Welcome! We’re glad you’ve joined us to discuss all things books. Here and in the Facebook group (click the button on the right and we’ll add you) we love to make a cuppa and talk about the latest books we’ve read – why we liked them, what we gained, or why we wanted to throw them across the room in disgust.

Each month in the magazine, I choose a book or two and tell you how they captured me. I also interview a Christian author about their love of books. And I choose five top reviews from you – and those women receive complimentary copies of my selection and the latest book from the author I interview.

Join in and let us know what you’re reading. We benefit from the lively banter and interchanges. And come on over to our Facebook group, where along with our discussions we often have extra book giveaways.

I look forward to hearing what you’re reading!

Amy Boucher Pye

This month I'm reading ...

Land of Silence
Tessa Afshar (Tyndale, ISBN 978-1496406460)

I flailed around this month searching for the right book to recommend, starting three or four that I rejected. Some books begin with promise, but then I glaze over or the structure lets them down or I don’t think they will connect. When I found a book I was happy to feature, I started to write up my review and then realised it wasn’t going to be published until later in the year.

Back to the drawing board! Then I found Land of Silence, a novel I remembered the publisher highlighting as a special book. I had it downloaded on an electronic reader so began to read without knowing much more than it was historical fiction.

Readers, I loved it! I’m glad I didn’t know more than my vague sense of Land of Silence being biblical fiction, for I think that the publisher gives away too much in its promotional materials about which biblical story it describes. I’m glad that I didn’t know, for the action would have been less enjoyable had I been anticipating what would happen.

So in the spirit of not sharing too much of the plot, the story centres on Elianna, a young woman who is the daughter of a weaver. She and her family face many trials, which in her bitter disappointment only deepens her legalistic view of God. She can’t believe that good things will ever come to her or to her family, and the many horrible things only intensify her mistrust of God, until one day …

The novel has many deep themes, such as the feeling of not being worthy of love (sometimes called an “orphan heart”), how grief and guilt can define us and how the events in our lives can influence the way we view God. One interesting question the novel tackles is the role of truth-telling and whether it’s OK to withhold the full story in order to protect our loved ones.

I connected with Elianna emotionally, weeping at times over the incredible disappointments and trials that she faced. She’s a feisty character with a big heart who acts in misguided ways at times, but ultimately the reader sees God redeeming the years the locusts ate. The author brings alive this period in biblical history, especially how it must have felt to be a Jewish person under the Roman authorities. A perfect novel to take on holiday or to read in the garden during these longest days of the year.

+ Next month marks the ten-year anniversary of the book club! I’ll host some celebrations, including publishing special memories of the book club from five readers.
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CPO - Inspire magazine
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