Saturday, October 22, 2016

Rebecca Reviews ~ Such a Hope (Paths of Grace Book 1) by Sondra Kraak

Kindle Edition, 333 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Trail House Publishers 
Washington Territory, 1871

Anna Warren grew up on the seat of a wagon, the daughter of Seattle's busiest freighter. After her father’s death—a tragedy away from home—she returns to their cabin on the outskirts of Seattle, seeking the sense of belonging that eluded her childhood. But will her desire to pray for miraculous healing for the sick and wounded endear or alienate her to the community? Her most aggravating challenger is also her staunchest defender and has brown hair and eyes, stands six feet tall, and farms with unchecked tenacity. Tristan Porter. This farmer her father had befriended holds more secrets than Yesler’s Mill holds logs.

When ugly rumors arise about her spiritual gift and her property, Anna fears her quest to find belonging will be thwarted.

Tristan holds the truth to set her free, but revealing it will require him to face the disappointments of his past and surrender his plans for the future—a sacrifice he’s not sure he can make. 
A native of Washington State, Sondra Kraak grew up playing in the rain, hammering out Chopin at the piano, and running up and down the basketball court. Now settled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children, blogging about spiritual truths, and writing historical romance set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She delights in sharing stories that not only entertain, but nourish the soul. Her debut novel, One Plus One Equals Trouble, was a Genesis semi-finalist (2015) and the winner of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Unpublished Women’s Fiction Award (2015).
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Rebecca's Review
5 STARS!!!

"It's not healing. It's not prayer. It's yourself. Your spirit, a spirit filled with His Spirit."

The young, recently orphaned Anna Warren has come home, home to Seattle where she and her father spent their life as freighters; hauling, talking, communing with God, barely belonging to the local community. Upon arrival she discovers that her property has been occasionally "borrowed" by a neighboring farmer, a protégé of her father, a talented agriculturalist who has great vision for educating area farmers through the local university. With Anna? His demeanor could only be described as surly, severe and at times, protective.

Anna's relationship with God is unique, in that she is often called to pray for those who need divine healing. Almost immediately that calling is put to the test, when two men vie for her attention; one desiring to capitalize on her supposed giftedness, the other despising everything that it stands for. And then there are the rumors, rumors that her inheritance may not be as certain as she thinks.

"When God moves beyond understanding things get uncomfortable. It was(is) safer to hide from intimacy, than consider God might be closer than one expects."

Tristan Porter is haunted by his past; death a constant specter and his relationship with Anna's father a curious blessing which took an unexpected turn. Anna is a lovely enigma, with her humble spirit, deep faith, and certainty in a God who answers prayer. Unfortunately, it has been Tristan's long held opinion that God never answers prayers. And there are others in the community who feel very strongly that Anna should not be encouraging false hopes of healing; folks who have the capacity to ruin her fragile reputation.

Reading "Such a Hope" is comparable to sitting in the audience of a fine music hall, relishing the music of a perfectly tuned orchestra, surrounded by music that is deep, resonant and enduring. The spiritual implications are profound, and the miracles of grace, healing, and forgiveness self-evident. Beautiful, captivating, and inspiring all characterize this story by the very talented Sondra Kraak.

I received a copy of this book from the author. The opinions are entirely my own.

Rebecca is a graduate of Bryan College with a degree in Christian Education and is currently serving at the First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia, North Carolina as the Director of Children's Ministry. With nearly 28 years of experience in her field, she has had many opportunities to use her love of reading and writing in creative ways across the generations. A wife, mother of four "nearly" grown children, and grandmother to four beautiful grandchildren, Rebecca has been able to return to her love of reading and more recently reviewing, with a renewed passion for the "beauty of story".

~Happy Reading~

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