Tag Archives: female protagonist

Unexpected Dismounts by Nancy Rue

Word Lily review

Unexpected Dismounts by Nancy Rue, book 2 in the Reluctant Prophet series (David C. Cook, October 2011), 464 pages

Unexpected Dismounts by Nancy RueSummary
Allison is worried. Stressed. It’s been awhile since she got a Nudge from God, and she feels like everyone is depending on her but she can’t keep all the balls in the air for long. God gave her this mantel of prophet, but now that she’s mid-project she’s wondering if he’s given that task to someone else. She’s also physically reeling from other people’s painful experiences, she’s experiencing these traumas with them. And when she finally does hear something, it doesn’t make much sense and she resists. On top of that, there’s tension in the ranks, and the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been.

Thoughts
I could never bring myself to actually review book one of this series, The Reluctant Prophet (which is only $6 at Amazon right now), but I did at least attempt to convey how meaningful it was to me. I put off reading this one for a little while, because I wanted to spread out the experience, to fully be able to savor Unexpected Dismounts as a separate piece. I think I was also a little afraid that, being book two, it might not live up to the high expectations set by book one. I needn’t have worried.

I read it in just a little over one day, which at 450+ pages, is some feat for me.

Love that I “coincidentally” read it during Lent, since that’s when it’s set. But more than that, I love that she set it during this particularly apt season of the church calendar.

This is one of those books that I don’t feel I can adequately express how much I love it, or how deeply personal and meaningful the reading experience was for me. I relate to Allison on a level, in a way, that I’m not sure I’ve found in a novel before.

I think it works on a broader plain than that, too, though. Even if you don’t relate to Allison in her doubts and fears, her imperfect fallenness and motley assortment of friends and too-close calls, the book (well, series, so far) is well-written and engaging, and the plot moves along nicely. I can’t wait to read book three.

Too Far to Say Far Enough is due out in October 2012.

Rating: 4.75 stars

About the author
Nancy Rue (@NNRue Facebook) lives in Tennessee with her husband, Jim. She has written a lot of books (including YA and MG fiction, and nonfiction), but I just discovered her writing last year.

Other reviews
Tree Swing Reading
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Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins

Secret Keeper by Mitali Perkins (Delacorte Press, 2009), 240 pages

Summary
In the 1970s India, when Dad loses his engineering job and goes to the United States in search of a brighter future, Mom takes Asha and her sister Reet to her uncle’s house in Calcutta. Seventeen-year-old Reet soon begins attracting suitors, and her uncle begins looking for a good match. Asha bristles under the constraints of this more conservative environment and struggles to keep the promise she made to her father while still trying to not give up on her dreams.

Thoughts
An absorbing, quick read. A great story. I loved it, and I can’t wait to read more of Perkins’ work. In some ways this reminded me of A Disobedient Girl, although that feels like a very strange comparison. On the surface, the main likenesses are: Asia setting, teenage protagonist. It’s more than that, though.

I loved the setting. I hurt and rejoiced and hoped along with Asha. I was caught up in this lovely, engrossing tale. I loved the strong women (and how strength looked different depending on the situation).

I’d place Secret Keeper in the same category as Beth Kephart’s books — real, down-to-earth characters struggling through deep things, conveyed through great writing. An excellent book, I have no complaints.

Perkins’ latest book, Bamboo People, was released July 1, 2010. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it!

About the author
Mitali Perkins (@mitaliperkins) was born in India and immigrated to the States with her parents and two sisters when she was seven. Perkins is the author of several books; she lives in Massachusetts.

Other reviews
My Friend Amy
Semicolon
Sarah’s Random Musings
Biblio File
Book Nut
Jenny’s Books

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I won this book in a Twitter giveaway.

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

Her Mother’s Hope (Marta’s Legacy) by Francine Rivers (Tyndale, March 16, 2010), 512 pages

Summary
In her father’s eyes, Marta is the unfavored daughter. She’s too tall, her hair is dark, and her intelligence just makes her older brother look bad. Her determination to flee the bad situation, spurred on by her ambition and her mother’s blessing, starts her on a lifelong journey from her homeland of Switzerland to Canada and later to Central Valley of California, encompassing two world wars.

Thoughts
Although I’ve greatly enjoyed every Francine Rivers book I’ve ever read and I was greatly looking forward to digging into this one, I was also a bit hesitant because it’s based in part on Rivers’ family history. I’ve read other books like that (by authors I’d previously enjoyed) and been hugely disappointed.

I shouldn’t have worried. This is not (merely) a tribute to Rivers’ ancestors; this is a compelling family saga that crosses borders and decades. And I’m so glad! It feels like it’s been ages since Rivers released a full-length novel.

The characters aren’t always portrayed in the best light, but they’re very real in their flaws and still somehow (mostly) sympathetically drawn. Certainly not everything that happens is happy; I was tearing up within the first 30 pages.

I can’t wait for the sequel, Her Daughter’s Dream (Marta’s Legacy), which is set for release September 14, 2010.

About the author
Francine Rivers is the author of many stupendous books; she’s probably best known for Redeeming Love and her Mark of the Lion series.

Other reviews
5 Minutes for Books
Books, Movies and Chinese Food
Reading to Know

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