 04:24
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

Best book I have read all year and quite possibly my favorite Quinn novel yet. This book proves Quinn can bring any era to life with characters who you will find yourself crying over when it is all said and done. Seriously, I need to go find a corner to curl up in now. I just don't know what to do with myself now that there is no more. Maybe if I go to bed early enough I will dream of Finn *sigh*

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review 2017-06-24 00:20
The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart
The Circular Staircase - Mary Roberts Rinehart

This was a quaint old mystery, and the writing was suffused with a surprising amount of humour (it helped birth the “character sets pocket on fire with pipe” shelf). Originally published in 1908, the narrator is an elderly spinster who gets mired in a murder investigation when she leases a house in the country for the summer. The mystery had a lot of twisty bits but I got tired of the endless foreshadowing. That said, it was still a fun read, and I might seek out more of Rinehart’s books in the future.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly Free Friday #1. I’ve seen different page numbers (I actually read the Gutenberg version), so I’m going with 192, which seems reasonable and nets me $4 for my bank (new total: $136).

 

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review 2017-06-20 22:19
My Cousin Rachel - Daphne du Maurier

I listened to the audiobook for My Cousin Rachel, and it only took two hours to finish. I based my assumptions of this story off the two-minute trailer for the upcoming film adaptation.  While there were heavy implications that Rachel would be the villain, upon reading Daphne du Maurier’s book I can easily say that my sympathy for her supposed victim Philip Ashley is lacking and that his blindness towards others is the real evil.

The primary source of enjoyment when reading this story derives from the classic suspense plot and the Gothic undertones that remind me of Henry James’s Turn of the Screw or the movie Crimson Peak (especially when it comes to all that tea, am I right?) If I was already sensing this kind of literary layout, then I should have suspected that the protagonist would be a selfish and ever-so-slightly unhinged young male heir to a considerable fortune.  Philip hears only what he wants to hear, and honestly I can’t see Rachel’s actions as villainous, but rather powerful in the fact that a woman is claiming her right to live richly and well without marrying.

My two questions: what the heck with Rainaldi? Did anything happen with Louise?

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review 2017-06-20 22:17
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel - M.L. Stedman

I was immediately attracted to this book, pulled in by the melancholy undertones promised via the cover and the fact that it's historical fiction.  In my experience, I have found that stories of this genre have strong hearts at their center, and they invariably leave me struck with a sense of nostalgia. The Light Between Oceans is no exception. While some may be turned off by the creeping pace of M.L Stedman's writing, I couldn't help by mentally applaud him for his painstaking care to fully elucidate that the feeling of loss does not simply cease when the war is done.  

Stedman's protagonist, Tom Sherbourne, isolates himself in an effort to process the tragedies inflicted by the proverbial hand of war.  As the lighthouse keeper, he lives in solitude; that is until he marries the fiery Isabel.  What follows is a story about variations of love, but most importantly the sacrifices one makes for those who mean the world. The book is worth reading and it's worth crying over.

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