Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Rose






Goyer, Tricia. A Christmas Gift for Rose. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013.

Rose has grown up in the Amish community of Holmes County, Ohio. She was upset when her beloved Jonathan enlisted in World War II to serve as a medic. How could she forgive him for participating in a war, even if he never fired a shot? She discovers that she was born English and that the Yoders adopted her when her parents, struggling in the Great Depression, could not support all their children and moved to California to be near other family members. They left her with the Yoders, knowing she would have a better life. How can Jonathan accept her? This is a touching story which should appeal to fans of Amish fiction. Although this is marketed as a Christmas book, it can be enjoyed any time of year. I received an advance electronic galley of this from the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation that a review would be written.

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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Hidden Heritage





Hinger, Charlotte. Hidden Heritage. Scottsdale, Ariz.: Poisoned Pen Press, 2013.


Lottie is a historian who is employed by the Carlton County Historical Society, but she's also the #2 person at the sheriff's office. Her husband became a deputy just to protect her. They are called to the feedyard when a man's body is discovered there. They call the KBI in as required. The KBI lacks confidence in the abilities of almost all western Kansas law enforcement, but Lottie sets out to prove them wrong. Through her work at the historical society, she uncovers a possible motive. The head of the murdered man's clan is a medicine woman, and Lottie begins to study under her so that she can document the ancient craft for the historical society. I found the historical element to be interesting. There were a few pages near the end of the book that did not hold together well for me, but after I got past those pages, it went back to being the excellent read that I'd found throughout the rest of the book. This review is based on an advance egalley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purchases. It was my first exploration into this series, but it will not be my last. I predict most genealogists will find something to like about this book.

My Venice and Other Essays


Leon, Donna. My Venice and Other Essays. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2013.

Donna Leon, author of the Commissario Brunetti series, has assembled some of her short non-fiction "essays" into a volume. They are grouped into themes such as Venice, animals, America, and books with a few to many essays of varying lengths under each topic. In most volumes of this nature, there are a few stellar essays and several that are less spectacular and fail to maintain one's interest. This holds true for this volume as well. Overall, I probably enjoyed the essays on Venice and the ones on books the most of all. I loved her musings on canal and foot transportation as being preferable to automobile traffic. I enjoyed reading about her search for the perfect place to live and the problems encountered once she'd found it. My favorite essay, however, was one which detailed a conversation she had with Barbara Vines in a cafe. I'm glad I read the volume for that essay alone! There were many essays which did not hold my attention as well. My biggest problem with the book, however, was the writing. There were sentence fragments in the essays. There were many sentences that began with the word "and." This was an advance e-galley, so I'm hopeful that an editor will take care of these grammatical errors before it is sold in stores. In spite of its problems, I still found many of the essays enjoyable. This review was based on advance e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes over 6 months in advance of the publication date.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Tempest's Course







Sowell, Lynette. Tempest's Course. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013.


Kelly Frost is a textile conservator who has been hired to restore a quilt at Grey House, a home to one of New England's early whalers. Tom Pereira is a veteran who was severely injured and is now keeping the grounds at the home. Both have issues with which they are dealing. Tom's is health-related; Kelly's is something that happened in a relationship in the recent past. Tom is also working other jobs. It's a romance that is growing, particularly when both discover they are both Christians. Of course, the issues from the past can always create problems in a relationship. I enjoyed the characters of Tom and Kelly. The author did a great job portraying them. The setting was interesting as well. Although it is a Christian book, the characters deal with genuine issues, including moral ones, and the book is not preachy in its presentation. The characters simply live out their faith. There is, however, one major flaw in the book. The owner of one place Tom is helping traces Tom's genealogy back about 150 years using census records. The problem is that the gentleman claims to have used both the 1950 and 2010 censuses in his research and that they included names and other information. Any genealogist knows that the latest available census for this type of research is the 1940 census which was released on April 1, 2012. The 1950 census will not be available under current laws until April 1, 2022. The 2010 census would not be available until April 1, 2082. There is a 72-year waiting period. Only demographic/statistical type of information is available for censuses more recent than 1940. I am certain that every genealogist, including me, would love to get our hands on those censuses ahead of schedule, but it isn't going to be happening and should not be depicted as such in a book. Since I read an advance e-galley of this book via NetGalley, I sincerely hope that the author and publishers of this book will correct this very big error prior to publication. It was quite enjoyable otherwise. As mentioned, this review is based on an advance e-galley of the book provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes.