• Caroline

The Books I Read In December

Life happens, and I have been remiss in getting these 3 books up on the blog. But they're here now! Let me know which one sounds like a good addition to your TBR pile.

The Right Kind of Fool

About the Book:

Thirteen-year-old Loyal Raines is supposed to stay close to home on a hot summer day in 1934. When he slips away for a quick swim in the river and finds a dead body, he wishes he'd obeyed his mother. Desperate for help, he runs to the mountain cabin of his mostly absentee father, frantically trying to communicate the news with his hands.


Driven away by fear and guilt over his son's deafness, Creed has played a distant part in Loyal's life and language. But when he's pulled into the murder investigation, he discovers that what sets his son apart isn't his inability to hear but rather his courage. As the impact of the murder ripples through their West Virginia town, both will learn what it took to kill a man and what it takes to become one.


My Thoughts

Bam, that last line in the book summary! This one sucked me in from the title on. I am a literal SUCKER for any story regarding a broken family who learns to love each other. There's something about redemptive romance and parent/child relationships that hits very deep. This story is simple, but like Sarah Loudin Thomas's other faith-filled stories, it's gentle and true in its purpose. Loyal and Creed's journey to overcome their communication barrier was so well-written. The mystery is based on a true-ish story that the author discovered in West Virginia papers... heads up, true crime lovers!


4 stars

The Sowing Season

About the Book:

Can an unlikely friendship give them the courage to start again?

Forced to sell the dairy farm he's worked his entire life to make successful, Gerrit Laninga, now sixty-three doesn't know what to do with himself. He sacrificed everything for his cows - his time, his health, his family -- with nothing to show for it but bitterness, regret, and two grown children who want nothing to do with him.


Fifteen-year-old Rae Walters is stricken with panic every time she climbs behind the wheel. But any failure, including not passing her driver's test, jeopardizes The Plan -- the detailed blueprint for high school and beyond that has her following in her lawyer father's footsteps. Though she's always been committed to The Plan, now that the pressure to succeed is building, doubts about whether she has what it takes begin to haunt her. What was supposed to unite her family in purpose could end up tearing it apart.


As their paths cross and a friendship begins to form, Gerrit's and Rae's lives change in unexpected ways. Will they discover what really matters in life and together learn it's never too late for a second chance?


My Thoughts:

I started this book in hope because I love unlikely friendship stories. There's such great potential for humor and pathos.


But sadly this book flopped, at least to me. That "about the book" blurb you just skimmed? That's pretty much every detail that happens in this novel, like a movie trailer that tells everything. And the "it's never too late for a second chance" cliche? There you go, the whole shallow point of the story.

There were actually a few funny moments with Gerrit, I will say that. I actually found myself sympathizing with him, which gives the author some points because I'm a 23-year-old mom, not a 63-yr-old retired farmer!


2 stars

Joy to the World

About the Book:

Heaven and Nature Sing, by Carolyn Miller

- Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome their obligations and fears to find their way back into each other's arms?


Far As the Curse Is Found, by Amanda Barratt

- One winter night, a woman struggling to provide for her illegitimate child encounters a scarred veteran of the Napoleanic Wars on the streets of London. Can love conquer the darkness of two broken pasts?


Wonders of His Love, by Erica Vetsch

- A Scots portrait painter finds work at a noble manor house over the holidays. He never imagined he'd fall in love with the emotionally frozen widow there. Now he wants nothing more than to thaw her heart.


My Thoughts

Obviously, my thoughts have to start with an apology for writing this review so late. For shame, Caroline. I did have a fairly legitimate excuse, though, called a new business. See what I mean HERE at mystedc.com


To anyone who still has their Christmas tree up, or needs something cheery and heartening in these drab winter days, you can still enjoy this sweet novella trilogy. After all, Christmas stories are the most heartwarming ones, in my humble opinion.


Story 2 was my most favorite - it channelled the masked, haunted man character that has made so many classic stories. I also loved the beautiful Christ-centered twist.

Stories 1 and 3 were sweet, light reading, as well, that I will definitely read again next December. If you’re craving Regency England and your favorite hot drink (and maybe some chocolate), curl up in a blanket and enjoy this little delight. You won’t regret it.

4 stars


*I received these books from the publishers and happily provided my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.*




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