Title: Mandie and the Mysterious Fisherman
Author: Lois Gladys Leppard
Series: Mandie, 19
Format: ebook, bind-up
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis: Traveling through Europe in the summer of 1901, Mandie and her group arrive in Antwerp, Belgium, where they plan to visit art museums as well as do sightseeing around the beautiful city. Mrs. Taft has made it clear that there are to be no more adventures like, Mandie, Celia and Jonathan have gotten involved with in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
But what are Mandie and her friends to do when adventure discovers them? Who would believe that a seemingly abandoned fishing boat has strange sounds coming from inside? Until they find out more, should they tell Mrs. Taft?
And what is the link between the boat and the suspicious man they think has stolen the priceless painting from the art museum?
Who is the bearded giant?
Favourite character: Jonathan
Least favourite character: Mandie
Mini-review: What to say about this book. Basically there's no mystery, really only in the kids imaginations. The only real mystery is that the Strange Woman shows up and at this point she's really starting to annoy me, mainly because I haven't finish the Europe trip arc and so I have no idea who or what she is.
Amanda "Mandie" Shaw - Emma Rayne Lyle
Celia Hamilton - Sadie Sink
Jonathan Lindall Guyer III - Louis Hynes
Grandmother Taft - Meryl Streep
Senator Morton - Donald Sutherland
Strange Woman - Linda Hunt
Alex - Ciaran Hinds
Minister - Burn Gorman
Remember Lassie? Old Yeller? Chance and Shadow from the movie Homeward Bound? There was something about these dogs that gripped my heartstrings and made me love them as though I’d known them for years. (And, yes, I cried during every one of these movies and books.)
This is the perfect book to curl up with on a chilly autumn night. The cover alone drew me in, and it being the first installation in the new Hearts of Montana series sealed the deal. Misty Beller’s work has been on my to-read list for a while now, and with “Hope’s Highest Mountain”, she just catapulted to the top of my list of must-read authors. With a plethora of Christian historical fiction set during the nineteenth century, it can be difficult to find a unique niche, but this book accomplishes it beautifully. Setting the story in the Montana mountains in late 1866 opens a fascinating world that I have not encountered before. Add to this the fact that a major part of the plot revolves around medicine and a treacherous journey through the mountains, and this is a novel that you won’t be able to put down!
There are so many ways in which Christian fiction can enhance our understanding of Biblical truths and how to apply them to our own lives, and “Hope’s Highest Mountain” is a splendid example of this. The best stories are those that can transcend their own settings to reach and connect with readers. Although this novel may take place 150 years ago, the struggles of the human heart haven’t changed. Ingrid Chastain, traveling with her father to deliver life-saving vaccines to a small town in the desolate Montana Territory, and Micah Bradley, a former doctor who now lives on his own in the wilderness, both have their share of heartache. However, their approaches are different and boil down to seeing things through the eyes of faith versus through the eyes of fear. As the narrative progresses, it is enlightening to witness their interactions and their methodologies, and it makes the reader reflect on their own attitude toward life.
Action-packed without being melodramatic, “Hope’s Highest Mountain” is a quick read, but one full of encouragement. Each character brings their own gifts and talents to the table, discovering truths about God and about themselves in the process. I particularly loved how the author shows that even those who are bedbound or very young have a divinely-given purpose to fulfill. Romans 8:28 remained at the forefront of my mind throughout the story, as even tragic and seemingly senseless situations serve as stepping stones to something good. I found the inclusion of a travois interesting and enjoyed the ingenuity of the characters in coming up with solutions to problems. I also appreciated that Beller did not fall back on a deus-ex-machina but instead created realistic resolutions and outcomes, and often unexpected ones, at that. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in survival tales, Christian historical fiction, historical romance, mountain tales, and stories full of faith and hope.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, October 12
Where Crisis & Christ Collide, October 12
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 12
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 13
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 13
Betti Mace, October 13
Blessed & Bookish, October 14
Texas Book-aholic, October 14
Rebekah Jones, Author, October 14
Genesis 5020, October 14
For Him and My Family, October 15
Bloggin’ ’bout Books, October 15
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 15
A Baker’s Perspective, October 16
For the Love of Literature, October 16
janicesbookreviews, October 16
Mary Hake, October 16
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess , October 17
Batya’s Bits, October 17
Connect in Fiction, October 17
Older & Smarter?, October 18
Jeanette’s Thoughts, October 18
Life of Literature, October 18
A Reader’s Brain, October 18
The Becca Files, October 19
Blossoms and Blessings, October 19
Splashes of Joy , October 19
Through the Fire Blogs, October 20
Moments, October 20
Inklings and notions , October 20
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Daysong Reflections, October 21
Wishful Endings, October 21
Joy of Reading , October 21
Pause for Tales, October 22
For The Love of Books, October 22
Britt Reads Fiction, October 22
Lis Loves Reading, October 23
Bigreadersite , October 23
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Live. Love. Read. , October 24
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Remembrancy, October 25
Mia Reads Blog, October 25
To Everything There is A Season, October 25
Trigger warning: References to rape
So this was just okay to me. I think the biggest reason why I couldn't give it more than 3 stars was that the whole big just got so bogged down in the Russia plot, the sister dealing with a serial killer case (yep) and then the heroine's constant repetitions to herself to keep a secret that I just didn't care in the end about any of the characters after a while. There were some bright spots, but a couple of things that happened stuck in my craw (the outing of two men via video was gross to me and it being hailed as great was not okay) and I just felt myself getting annoyed. Also too many of the characters in this book sounded similar to previous Lamb characters in "Such a Pretty Face" and "If You Could See What I See". I read this immediately after "My Very Best Friend" and felt let down.
"The Language of Sisters" follows Toni Kozlovsky. She and her family immigrated from Germany after escaping from Russia decades earlier. Toni is a crime reporter and has two sisters, Valerie and Ellie. Valerie is a prosecutor and Ellie designs pillows that are sought after. We find out that Valerie is happily married with two children. Ellie is newly engaged to a man that her family finds wanting. And Toni is dealing with a devastating loss. When Toni realizes she can't keep up with writing about crime, she seeks to get a job at a new magazine that will take about people's homes. While dealing with this Toni is fighting to not get into a relationship with one of her neighbors while also remembering her family's past in Russia and the secret she was told to keep by her parents.
Not too much to say here except I found Toni lackluster. Her romance with Nick also sucked. There was nothing there to grab onto. We hear how great he is, but since Lamb only references them sleeping together and him discussing books in a general way with her, I had nothing else to go on. The men in most of Lamb's books tend to not be very developed, and Nick was not. We also have the whole thing with Toni and her sisters able to "talk" to each other in their heads. Toni needed a lot of hand holding and help and I get that with her past everyone was trying, but I thought she needed therapy.
We have the usual eccentric characters in this one though they are all Toni's neighbors on the dock where she lives on her tugboat. And of course her family. I was able to keep the family straight for the most part. Though the twin sisters and them being hyper sexual got old quick. Same with Ellie and her need to breathe in a bag and talk to herself and her heart like a character that did something similar in "Such a Pretty Face."
The writing was okay, but the story took way too long to be told. The parts going back and forth to her family in Russia took forever to get to and then I was just bored after a while. It takes a while to get to Toni's father and grandfather being taken away and then what befalls the family after that.
The setting of Oregon was good, we have references to places or people from her other books that was nice to read about.
The ending was kind of ridiculous (sorry) with the whole serial killer case and the fallout from that. And I thought the trip back to Russia didn't seem quite realistic either, but what do I know, I have never traveled there.
An engaging work of historical fiction based on the true crimes of the Wardlaw sisters, three women whose survival instincts, honed in the Civil War, proved to be deadly to other family members....including small children. Until the death of a daughter/niece finally brought them to the attention of the law.
Clark brings empathy and a depth to this novel that one rarely finds in true crime accounts, recreating the pivotal moments of these women's lives leading to their downfall.....and offering a look into their minds, the unholy bond that drove them, and displaying the personalities that turned these three sisters into a singular deadly whole...a triad of black widows acting as one.
Finally, he offers a look into the trial that ended their spree, and sent them into a self destructive spiral as stress induced insanity shattered their unholy union.
A brilliant piece of fact based historical fiction. Highly recommended.