Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Christmas Catch-Up Reads Part II: First Frost and The Hardest Peace

The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts 

Stark, real, vivid, painful and heart-breaking. Kara has a way of interweaving poetic lyricism with the harshest of pain and suffering. Never once depending on cliches or sugar-coating her experience, her words are a palette of infinite, wretched grace. This was a hard book to read: one that forces contemplation on how one might deal with this finite weakness and all too true illness. Yet, Kara has a warm, welcoming tone and a sense of humour to counter the din of despair. This is not so much a linear tale as one told in stitches and patches, fragments of story and truth and life lessons cut all too short before transforming into greater seeds of ethereal wisdom. I think all readers who have experienced suffering or disappointment on any level will appreciate the wise and open way in which Kara weaves her indelible tapestry of pain and strife. Putting me in mind of Philip Yancey's Where is God When it Hurts, Kara Tippetts has written a profound treatise on suffering. She sheds the greedy optimism which overtook "self help Christianity" a la Bruce Wilkerson and trades it for the defining and the real. Soundly grounded in theology and told with staggering faith, this book is one I shall not soon forget

(copy received by publisher in exchange for review)

There is something so remarkably indomitable to reading Sarah Addison Allen. It makes me giddy and my fingertips tingle. Here, she continues the lore of the Waverley family introduced in her debut novel Garden Spells. The characters and their temperamental apple tree, their lives and loves and rambling house ( which is as much a character as any flesh and blood) await the First Frost. First Frost, to happen on Hallowe'en, this magical year, is a time of expectancy and hope and glittering witchery. That premonition you feel as summer sinks into fall and the breeze whistles cold and brash foreboding the winter to come is magic in itself. Here, Addison Allen weaves it as the beguiling word-enchantress she is. Ripe with passion, love, forgiveness, redemption and the worn-old sepia photographs of the past, "First Frost" invites you back to a family you love and to a timeless tale of magic and humanity.

You will feel while reading this book and laugh and cry and experience something akin to peeking through a curtain to a group you desperately want be part of .

There is an inkling of outsiderness to experiences the Waverley clan and their circle; but are they not, themselves, outsiders too?

Magical read. She is at the top of her game!

(copy received by publisher in exchange for review)

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