Category Archives: Spies

A Secret Courage, by Tricia Goyer 

I’ve been waiting for this book since before it was ever announced. For real. Tricia Goyer’s World War 2 novels are some that I always know I can pick up and adore. They are creative, thought-provoking, heart-stirring, and thoroughly researched. This one was no different. And it was completely worth the wait. 

A Secret Courage made me smile for this reason and so many others.

I loved the history in this book. I loved the research that went into it. Photographic reconnaissance wasn’t an aspect of WW2 that I’d read about before, and it intrigued me. One mark of a good historical read for me is that I find myself wanting to know more… I do this frequently; I begin googling pictures of the area, the landmarks/settings described, potential real people, etc. What I discovered this time just fascinated me, although I can’t say that it surprised me, due to the research that I know goes into Tricia Goyer’s writing — not only was Danesfield House a real life high security place during the war, Grace Darling, Emma’s lifelong inspiration, was a real life British young woman who lived in the 1800s. And investigating photos.. well, that is right up my alley.

The storyline, the spies, the trust in Jesus, the characters, the surprises… I loved everything about this book. The romance that was sweetly there but not overpowering was a beautiful touch to the story. The friendship that sprouted and bloomed between two young people who were determined to find the lovely even in the midst of such an ugly war brought a smile to my lips. The courage to put others’ needs ahead of their own and to trust God in everything… Yeah. I really, really liked this book.

What food can I relate this one to? A cup of tea. Probably because I’ve been reading Tricia Goyer’s work since her first novel was newly published in 2003 (?!), and probably also due to the fact that I saw some of myself in Emma, this book felt like home to me. Just right for a nice big cup of tea. 


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Not By Sight, by Kate Breslin

Do you ever find that you don’t want to finish reading a book? That’s how I was with this one. Not because I didn’t want to read it, and not because I didn’t want to know how everything was going to play out.. but because I simply didn’t want my time with my friend Grace to be over. And that’s exactly how I see the heroine of this truly beautiful book.. as my friend.

Not By Sight is the tale of Grace Mabry, a young woman with high ideals and even higher ambitions. She has her sights set on gaining the vote for women, as well as on doing everything she can to aid in World War 1 so that her brother can come home. She is a fiery spirit who goes to great lengths showing her loyalty as a friend.

It is also Jack Benningham’s story. Jack, who is quite the dashing, handsome, ladies’ man with a reputation.. but also Jack, to whom there is so much more than meets the eye.

This historical novel is so very aptly named. Throughout its pages, both Grace and Jack learn, on several different levels, what it really means to live and walk by faith.. and Not By Sight. From chasing potential spies to helping friends make a new start in life, from learning who to trust (and how to trust them) to navigating the complex nature of love, the fact that all is not always as it seems becomes increasingly obvious to them. Even when we think we know the right path, it’s important to keep at the forefront of our minds that “it’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going” (2 Corinthians 5:7, The Message).

Trusting God even when we can’t see how things could possibly work out.. this is what this book is all about. Whether it is through compensating for physical blindness or more on a spiritual level, the stars of this sweet story are confronted with learning to walk by faith at every turn and pothole in the road.

I highly recommend this Beauty and the Beast tale that Kate Breslin has woven. Personally, I think I’d classify it as a chicken salad sandwich type book. How did I come to this conclusion, you ask? This is something I’ve been considering since early on in my reading, and I decided on a chicken salad sandwich because it has substance.. this book has much meat to it, but also sweetness. I like craisins and apples in my chicken salad, so the combination of substantial meat to fill me up while at the same time getting the sweet flavor and variety of chewy versus crispy with the apples, craisins, and maybe a few nuts.. well, it seemed like the perfect comparison.

*I have had the privilege and honor of being on Kate Breslin’s launch team for Not By Sight and received this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Posted by on September 20, 2015 in Historical fiction, Kate Breslin, Spies, World War 1