Book review: A Cord of Three Strands, historical fiction

Book reviews won’t necessarily be a regular feature here but I’ve read a couple I’ve liked lately and wanted to share in case others are looking for a good distraction. Plus I “met” this author online and thought it would be cool to help her promote her first book. I mean she’s from Pennsylvania and the book takes place in Pennsylvania so she must be cool, right?

First, the Goodreads description of the book:

As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?

Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.

Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him

My review:

To be honest, the prologue to this book made me think I might not enjoy it because the language seemed a little old fashioned. The important words in the previous sentence? Seemed and at first. Because by chapter 1 I realized the use of older language was a way to bring me closer to understanding the characters and their way of life. It wasn’t long before beginning it that I was hooked on the book and having a hard time putting it down. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, wondering what trial or triumph might face the main characters, Isaac and Elisabeth, next.

 This book is a romance in some ways, yes, but it is such a sweet, gradual romance that the reader isn’t overwhelmed with sappiness and drama. Much of the romantic nature of the story is over shadowed by the compelling story of the Lenape people through the eyes of Isaac and the story of the Quakers through both Isaac and Elisabeth’s eyes. This isn’t one of those romantic stories where romance is the main focus. Yes, love is the main thread that holds the characters and the story together but it is a love that is deeper than a physical and romantic attraction. It is a spiritual love and an emotional one.

From the beginning of this book I fell in love with the characters,  my heart broke for their trials, and my eyes were opened to the struggles faced by this nation’s early settlers and the natives who lived on the land before the settlers ever arrived. I literally wanted to crawl inside the book at times and hug Elisabeth close and then take her away from a world that could be so cruel in the early years of our nation’s founding.

I was never sure what adventure was coming next for Isaac and Elisabeth and I loved that. It kept me turning pages (and kept me up too late at some nights). As a Christian I don’t believe in fate so in this case I believe it was divine guidance that led me to discover Christy’s book. In the first few pages Christy mentioned a town near where I grew up and now live, which hooked me on the book even more.

I later discovered the author lives in the same state and holds the same love for this state’s local and Native American history in the same way I do. This is Christy’s first book, but I expect to see many more from her in the future and I’m really looking forward to them.

If you’re not already a fan of historical fiction, this book will make you one. She could use some reviews for the book to get it some more attention so if you read it and like it, please leave her a review on Amazon.

Christy is also an editor (copy editing, content editing, line editing, proofreading, manuscript review) and you can find more information about that part of her life HERE.



Book Review: Wooing Cadie McCaffery by Bethany Turner

These days it’s nice to have something light to read and while Wooing Cadie McCaffery by Bethany Turner had some serious topics, it dealt with them in a lighter way than most books might have.

The book is definitely Christian, yes, but it isn’t a preachy Christian fiction book. It’s very real, authentic and points out some of the struggles within the Christian faith, especially when it comes to relationships, sex before marriage, and dating in general.

Lest I make this sound like a serious book, however, let me assure you there is some serious humor in this book. Humor and characters you will fall in love with. Cadie is an employee in the accounting department of a sports channel similar to ESPN. Her best friend, Darby, works with her in the same department.

Cadie’s boyfriend is Will Whitaker, a researcher within the company who will eventually become more of a face of the company when he lands a big story.

The book begins with Cadie and Will meeting each other but continues four years later when Cadie has just about given up on Will ever proposing to her. And since he won’t propose she wonders if their relationship has any real future. An incident within them leads Cadie to break up with Will and Will to strive to become the man she wants him to be and “woo” her back. Humor abounds during this process, involving Cadie and Will, their boss Kevin, who is a retired famous NBA player, Darby, and Cadie’s parents.

Cadie is a hopeless romantic, which is part of her problem throughout the book. She seems to think her life will play out like a romantic comedy, but is thrown off kilter when life instead starts to play like a tragedy.

Cadie’s mother is a well-known personality within the Christian world and the host of a show on a church network. There are times Cadie feels like nothing she does is right in her mother’s critical eyes and when she and Will separate she dreads telling her mother about the incident that led to the breakup, afraid her mother will lecture her about her failings as a Christian.

Cadie’s parents certainly don’t make it any easier on Will either, since he feels they’ve already told him he doesn’t measure up for their daughter. Adding to the complication for Will is the fact that the career he always wanted is taking off just as his personal life is crumbling. He’s almost ready to give up the career to win Cadie back, though, and he decides to recreate scenes from some of her favorite romantic movies to do it, which definitely allows for some hilarity to ensue.

This book switches between first and third person every other chapter and at first I found that distracting, but Turner pulled it off by creating an entertaining plot and lovable characters. All of Cadie’s chapters are told in the first person and all of Will’s in the third. This allowed Turner to let the reader see into the mind of each of the characters throughout the book.

For anyone looking for a fun, light ride, with a little bit of emotion tossed in, and who isn’t these days, then I would definitely recommend this one.