I finished a few books recently that I’m going to group here together with shorter than usual reviews.
Jennifer: An O’Malley Love Story by Dee Henderson is a prequel to the acclaimed O’Malley series, which I loved (but unfortunately read before I had a blog in which to chronicle my thoughts!) Dee’s books pull me right in from the start, and this was no exception. It’s a fairly short book at 154 pages, so I can’t say too much without giving away too much, but basically it’s about Jennifer O’Malley, pediatric surgeon, youngest of the O’Malley siblings who put themselves together as a family from an orphanage. An incident in the hospital leads to Jennifer meeting a surgeon named Tom Peterson. He’s a believer, she is not, and as she gets to know Tom, she gets to know his Savior. She has some physical problems which she brushes off at first…and I’ll leave the plot at that. It leaves off where the first O’Malley book, The Negotiator, starts (or maybe it’s the second book now and this is the first?)
I think I remember what happens to her in The Negotiator – I was hoping this book would wrap up her story. In one way I’d love to read The Negotiator again, especially to remind myself of what ultimately happens to Jennifer, but I have so many other books stacked up. I probably will find myself going back to it some time in the next few months.
One quibble I have occurs at Jennifer’s baptism, when Tom says, “On the confession of your faith…I now baptize you in the name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, that you might receive the forgiveness for your sins, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of eternal life” (p. 120). My quibble is with the phrase “that you might receive.” A believer receives this things immediately, and baptism pictures that fact. The way this is worded sounds to me like they’re received at baptism. Sorry to sound so nitpicky, but this is vitally important.
Hmm, that one wasn’t quite so short! But the next ones will be, I promise.
A Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a devotional book made up from several of Nancy’s other books. I don’t think I had read a whole book of hers before, but I loved her chapters in True Woman, and I enjoyed this very much and have several pages marked. I like her passion for the Bible and for encouraging readers to read, hear, and obey it. There were just a very few places where she seemed just a little preachy/scoldy to me, but then that just might have been my impression: I tend to be oversensitive to that kind of thing. Overall I’d highly recommend this, and I am grateful to the friend who gave it to me.
One Year Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten was another gift, and as its name might imply, it is a devotional that focuses on some event in Christian history corresponding to the date. It also shares a Scripture verse in conjunction with each story and ends with some questions to think about. I questioned a few of the inclusions being there, but overall I enjoyed it, though not in a “You have to get this!” kind of way.
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book IV: The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood is every bit is fun as the first three stories of three siblings raised by wolves, discovered in the woods, taken into the home of Lord Frederick Ashton, and taught by their plucky young governess from the Agatha Swanburne School for Poor Bright Females, Miss Penelope Lumley. In this story the suspicious Judge Quinzy wants to rename the school The Quinzy School for Miserable Girls and change some of its rules. Penelope has been asked to speak at an alumni event and takes the Incorrigibles with her, where she tries to save the school and decipher a book written in invisible ink about cannibals on an island before Quinzy does. It sounds crazy, but it works. We do get a bit more information about some of the questions that have come up from the previous books, but evidently there is another book coming, so the rest of the mysteries must wait! Once again Katherine Kellgren’s narration on the audiobook is just delightful.
(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)