Monday, January 30, 2012


The Flight of Gemma Hardy takes place in post WW II Scotland. Gemma, the child of a Scottish mother and Icelandic father, was born in Edinburgh and raised to age 3 in Iceland. Both her mother and father died, and she was taken to Scotland to live with her uncle and family. The aunt immediately takes a dislike to Gemma. After her uncle dies, her aunt sends Gemma to a boarding school (the Claypool School), and Gemma becomes a student/working girl (slave). She barely had time to be educated and had the simplest things denied her. The school eventually goes bankrupt, and Gemma secures a job in Orkney Islands, finding a new life among decent people as a tutor to Mr. Sinclair's niece. She falls in love when she is 18 with a man 41. Gemma later leaves Mr. Sinclair's employ and finds other jobs and experiences many difficult situations. Gemma longs to return to her home, Iceland, and later travels there having a nice reunion with some surviving family members. It was hard to believe that a 10-year old girl would be sent out into the world with no support system of family and be treated so cruelly. This story is one of passion, betrayal, redemption, discovery of a life a very young girl never dreamed of as she grew into adulthood.

Monday, January 16, 2012

With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Olivene "Ollie" Love is thirteen years old and tired of living on the road. Her father, Rev. Everlasting Love, travels from one poor town to another in search of saving another lost soul. Ollie's four sisters and mother follow him in a small travel trailer, faithfully passing out fliers, putting up tents and recruiting people to attend the evening services. Ollie would love to attend school and stay long enough in a town to make friends. Her father's three day rule has always made that impossible. Until the hot summer in 1957 when the Love family pull into Binder, Arkansas. There Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother, Virginia, is in jail for murdering his no-count, drunk father. Jimmy and Ollie become convinced that she is innocent, even though she has signed a confession admitting to the crime. But, can Ollie and Jimmy find the real murderer? Jimmy says, "You got a phone book? That'd be your list of suspects." Ollie and Jimmy search for clues, come up against many people in Binder who are bent of judging and jailing Virginia without a trial. Rev. Love joins them in their quest to find the true murderer. Will he break his three-day rule and give Ollie the chance to solve the mystery and settle down in this town? Tess Hilmo has written a warm story about a close-knit family who live simply and struggle to make their world a better place, one soul at a time. For readers age 10-14.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Compelled by Love

By Heidi Baker. Heidi and her husband, Roland, are missionaries in Mozambique, one of the poorest nations in the world. Compelled By Love is their story of learning to do the Beatitudes - daily - always. The Beatitudes, Roland rightly tells us, is the most watered down of the scriptures because we think they are impossible to meet. Heidi shows us different.

The Bakers are not self-righteous people, but humble. Why humble? Because they learned this kind of life from the very poor they take in, feed and love. They learned it from getting low, sitting in the gutter with them, going to the dumps where the desperate scavage for whatever they may find. And God shows up in these low places.

This book, Heidi says, was written for the church in the West, however, because we mistakenly think we are so rich. She says this: "You see, where I live, (Mozambique) the poor know they are poor; they know thay are sick and hurting; and so they come and give their lives to Jesus by the hundreds every week around the country. But in your nation, (the West) your poor do not know they are poor, and your sick do not really know thay are sick unless they are dying of a disease and no one can help them. They look confident, and they appear as if they are together. But maybe they are not."

Do you want to make difference in your world, here in the West? Heidi will show you it is that smile, that hug, that loving the one in front of you, that we all can do if we but will, that transforms lives. But read the book; Heidi's story is amazing.