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?
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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*