Books, Books, and More Books =)

It seems with all the busyness, I have gotten behind in both reading and writing  reviews for books….So I have two books for you today, both of which I thoroughly enjoy.

Ben-Hur, A Tale of Christ by Carol WallaceBen-Hur: A Tale of the Christ  -     By: Carol Mcd. Wallace

Prolific author Carol Wallace has updated the classic tale penned by her great-great-grandfather over a century ago to make it more readable for a modern audience.  The iconic character of Judah Ben-Hur comes to life again.  Betrayal and an unjust sentence instill hatred in the heart of Ben-Hur, but meeting Jesus of Nazareth causes him to reconsider his desire for retribution.

Ben-Hur is a book I  had long ago fallen  in love with. I enjoy the action, and the drama, and the story behind Judah Ben-Hur’s history. And as a rule….I don’t the rewritten work by modern authors. I actually like the old fashioned prose of bygone centuries. But the original book by Lew Wallace was kinda hard to read. It took me weeks, and I didn’t really get into the story until nearly a quarter of the way through. So this was one of the books I wasn’t sure about, and let me tell you, I LOVE the reprinted version. Written by Carol Wallace, Lew’s great, great, great granddaughter, I appreciated the fact that the rewritten version was still authored by the same family. There were a few details added, most of which I enjoyed, and there were a few details taken away — mostly the long, drawn out descriptions of the landscapes. the few details that had been added that I didn’t like were the ones between Judah and Iris, and Judah and Esther. I liked the “romance” of the older book, which was more subtle and sweeter. No encounters between them were added, more detail was just given. Thoughts and emotions that left you guessing in the original book were added in the newer one, and not all of them were particularly necessary. A good comparison would be between the old Pride and Prejudice movie, and the new one — both really good, really sweet, but more detail in the newer one =) I would caution letting younger readers read it — same as the old one, the details given in parts might be too suspenseful.

The Promise of Jesse Woods  -     By: Chris Fabry
The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

In the summer of 1972, Matt Plumley forms a friendship with Jesse Woods. But one night the wrath of the prominent Blackwoods and the secrets of Jesse’s family collide—and destroy the promise she had made. Will he ever learn the truth behind the only pledge Jesse ever broke?

The Promise of Jesse Woods was another good book from one of my (current) favourite authors. I discovered his work from reading War Room, and I realized how much I enjoyed his style of writing from reading June Bug. The book is a heartwarming story of three children, from three different backgrounds, who become friends for life. True to the other books by Chris Fabry which I have read, the book is written in first person. Normally I find that style tedious to read, but with such a talented author as Fabry, it endears the characters to your heart. This book was beautifully woven together in a rich, deep fabric to tell the story of both the past  and the present of the characters. Also, true to form, this book had an ending which was surprising, that you would never guess was coming — which I enjoy. This book is a book that has everything — sentiment, drama, adventure, action, small towns, and big cities. And a wonderful lesson to learn in the end.

I recieved a copy of both these books from Tyndale House Publishers in return for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favourable review.

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What are your thoughts?