Alison Hammer’s ‘You and Me and Us’ Plucks at Our Heartstrings and Fuels Us with Hope [REVIEW]

Starfish at beach

One family will spend one last summer at their favorite beach as they struggle to reconnect before life changes forever. (Photo by Canva)

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A workaholic mom. A doting dad. A teenage daughter making plans for the future. Life as usual is busy and complicated, filled with school and jobs and the day-to-day challenges of family. When an unexpected piece of news throws a wrench in all their lives, it tests  their mettle and the strength of their familial bond. How will they navigate life once the rug has been pulled out from under their feet? Find out in Alison Hammer’s debut novel, You and Me and Us. Read more of this post

‘Brother,’ Can You Spare Some Empathy? [REVIEW]

Turntable

David Chariandy’s Brother throbs with life, in part due to the music that permeates it. (Photo courtesy Canva)

A mother’s sacrifice. One girl’s ambitions. Two brothers’ dreams. And the act of violence that will change each of their lives forever. Discover why David Chariandy’s Brother has become one of the most beloved novels of our time. 

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Learn to Let Go in Jill Shalvis’s ‘Second Chance Summer’ [REVIEW]

Lake chairs

A new summer is the perfect opportunity for new beginnings. (Photo courtesy Canva)

Tragic loss. Painful memories. One chance at a fresh start. When a woman has nothing else to lose, should she go home to lick her wounds or take her chances on her own? Find out in Jill Shalvis’s powerful novel of love and redemption, Second Chance Summer. Read more of this post

Finding the Strength to Persevere [GUEST POST]

Lark

Some people, like birds, can be small but mighty. (Photo by David Mitchell, Flickr)

In the past seven years living and working abroad with a faith based organization, I have been struck over and over by the beauty and resilience of the human spirit. So many people in the world are suffering from grinding poverty, institutional oppression, and personal pain and loss. The history of Central Europe, where I’ve been living in Budapest for the past 5 years, is a long series of wars, subjugations, even genocide. Read more of this post

Gray Hair and a Warm Heart are Keys to a Happy Life

Happy parishioners

The longer we live, the more chances we have to touch other’s lives if we can only learn to age properly. (Photo by Joonas Tikkanen, Flickr)

Several weeks ago, I was hanging out with my friend Chris. He’s young and gregarious, and we make each other laugh. At 24, he sees the world through a different lens than I do now that I’m in my 40s, but that is what time will do for a person.  Read more of this post