Friday, October 18, 2013

"Autumn is a Second Spring . . . . "

I loved this quote I found while searching the keyword "Autumn" today on Goodreads:

"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower."  - Albert Camus.

Is this not the truth?  Autumn is quite honestly my favorite time of year.  Especially when there has been enough rain and the right weather conditions for the leaves to turn into vibrant flame, burnished red and sunshiny yellow. I LOVE the changing leaves.  The crisp, earthy air that fills your lungs without pressing upon you as the humid summer air always does.  The rain showers, and the stunning skies that trail behind and can only be seen so dramatically blue and yet filled with shades of grey and white clouds in autumn. The festive, portly orange pumpkins and the ghoulishly white pumpkins, the warty gourds the multi-colored corn. The hot chocolate. The salted caramel mocha at the ever popular Starbucks.  The anticipation of Thanksgiving and then of Christmas.  Wearing long sleeved, cozy shirts and warm, wooly slippers.  Taking walks and just soaking it all in. Watching in wonder every year as the trees slowly shed their summer dresses to stand stark and majestic monuments against the winter sky, their only covering an occasional dusting of sparkling frost.

Yes, I love autumn.  To me it is the most beautiful season of all, and truly the quote speaks what I've felt for so long......that autumn IS a second spring, "When every leaf is a flower."

Happy Autumn, friends!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review of The Outcast: a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter

To say that "The Outcast" by Jolina Petersheim was unlike any other book I'd ever read having to do with the "Plain" community of either Amish or in this case, Mennonite, is an understatement. And I mean it in an entirely positive way! This book will tug so hard on your heartstrings you might find yourself gasping for breath between a flood of tears. Rachel Stolzfus, Leah Stolzfus King, Tobias King, Judah King, Ida Mae Speck and several other characters are just so vivid. The characters are real, fallible, pained, angry, forgiving, unforgiving, loving, and every other word you could possibly use to describe deep characters. The plot keeps you wanting to read more. And the ending? Well, I don't want to spoil anything, but it will probably surprise you!  I know it did me! I seriously want to read Petersheim's next novel, "The Midwife," that is supposed to hit stores next summer.

"The Outcast" is a novel I can say wholeheartedly that I loved, beginning to end. I give it a robust 5/5 stars! I urge you to find your copy today! You will be SO glad you did!

Many thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest and original review.