Rachel’s Summer Reading List

As much as I love writing lists, I have to admit that I don’t always complete every item on them. I was actually pleasantly surprised to look back over my list from 2015 and realise that I read all but one book on it! Not too bad considering that my active toddler has pretty much cut my reading time in half. Here’s what I hope to read this summer:

Emily of New MoonEmily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery
Publisher: Dell Laurel-Leaf
Publication Date: April 1st, 1983 (first published 1923)

What is it about:
Emily Starr never knew what it was to be lonely — until her beloved father died. Now Emily’s an orphan, and her mother’s snobbish relatives are taking her to live with them at New Moon Farm. She’s sure she won’t be happy. Emily deals with stiff, stern Aunt Elizabeth and her malicious classmates by holding her head high and using her quick wit. Things begin to change when she makes friends: with Teddy, who does marvelous drawings; with Perry, who’s sailed all over the world with his father yet has never been to school; and above all, with Ilse, a tomboy with a blazing temper. Amazingly, Emily finds New Moon beautiful and fascinating. With new friends and adventures, Emily might someday think of herself as Emily of New Moon.

Rachel’s Comments: I think I may have got a little burned out on classic novels during my English degree as I’ve not read many since I graduated three years ago. L. M. Montgomery is one of my favourite authors and I’m always saying that I want to read more of her books, so this summer I’m actually going to follow through with that promise.

THe Colonel's LadyThe Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz
Publisher: Revell
Publication Date: August 1st, 2011

What is it about?
In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own—some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?

Rachel’s Comments: Back in the autumn, I was fortunate enough to tag along on my husband’s work trip to Austin, TX, and finally meet up with Melissa in person! She took me to a couple of Christian bookstores (something we have woefully few of in the UK) and I bought rather a lot of discounted books. All of them managed to fit into our suitcases for the trip back to Scotland, but since then they’ve just sat on my bookcase. This summer, I’m going to aim to read at least one of them, starting with The Colonel’s Lady. I adored Courting Morrow Little and this one has equally glowing reviews. Plus, I’ve not read a lot of historical fiction lately and need to even out all the contemporary titles on this list!

EscapeEscape by Barbara Delinsky
Publisher: Canvas
Publication Date: March 20th, 2012

What is it about?
Have you ever wanted to walk out on your life?

One Friday morning, Emily realises that, somewhere in life, she has chosen the wrong path. She’s stifled by her job as a New York lawyer, she barely sees her husband, James, and their attempts to start a family have proven unsuccessful.

So Emily escapes. She walks out of the office, turns her phone off, packs a bag and leaves New York. She doesn’t even tell James she’s leaving…

But when a new path leads back to her past, and an old lover, new problems arise. As Emily begins to carve out a new life, where does that leave everything and everyone she left behind?

Rachel’s Comments: Barbara Delinsky is another of those authors whose books I love, and I keep meaning to read more of her back catalogue but get distracted by newer releases. Escape has been on my Kindle for literally years, and although it has mixed reviews, I’m still looking forward to reading it. The fact that it’s a digital copy means it’s perfect for taking on our family holiday to Berlin in July!

SwaySway by Amy Matayo
Publication Date: September 15th, 2014
Publisher: SYG Productions

What is it about?
Falling in love is a beautiful thing. Unless you fall for the wrong person.

Finally settled after a tragedy-laden life, 24-year-old Caleb has found security in his faith, his friends, and his career. It’s the life he’s always wanted—simple, predictable, and safe. Enter Kate Hawkins, the attractive 21-year-old stranger he rescues from a bar fight who has an odd affinity for the color pink and a unique sense of humor.

It doesn’t take long to realize their connection is intense, but after only a handful of dates, a shocking revelation surfaces. Lines are drawn, sides are taken, and loyalties are decided as their newfound relationship is brought to a sudden halt.

But unlike most couples who split, avoiding each other is impossible. As daily interactions become unbearable, one realization becomes clear: they’ve both fallen hard for the absolute wrong person, which leaves both scrambling for a way to make it right.

Rachel’s Comments: I won this book in a giveaway a couple of months ago (I never win anything!) and it has been taunting me from my bookshelf ever since. I need to read it! I love contemporary romances but haven’t read an awful lot of New Adult romances, so I’m looking forward to delving into Sway and seeing if this genre works for me. Plus, I love Amy Matayo’s Instagram posts—she’s such an inspiration to fellow novelists!

The AllianceThe Alliance by Jolina Petersheim
Publication Date: June 1st, 2016
Publisher: Tyndale

What is it about?
When Leora Ebersole sees the small plane crash in her Old Order Mennonite community, she has no idea it’s a foreshadowing of things to come. Once the young pilot, Moses Hughes, regains consciousness, they realize his instruments were destroyed by the same power outage that killed the electricity at the community store, where Englischers are stranded with dead cell phones and cars that won’t start.

Moses offers a sobering theory, but no one can know how drastically life is about to change. With the only self-sustaining food supply in the region, the Pacifist community is forced to forge an alliance with the handful of stranded Englischers in an effort to protect not only the food but their very lives.

In the weeks that follow, Leora, Moses, and the community will be tested as never before, requiring them to make decisions they never thought possible. Whom will they help and whom will they turn away? When the community receives news of a new threat, everyone must decide how far they’re willing to go to protect their beliefs and way of life.

Rachel’s Comments: Post-apocalyptic Mennonite novel? Um, yes. I used to read a lot of Plain fiction but kind of moved away from it as it began to feel a little samey. This sounds like a wonderfully different take on a community that I find utterly fascinating, and I adore Jolina Petersheim’s writing, so I have high hopes for this book. Maybe it’ll even be a bit reminiscent of Jericho, one of my all-time favourite TV shows?

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