Friday, November 3, 2017

Giver of Wonders | First Line Friday

Do you have a favorite author? I do, and while I'll be the first to admit that they sometimes change, Roseanna White has been on my top-ten favorites for about a year now. Recently, I got to read a new-for-me book of hers and loved it! Here's the first line...

How many of you have read Roseanna White?
What's a first line from a book you're reading? (or the book closest to you)

Don't forget, to join the fun, hop over to Hoarding Books!

My Review
Roseanna has done it again: a captivating story that pulled me in and intrigued me from page one. All of the characters were amazingly developed and original. The relationship between the sisters was so sweet and realistic. I could go on and on about the characters. I really liked them all. Petras, Cyrpus, the twins, the parents… if they were a good character, I loved them. If they were an antagonistic character, I still liked them because they were so very well done!

The storyline, though. I love a story that I can’t predict, and that’s exactly what this one was for me. I mean, I kind of figured out what might happen for Nikolaos’ life and his decisions about money, but how it would all play out, I had absolutely no clue—which is why I loved this story. I have read too many predictable plot-lines, so one that keeps me guessing with five different scenarios of possibilities… yeah. That is the kind of book that grabs my attention.

There was one aspect that I was very cautious about, and that was Nikolaos being the “wonder worker.” Stories with men performing miracles put me a little on edge because I personally believe that we are in the age where miracles are a gift of the past (now, if you read Revelations, you’ll find that miracles will be a very strong sign of the beast, but this is a book review, not a theological discussion). “Giver of Wonders” was written in an era, however, where it was possible for men to have the gift of miracles… I’m just not going to fully endorse it because I wasn’t there and claiming miracles is kind of a big thing with how we portray God. So, because of that, every time Nikolaos came on the scene, I read very cautiously and it probably hindered me from absolutely loving him. I can’t say that it was unbiblical, and according to the author’s notes, there are historical tales of the real Nikolaos performing miracles. I just… yeah… am very uncertain about endorsing the whole thing, given the era in which we now live, and how men and women today scream for miracles, many of which are not done for God’s glory. I do applaud Roseanna, because overall, the miracles and focus of the miracles was for God’s glory, to exalt and glorify Him—they weren’t just given to enhance the story.

Now, about the spiritual content: Oh. My. Word. Wow. The spiritual content in this book! Five stars for it!! The characters’ focus wasn’t just about finding out “who they were” or falling in love. There was so much woven through the whole book where they were honestly trying to seek God, follow Him, and glorify Him—even if it was at the cost of something or someone that they loved. Some Scripture was quoted, but more often than not, it was alluded to very clearly. It was a very edifying read in the spiritual sense. It left me feeling very uplifted, with my thoughts turned more toward God and actually seeking Him. That doesn’t happen often in a fiction book. This covers some tough issues about following God, marrying unbelievers, honoring parents, and keeping our desires surrendered to God. There was a scene toward the end (it’s the climax so I’m not going to give a spoiler) where one character felt like following God was to do something very unsavory. In essence it was noble, but if someone immature were to read this book and felt like it gave a stamp of approval on the action…that is the only fear I’d have.

There was definitely romance in this book. I really liked the era-portrayal of arranged marriages. It was more of a mix of arranged/falling in love, so it probably wasn’t 100% accurate, but it wasn’t completely inaccurate either. As far as the actual romance goes, there was admiration, some kissing, and such. Because the book was more about the girls’ family struggles than their romantic interests, it didn’t feel like the main plot of the book, though it was definitely there. There were quite a few mentions of prostitution and dangers of women alone on the streets, but nothing at all explicit was portrayed. Because of it all, though, I would recommend it for 18+ conservative readers.

In conclusion, this is a book I’m delighted to have on my shelves. I imagine that I will reread it a few times because it was just that good.

*I received this book from WhiteFire Publishing and happily provided my honest review*


Tima Murrell said...

Looks interesting. I enjoyed reading your thoughts in the review.

My first line is "Sometimes leading also means following. Sometimes being first means you actually arrive second." Service Tales by Ace Collins

Trisha Robertson said...

Over on my blog I’m sharing the first line from Sarah Monzon’s latest book just released this week; “The Esther Paradigm”. I’m just over half-way through the book, and I’m loving the story. But you’ll have to go over there to read the first line for The Esther Paradigm. Here I’ll share with you the first line from an older favorite.

Bedford, England — May 1659
“The babe’s crying would rip her heart to shreds if she had to listen to it one more minute.” — The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund

Rebecca Van Daniker said...

Love Roseanna M. White. I really need to read this one though! :)

I'm featuring The Princess Bride on my blog, but I'm currently reading Meg Mitchell & the Secret of the Journals by Kimberly McNeil so I'll share that here.

If I say I go to the White Raven for the food, I'd be lying, and I'm a journalist, which means I don't lie.

Happy Friday!

Caryl Kane said...

Happy Friday!

His quarry was late. Very late. – An Eye For An Eye by Irene Hannon

Nicole Santana said...

I LOVED Giver of Wonders. It is such a fantastic novel.

Happy Friday!!! Today, I’m showcasing A Mother For His Family by Susanne Dietze. So here I will share the first two lines from the novel next in line on my review pile, Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan.

“You can’t call that a settlement offer.” Kate Sullivan looked directly into the dark eyes of her opposing counsel, who represented a medical device company.

Phyllis - Among the Reads said...

Sounds like a great book. I've never read anything by this author.

Right now, I honestly couldn't pick a favorite author. My list of favorites has been growing quite a bit.

My first line comes from Masquerade by Janette Rallison. This is a re-read for me of this fun book.

"Opportunity didn’t knock for Slade Jacobson – it rang his cell phone at 10:34 pm while he was putting his daughter to bed for the third time."

Sharon K. Connell said...

My all-time Favorite author would still be J.R.R. Tolkien. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” From The Hobbit, of course.

englishmysteriesblog said...

I haven't read many books by this author, but I will have to check out her books. Happy Friday!

Paula said...

I absolutely love Roseanna! I’m going to have to read this soon!

My first line is from Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris:

Special Agent Garrett Addison snapped a photo of the freshly dug grave located inside the yellow roped-off crime scene.

Fiction Aficionado said...

I love Roseanna White too. I haven't read this one yet, but I really want to.

I’m featuring the first line from Pepper Basham’s ‘Charming the Troublemaker’ on my blog, but I’m going to leave you with the first line of a book I’ll be reviewing tomorrow, ‘The Bachelor Missions’ by Jes Drew:

“One bulky figure stands alone in the rain, keeping his head down–his identity obscured by a hat and large raincoat.”

Suzie Waltner said...

I need to read Roseanna White's backlist. I enjoyed her ladies of the manor series and her newest book.

The first line of the book I’m currently reading is:

England, December 23, 1813
Holly Gray’s courage faded with every step she took deeper inside the castle conservatory where, according to Grandfather’s stories, a ghost resided.

Christmas Secrets by Donna Hatch

Amanda Tero said...

@ Tima – thank you. That’s a very thought-provoking first line!

@ Trisha – thanks for sharing! I enjoyed both your first lines.

@ Rebecca – oh yes, you should! And just in time for Christmas!

@ Caryl – ooh, good first line! I want to read Irene Hannon sometime!

@ Nicole – yes, it is! And another line from Deadly Proof. ;)

@ Phyllis – I really like Roseanna’s writings! But it is true, lists of favorites grow so very often! I hadn’t heard of Janette Rallison before. :)

@ Sharon – his is a very memorable first line!

@ English Mysteries – oh yes, you should!

@ Paula – I hope you do. :) Ah, Lisa Harris. I WILL get to her one day!

@ Fiction – thanks for sharing!!

@ Suzie – yes, I’ve enjoyed all of those as well! Ooh, intriguing first line.

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