Friday, March 27, 2015

Divided by Bill Delvaux

Divided: When the Head and Heart Don't Agree by Bill Delvaux is a book about the divide many Christians experience between what they intellectually acknowledge, and what actually plays out in their life. Delvaux shares many personal examples as he discusses the universality of the divide, what the divide is, what causes it, and how to cross it.

I was initially excited to read this book, as the concept of intellectually knowing the truths of the Bible, while still having trouble believing them enough that they are everyday parts of my life is something I've struggled with. However, when I actually started the book, I realized it wasn't going to be as helpful as I'd hoped. Delvaux shares some good ideas, and his honesty about his own struggle is encouraging in that I know I'm not alone. In my opinion, he spends too much time establishing the fact that there is a divide. The first third of the book is used to establish this. The second third, which is supposed to be about "tackling the divide" is really more of the same - more establishing that there is a divide than ways to tackle it. The last third discusses what its like to close the divide.

For someone who is unfamiliar with the concept of the divide that occurs in many believer's, Divided has helpful information. It's more of a primer on the subject than a guide to dealing with it. At the end of each chapter are prayers and discussion questions that can be used by individuals or groups to go deeper into the content of each chapter. 
 
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookLook book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Fifty Year Silence by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

A Fifty Year Silence, by Miranda Richmond Mouillot, is the story of a granddaughter's search for the reason behind the breakup of her grandparent's relationship. As a child, there was such a separation between her grandparents, that it wasn't until she was twelve years old that the thought that her grandparents once knew one another, much less had once been married, crossed her mind. No one knew what happened between them, and her grandparents hadn't spoken in over fifty years. The feelings between them were so strong, that her grandfather wouldn't set foot on the same continent as her grandmother.

Mouillot grew up extremely close to her grandmother, and couldn't fathom never knowing about this huge part of her life. Her natural inclination toward history led her to figure out what happened. Mouillot moved to France after college to live in a house her grandparents bought together in a small village in France. She thought this would help her search for the truth. Using nothing more than her grandparent's official refugee documents from WWII and the few memories she could get her grandparents to part with, she pieced together the story neither one of them could, or would, remember.

Mouillot is an engaging writer. She easily draws the reader into the mystery surrounding her family history. Weaving together the past and her present search for her, Mouillot makes the reader feel as if he/she is a fly on the wall as she searches. I felt her frustration as she hit dead end after dead end. As she finally the realized the truth, I felt some of the wallop that she must have felt as she realized her family's history and happiness was simply another causality of war.

I recommend A Fifty Year Silence to any person interested in family history, the effect of WWII on European Jews who managed to stay out of concentration camps, or anyone interested in how the past influences and informs the present.

Blogging for Books provided this book to me for free in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255