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A Novel about Joy and Jack

Long before Joy Davidman was known as the wife of renowned British author C.S. Lewis, the ambitious and sharp-minded American writer was carving out her own spiritual and literary journey. In Becoming Mrs. Lewis, a historical novel, Patti Callahan places Joy in the role of first-person narrator and enlivens her fictional voice with details from… Continue reading A Novel about Joy and Jack

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Book reviews, Uncategorized

Trials of the Migrant Life

Things Are Good Now, the debut collection by Ethiopian-Canadian author Djamila Ibrahim, features nine well-crafted short stories that chronicle painful quests for belonging. Its main characters are displaced people – refugees, migrants, and immigrants – with heavy dreams. Many of them have literal nightmares prompted by memories of torture, imprisonment and other such traumatic experiences… Continue reading Trials of the Migrant Life

Book reviews, Uncategorized

A Missionary Childhood in Haiti

When Apricot Irving was six years old, her parents moved their family from the California desert to a missionary compound in Haiti. The Gospel of Trees is her honest, ruminative account of the years she spent in a place she describes as a “splendid, complicated, troubling, maddening, beautiful country.” Through diary entries – hers and those of… Continue reading A Missionary Childhood in Haiti

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Sadness Bounded by Joy

This weekend, we had to say goodbye to our dear senior cat, Kiki—queen of powerful purrs, responsive meows, pillowy fur, and gentle yet persistent snuzzles of affection. Her health declined in a matter of days, and she died naturally at home, more peacefully than we dared to hope. But man, it hurts. Finding comfort in… Continue reading Sadness Bounded by Joy

Book reviews, Uncategorized

A Teenager’s Journey on Death Row

Bryan Bliss’s sobering and daring new young adult novel, We'll Fly Away, begins and ends with the first-person musings of a teenage boy on death row. Luke is writing letters to his best friend, Toby—a practice encouraged by the compassionate nun overseeing his care. With each prison missive, the reader learns a little more about the… Continue reading A Teenager’s Journey on Death Row

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The Beauty of Dappled People

In the first scene of Heart Spring Mountain, a layered, multi-generational novel, a woman high on heroin wanders outside as 2011’s Hurricane Irene batters rural Vermont. Her name is Bonnie and she is thinking about how she has “just found Jesus” as she walks out in the wild storm. She disappears, leaving her family and community… Continue reading The Beauty of Dappled People

Book reviews, Uncategorized

Embracing Blindness

Have Dog, Will Travel is the story of Stephen Kuusisto, who was born blind to parents who taught him to hide his disability. It is also the story of Corky, the smart and spirited guide dog that taught him a better way of being in the world. Throughout childhood and into his late thirties, Kuusisto… Continue reading Embracing Blindness