Tag Archive | prayer

The Broken Road by Amanda Johnston

I have read this novel three times now and still have no idea how to express how much I enjoyed reading it.  The first time I read The Broken Road in 2012, I was simply reading for pleasure and out of curiosity because I know the author.  After I started writing book reviews, I decided to read it again and write a review, but the draft sat there for months, maybe even a year.  I decided to read it again in June of this year and began another review as soon as I finished reading, but obviously I never finished that review either.  

The Broken Road is Amanda Johnston’s debut novel, but she has been writing stories for many years, so this beautiful work of historical fiction reads like the work of a seasoned author.  I am impressed with the amount of research she did to make sure she accurately portrayed life in Colorado in 1882.  Johnston included the correct kitchen items, tools, etc., but she also captured the language and manners of the area and time period.  Her fictional town and boarding school are the perfect backdrop for the story that unfolds.  

The information from the back cover offers a good summary, so I won’t attempt to write my own. 

In 1882 Colorado, Lydia Ghering has successfully kept her boarding school open during the year following her husband’s unexpected death. Self-reliant and determined, Lydia takes pride in her ability to carry on, but her resilience comes at a price. Ethan McKinley is journeying across the country to fulfill his life’s ambition of captaining a ship when he finds himself stranded in the Colorado foothills after a train wreck. His arrival at Lydia’s doorstep looking for temporary work kindles a friendship that causes him to question the destiny he has always pursued. As their friendship deepens, Lydia must confront secrets from her past, while Ethan must decide his future. Both must seek their answers from the one who offers all they need.

I don’t want to share any more of Lydia’s or Ethan’s stories because I want you to read it yourself.  The Broken Road is a moving novel of love and loss, devastation and determination.  While reading this inspirational romance, I was moved to tears, but I also laughed several times.  The dialogue between the characters is fascinating and made me smile frequently.  The characters are well-developed and relatable because their struggles are similar to ours today.  I know I haven’t done justice to Johnston’s grand tale, but believe me when I say it’s a wonderful story that will move you beyond words. 

I must warn you that The Broken Road ends in suspense.  Johnston has written a sequel to her epic debut novel, but it has not been published yet.  I am eagerly waiting to read more of Lydia’s and Ethan’s stories.  

Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy

As a book reviewer for Bethany House Publishers, I receive emails when they have new books to review, and I usually recognize at least one author, but a few months ago, I knew none of the authors on the list. Since I share all of the books with my mom, I asked her if she had a preference, and she said to request “anything by Mary Connealy”. Stuck Together was her newest book, and it was very entertaining. My mom then brought me several of Connealy’s previous novels, which I voraciously read and thoroughly enjoyed over the next three weeks. I will be posting reviews of these nine books over the next couple weeks.

Petticoat Ranch is the first book in the Lassoed in Texas trilogy and is set in the 1860’s. Sophie Edwards is a fiercely independent widow and mother of four young girls. She can hunt and provide for her girls and protect herself and them if need be. She’s smart, strong, and self-sufficient. One night, she and her oldest two girls bravely rescue a complete stranger, who looks oddly familiar.

Clay McClellan is searching for the murderers responsible for his brother’s death, but he discovers a family he didn’t know he had. He tries to do the honorable thing and take care of them, but he may have met his match.

God allows two men to hear Sophie’s silent prayers for help and sends them to West Texas, but will they reach her in time?

Petticoat Ranch had me laughing out loud and sharing short sections with my husband. Mary Connealy definitely wrote this series for women with its strong female characters, handsome cowboys, laughter, and tears. This is a very entertaining story, and my mom and I highly recommend it.

Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin

scan0001I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The full title is Praying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most. The author, Brooke McGlothlin, is the co-founder of the MOB (mothers of boys) Society, an online community where she encourages mothers of boys to pray more frequently and more effectively. This book would be great for a small group study, in person or online, and includes a 21-day prayer guide for this purpose.

McGlothlin states in the first chapter:

If you’re looking for a book to teach you how to raise godly men, Praying for Boys isn’t it. Neither is it a book that promises five easy ways to produce a boy to be proud of. In fact, it isn’t really a book about you at all. It’s a book about the God who loves your son more than you do and wants to work in his heart and life in spite of you as you pray and desperately seek Him.

This book is about prayer and how to specifically and effectively pray for your boy(s), using God’s word as the basis for those prayers. Each chapter contains a 2-3 page devotional, followed by several scripture-based prayers over each topic, including obedience, integrity, purity, anger, etc. As a mother of a boy, I believe the 21 topics included in the book are very appropriate for my son, and I find the prayers a useful tool in praying for him. I have plans to memorize at least one scripture from each chapter to be able to pray God’s word over him anytime. While doing the 21-day study, I think it would be useful to write out each prayer on an index card, putting all the cards on a ring to be able to refer to them throughout the day, but in all practicality, you could read one chapter a day as a devotional and pray the scriptures over your son, inserting his name in the blanks in each prayer.

I have enjoyed reading this book and praying for my son using the scriptures as a tool. I would recommend this book to any mother of boys.