Heiress and Love Finds You in Sunset Beach are two books that should be on every reader’s Christmas list. Both amazing books are published by Summerside Press and happen to be written by two of my favorite authors.
Heiress is written by the amazing Susan May Warren. Set during the Gilded Age this book sweeps the reader seamlessly from the opulence of high society balls in New York City, to underground mining tunnels in rugged Montana. You’ll experience the luxurious summer cottages of the privileged, the ink-stained hands of downtown journalist, and the hovels in Hell’s Kitchen (the poorest section of NY).
Susie’s writing is mind-blowing—you see the rich pooling curtains in the mansions, smell the soot in the city air, and run your fingers through Montana dirt. It’s that realistic.
More than that, as a reader I was so invested in the story that my heart was wrenched through the gamut of emotions. I literary lost sleep agonizing over what was happening in the characters’ lives. Putting down the book to eat was next to impossible, so much so that I finished it in two days.
See, in Heiress Susie took on the task of telling the Biblical story of Esau and Jacob with a modern twist. The Biblical truths are present in this brilliantly spun story of two affluent daughters, Esme and Jinx.
This book deals honestly and boldly with really tough issues. Life’s horrors aren’t glossed over. A deep lesson unfolds, one that shows the condition of the human heart paralleled with a God who is always willing to offer grace. Both sisters must face painful consequences for pursuing their sinful desires and for refusing to wait on God.
Both sisters must answer the question: what does it mean to be blessed? To have wealth? Family? Influence in their position? Popularity among peers? To be forgiven?
Read this powerful book. You’re morals will be assaulted (in the best sense), your heart will weep, you’ll catch yourself sighing, and you will be blessed.
– Me and Susie –
Which leads me to my second recommendation Love Finds You in Sunset Beach, written by dear-to-my-heart Robin Jones Gunn. I need to put in a little plug for the Love Finds You series, it’s a wonderful line written by a multitude of authors. Each book takes place in a different real town. They range from hilarious to edge-of-your-seat suspense. All are worth reading.
This book was like sitting down to tea with a best friend. Those of us who were fans of Robin’s YA Sierra Jensen series did flips when it was announced that Sierra’s story would finally be told! Four years have passed since we last saw our free-spirited Sierra when she left college to work at a mission in Brazil. Us fans were left asking: whatever happened to Sierra (I must admit, I think I’ve sent Robin multiple notes to that effect and asked her in person).
Robin has this writer super-power of making her characters so lifelike that you forget they are fictional and start thinking of them as real people who you know and care about. I found this to remain true in Love Finds You in Sunset Beach with Sierra and Jordan.
We find that Sierra’s time in Brazil has matured her, she’s still the Sierra we love, but she won’t be jotting off split-second hate mail like she once did as a teen. When her position in Brazil comes to an end Sierra must decide if she will stay with the mission for a new task or if it’s time to move on and do something else. She struggles with belonging. She has never felt like she fit in Brazil, yet she’s been away from home so long she doesn’t know if that’s where she should be either.
When the opportunity to take a trip to Hawaii presents itself, Sierra takes the vacation as a chance to relax and figure out what God wants her to do next. As she tries to plot out the next steps in her life she didn’t expect having to work in Jordan, a guy she meets in Hawaii who throws a wrench into her plans.
This book is not only about trusting that God is at work and has a plan for your life, but that God wants good things for you. As the story unfolds Sierra begins to wonder if God’s plans are too amazing to be true. Could God really want blessings for His children? Wouldn’t He rather she sit in a hut in a jungle working for Him than follow her heart?
Can I just say I *loved* the message of this book? I feel like it’s one that’s often overlooked in Christian fiction. This is a quick and delightful read. I cannot wait for next year when we find out the next chapter of Sierra and Jordan in one of Robin’s next books.
– Me and Robin –