Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Heart Mender

At the first glance of the cover of this book/story, the reader can gain some insight into what they will find inside. Is it a love story, a story of intrigue, a story of espionage, a war story, a story of a combination of two or more? These are the questions that each reader will have to decide for themselves.

As I started my journey towards the story line and answers to the questions noted above, I was immediately captivated by the characters. What I especially liked was the initial part of the story, being told by and through the author himself. "The Heart Mender." by Andy Andrews, takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions and surprises. Just when you think you have a character pinned down, Andrews, throws another twist in the story.

For me, this is apparently a true story which gives the reader an opportunity into finding out how World War II comes to America, and focuses on the Gulf of Mexico, around the area of Florida and Alabama. "The Heart Mender," starts off by the discovery of strange items or should I say interesting and out of place items which compels the author to do research on the items and then find that he is being thrust into the past. This is where the journey and story starts, but by know means does it end where it begins.

Helen and Josef, are the novel's main characters, but the story is filled with many characters which help to bring the story to life. Both Helen and Josef and searching for answers, yet neither of them is willing to admit this. Andrews also uses the great cast of characters to bring this story to the forefront our of minds. It also made me think about what was really happening in and around this country during World War II. This story is one which should prompt the reader to find out more about the time. It certainly give me cause to do more research into the war and my own area of the country.

What I learned from this story is that when confronted with a situation or condition, things may not be as they appear. What we must do is to have faith and sometimes look beyond the apparent.

Thank you Andy Andrews for writing this compelling story. It should cause any reader to stop and think. Do we really see what is there, or is there something else going on? This question can be asked in many instances. Andy you certainly know how to write a story that captivates a reader immediately.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Man From Saigon, Marti Leimbach

Marti Leimbach, has a wonderful style of writing which draws the reader into the story from the start. This is obvious in "The Man From Saigon", a story of a female reporter/journalist, In-Country, to give reports of the war from the side of a woman, for a Women's Magazine.
As the story unfolds, Susan Gifford is sent Saigon to cover the war in 1967. She fuinds and falls in love with another reporter, Marc, a TV Reporter, who is also in Saigon covering the war. There is a thrid main character, in Susan's photographer, Son, a Vietnamese man who is looking to make a name for himself, yet finds Susan and wants her to take him on as her photographer.
Right from the start you see drama and unexpected turns in the story. Susan is the type of reporter/journalist that does not want to stay in Saigon and cover the war from a press conference point of view, so she ventures out with patrols of military personnel to get the story right from the source.
The question I have is whether this novel is a non-fiction, fiction, or historical fiction. Many of the details are true to form with descriptins of conditions and topography throughout the story, and Marti Leimbach has done a lot of research for the time period. Bravo Marti.
There's also the hiden agenda of Son. What are his true movites for wanting to be so close to Susan and the American Military establishment. Is he up to no good, or are his intentions really what he wants us to believe? You'll have to read this novel to find out for yourself.
When Susan and Son are seperated from their esorts of military personnel in the jungle, a new set of circumstances take place which again, will keep the reader on the edge of the seat. What is the outcome? Again, this is a must read.
"The Man From Saigon", belongs in a permanent library for reading over and over again.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Plan B

Have you ever considered the choices you make are not really from you? How about your plans for your life including marriage, children and career path? Just when you think everything is going the way you wanted or expected your life too be, something happens to completely change your life. This is when plan A goes out the window and plan B must be initiated.
"Plan B" by Pete Wilson is a wonderful study guide for the Christen and anyone else who is going through what they perceive as bad times. In "Plan B", Pete Wilson attempts to explain why we must resort to our plan B, when life throws a curve ball or monkey wrench into our lives. Like the cover says, "What do you do when God doesn't show up the way you thought He would?"
Wilson has broken "Plan B" into fourteen sections or chapters. He takes each section and gives us understanding through Scripture and life experiences to help the reader gain a better understanding of life and God's Plan for each and every one of us.
Once of my favorite quotes comes in Chapter Three "The Illusion of Control" and is as follows. "The greatest of all illusions is the illusion of control." How true that is, and Wilson does a great job of explaining each point. Another illusion we face is that we are unable to let go. In other words, we don't allow God to control our lives. Included in this chapter we also see and hear the story of David, as Wilson uses it to demonstrate our control, or should I say the lack thereof, of control. We just need to relinquish control of our lives to God. I believe that when we don't get the answers to our prayers, it's not because God's not answering, but He may be saying not yet, or it's not what He has planned for you.
"Plan B" unlike our own plans, or plan A, is a leap of faith. We mus learn to fully trust in the Lord. This is just one of the points made in Wilson's "Plan B."
In my opinion, Pete Wilson and his book "Plan B" is yet another wonderful addition to a Christen Library. At the end of this book you will find a number of questions, that can be used by an individual, or used as a teaching and discussion guide to questions you may have. Pete Wilson also admits that he does not have all the answers, but he does say that he trusts in God and is working to at allowing God to work in every aspect of his life.