Saved by the Boats by Julie Gassman is a picture book about September 11, 2001 and the ways the boats in New York Harbor came to the rescue of thousands of stranded New Yorkers. For me the most striking aspect of this book is the illustrations, as they so nicely capture the sense of togetherness that occurred during the tragedy.Continue Reading
Beatrice Nash is an educated, talented, and pleasant woman. But life in 1914 England does not give much credence to those qualities when she has been left orphaned and impoverished at the old maid age of 22 without any marriage prospects. To make matters worse, she must rely on her unfriendly relatives for assistance in finding a job. Her position as Latin teacher to the small school in Kent is tenuous, and she can only hope that somehow she can find the means to get ahead of her fate.
Meanwhile, Hugh Grange visits his aunt in Kent this summer, along with his cousin Daniel, and the two friends find themselves in a new situation as the country turns in the tides of war.
Yes, The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson does have a romance in it, and the tea parlor conversations in it make it a delightful woman’s novel. But in the tradition of Downton Abbey, we also face the dichotomy of the classes during an intriguing changing era when the world is soon to be turned upside down by war. Add in a very timely discussion of refugees from Belgium, and I found The Summer Before the War to be a delightful British novel for capturing my Downton Abbey-starved mind.Continue Reading
Covenant Motherhood by Stephanie Dibb Sorensen is an inspiring book for Latter-day Saint mothers who wish to refresh their understanding of the Atonement and how covenants, the atonement, and the life and mission of Jesus Christ directly relate to their own role in their homes as mothers to children.
As the mother of young children myself, I found Sister Sorensen’s personal stories to be directly applicable to my own situations, and I found the quotes and scriptures she provided (as well as her own insights) to be inspiring and timely.Continue Reading
The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi (Tundra Books, 2012; originally published in New Zealand) focuses a child’s relationship with her grandmother, who suffers from dementia. Perry is an only child, and I love how her budding relationship with Gran teaches her parents a bit about priorities, family, love, and friendship.
Perry’s parents over schedule her days, so when her mother finds a weekly lesson canceled and she struggles to find a replacement class, Perry knows just want she wants to do. She wants to visit her grandmother in her nearby nursing home each week. Her parents are not sure: does Perry understand that Honora Lee cannot remember from day to day? Nevertheless, they allow her to go. Continue Reading