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Review: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen



by Jane Austen

Fanny Price is the quintessential “poor cousin.” Her family consists of many siblings, and when her mother and father find themselves unable to care for all of them, they send Fanny to live with her aunt and uncle, Sir Thomas and Mrs. Norris at Mansfield Park. Living in the grand home is an adjustment for Fanny and her cousins and aunt are not very fond of her, though she adapts to life at Mansfield Park. Over the years, Fanny and Edmund become very close, yet her aunt has other plans for both of them.

Mansfield Park is among my favorite Austen novels. I just found myself enjoying the book. I liked Fanny; she was one of Jane Austen’s more realistic characters and I felt pretty sorry for her most of the time. Edmund was all right; I feel like I didn’t really get to know him, like he wasn’t as big a part of the story as some of Jane Austen’s other heroes. But he seemed pretty nice and I like that he stood up for Fanny. There were of course a ton of villains trying to thwart love’s plans. Mrs. Norris was a very annoying character and fit her role of the evil relation perfectly. But alas, there was the happy ending and all was well at Mansfield Park (for the most part, anyway).

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.



I Love Beauty and The Beast

It isn't often that pictures are better than words (in my opinion) but this instance is one special case. Enjoy some pictures from the beautiful Beauty and The Beast.




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Review: Lilies in Moonlight by Allison Pittman



by Allison Pittman

Lilly Margolis is like many young women in 1925; she longs for fun and excitement. One of the first girls in her small hometown in Pennsylvania to cut her hair in the iconic shingled bob and wear bright red lipstick and kohl around her eyes, she and her ultra conservative mother do not get along. So she left home and traveled from “friend” to “friend” across the country until she ran out of road. Now in Pensacola, Florida, she works as a salesgirl for Dalliance Cosmetics. She peddles expensive lotions, perfumes, and make-up items to women of all social classes. But her fast life is beginning to catch up with her.

Cullen Burnside has been in a funk ever since he came home from WWI. Before the war, he had great dreams of being a baseball star. Yet now he can hardly bear for people to see the scars on his face and arms. He mainly stays at home with his senile mother and runs his late father’s business. When a flapper winds up in his mother’s flower bed in the backyard after a big party at his neighbor Bill Owens’, his mother insists the girl with them. She brings a breath of fresh air to the stately home and quickly endears herself to all, save for their strict housemaid. Yet Cullen isn’t sure at all that having this young woman living with them is a good thing.

This book was so much fun. I loved it from beginning to end. I love the 1920s, and it’s so good to see it covered in Christian fiction. I loved reading about the fashions and dances and music, but the characters are what made the story. I really liked all of the main characters- Lilly was a blast, Cullen was a serious, but good hero, and his mother Betty Ruth was just a delight to read about. I liked the fast and fun pace of the writing. Both Lilly and Cullen had gone through sad trials in their life, but the story was balanced between their grief and the hopeful future ahead. From Lilly’s arrival at the mansion to her getting to know Cullen and Betty Ruth and them traveling across the country together; the whole story was good. The book was just a blast to read.

For those looking for a fun Christian historical novel, I would definitely recommend this book.


I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Lately 6.14.2017



Hello readers and friends! I hope you’re all doing well this month. It’s starting to feel like summer here, but it hasn’t been terribly bad yet. I just can’t believe this year is halfway over! Time flies by so fast. Today I wanted to pop in with a lately post. Here’s how I’ve been spending the month thus far.

Writing

This month I’ve been taking a little break from writing. The first draft of my current novel is basically finished, and so I’m resting up for the next draft. I’m looking forward to seeing how this novel turns out, as well as you all being able to read it!

Reading

While I’ve been on my break, I’ve been reading a ton. I’ve read some books that I’ve loved, like Liliesin Moonlight and Waves of Mercy, as well as some others that I’ve enjoyed. I’m currently reading Mansfield Park, which has been good.

Other

I finally watched Beauty and The Beast and I loved it! It was such a pretty movie and they did a really good job with it. I loved the costumes and the furniture. And they stuck very close to the original movie. It was just a good movie.

So that’s how my month has been going. Hope your summer is off to a good start! Thank you for stopping by today!


-Miranda Atchley

Review: Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin



by Lynn Austin

In the 1840s, tensions are running high in the Dutch Netherlands when groups of separatists leave the church in order to worship God in their own way. When teenaged Geesje’s home is vandalized, soldiers come to live with her and her family. The soldiers do not believe the same way that Geesje and her family believe, yet soon she finds herself falling in love with Hendrick, who is becoming interested in her family’s beliefs. The two make plans for the future, yet when Geesje’s family hear about the religious freedom, as well as inexpensive unsettled land in America they decide to move there. Geesje is heartbroken by her separation from Hendrick, though he plans to move to America as soon as possible. When tragedy strikes, Geesje must make some difficult decisions about her future.

Fifty years later, Anna Nicholson is facing similar choices. Raised in Chicago’s high society, Anna knows that she is expected to marry well. Yet her fiancé does not share her new found beliefs and grows tired of her questions about God and the bible. After breaking her engagement, Anna and her mother go to Michigan in order for Anna to sort through her feelings. While there, she meets Derk, a seminary student who works at the hotel Anna and her mother are staying at. As Anna begins speaking with Derk, she tells him about her nightmares and the fears she has for the future. Soon she finds that he may hold answers to her questions not only about the future, yet also about her past.

I really liked this book. There are a lot of layers to each woman’s story, but everything ties together really well. It was interesting to see the ways that their stories intertwine. The book has many twists and turns. I continually guessed at what was going to happen next as I read and was very surprised by many of the outcomes. The book is well written and poignant, with many layers of trials and sadness, yet also wrapped in hope and rooted in faith.

All in all, Waves of Mercy is a book that I really enjoyed. I would recommend this book to any fan of Christian historical fiction.


I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

My Dream Reading Corner

Hello readers and friends! I hope you’re all doing well today. I have a fun post to share with you this morning.

I think about the dream reading space a lot. What book nerd doesn't? Most of us probably have it all planned out, because it so fun to dream up. I was recently inspired by Arhaus to write a post describing my dream reading space, which was a fun post to put together.

My dream reading space is something that I think about a lot. I already have my dream home pictured in my mind with a Pinterest board to prove it. I would love to have a Victorian style cottage. I love Victorian architecture; it’s different, a little bit quirky, and makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time.




When it comes to my dream house, the room I think about the most is the library. I would love to have a room that is dedicated to books. My favorite part of Beauty and The Beast is the library scene, after all. In my mind, the walls would have built in shelves, offering floor to ceiling space for books. Can you imagine having a room where you’re surrounded by books!? The floors would be a dark hardwood with a pretty rug in the center to warm the place up. There would be one lone window on the wall opposite the entryway, and it would overlook a beautiful view. I think the best thing would be to have either a sycamore or an oak tree within view; one that has leaves that would turn gorgeous colors in the fall.


Surrounding this window would be the perfect space for reading. A nice window seat made from a sturdy wood with lots of neat details to make it stand out, topped with a good cushion and nice fluffy pillows is essential. I would love to have some pillows from Evie Seo’s Society6 store- they’re so pretty! Under the seat, I would really like to have storage- a place to put throw blankets in the summer and then bring them back out in the winter. The walls surrounding the window seat would have built in shelves not only for more books, but also for things like a pretty lamp to read by when it gets dark. Lighting is key when it comes to a reading room, and Arhaus has some great selections on their website. Such pretty light fixtures, lamps, and chandeliers; so many options that would look beautiful in any room and really set off the perfect reading space! And of course surrounding the window I would want to hang some nice curtains to frame it and really make it pop. Just think about how nice it would be to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea in this space. It would be a place where you’re tucked away, ready to get lost in a whole other world.


Franklin Brass Weighted Task Lamp

Mohair Wool Grey Throw 


Thank you all for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed reading about my dream reading corner.

Have you ever thought about your dream reading corner? Tell me about it in the comments; I would love to hear about it!

-Miranda Atchley


May in Review

Another month is gone, readers and friends. Although it feels like this year is flying by, May seemed to sort of creep along to me. I’m just going to blame this on the longer days and warmer temperatures. Anyway, here are a few things I did this month.

Books Read in May

My favorite book from this month was Swept Away. It was such a fun story. You can read my review of it here. I enjoyed most of the books I read except for Cold Comfort Farm, which simply wasn’t my cup of tea.


Favorite Posts From May

Not a lot of blogging happened around here this month, but I was still able to get a few posts up. Thank you to everyone who stopped by this month. I appreciate it.

I hope you all had a wonderful month!


-Miranda Atchley