Saturday, September 25, 2010

Book Review: Catching Moondrops

Jessilyn Lassiter is waiting for her parents, and especially handsome Luke Talley, to notice that at 18 years old she is no longer a child. In the small town of Calloway, Virginia in 1938, Jessilyn thinks she is ready to take her place as Luke’s wife and a full-fledged member of the community, but her community is in turmoil during this long, hot summer – a young, black doctor, Tal Pritchett, has come to town, and the Klan is active once more.

Jessilyn is the bridge between the black and white communities as she witnesses both the destroying influence of the racial threats and the growing love between Tal and her best friend, Gemma. The tension comes to the boiling point when Jessilyn’s neighbor, Miss Cleta, accepts Tal’s treatment – and the Klan cannot overlook the fact that a white woman is treated by a black doctor.

The racial prejudice that simmers beneath the surface of this peaceful town is ugly, and author Jennifer Erin Valent treats it with a matter of fact distance that makes Jessilyn’s experiences all the more realistic. Jessilyn hates the Klan and what they stand for, but it is her hate and rage that finally cause her to understand the faith in God that her parents, Luke and Gemma have.

Tyndale House publishers provided a copy of this book for review.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Review: Patton: the Pursuit of Destiny by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin

From the legacy of George Patton’s illustrious ancestors to the muddy roads of World War II Europe, this book follows Patton’s pursuit of the destiny that awaits him. This easily read biography doesn’t gloss over Patton’s all too human faults, but it also reveals the inner quality of a man driven by ambition and his own military genius. Through well organized chapters we follow Patton from one stage of his life to the next, through both his triumphs and his failures.

The book opens with a look at Patton’s childhood – an idyllic time on his grandfather’s ranch in southern California. We see a young man who was shaped by stories of his hero-grandfather and steeped in the study of classical warfare. We see a young career officer who is frustrated by the lack of combat in his life, while at the same time fascinated by the possibilities he sees in motorized warfare. We see the general who grieves at the waste of human life during war, and does his utmost to wage quick and decisive battles in order to preserve the lives involved.

There is really no better story than a well told biography, and this book fits the bill. I enjoyed learning details about Patton’s life that had escaped me before, such as his participation in the 1912 Olympics and his prowess as a swordsman. This book showed me a Patton I had never met, and now I feel like I know a hero.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.