April 2016 Book Reviews and Featured Author

April 2016 Book Reviews and Featured Author


Me Before You and After You

by JoJo Moyes

Each of these books can stand alone as a story of finding purpose and identity despite the profound challenges of life. Together they form a satisfying saga of love, family and the hope, bravery and sustained effort needed to redirect the path of life when it’s pushed off course.

Me Before You introduces the heroine we follow through both novels. Louisa (Lou) Clark is an unambitious young woman who lives at home, wears vintage cast-offs and bumblebee tights and unexpectedly loses her job in a cafe in her small English town. With few marketable skills, she is hired as a care assistant for Will Traynor, a formerly high-powered businessman and adventurer now confined to his parents’ home as a quadriplegic. Me Before You deals with the short period where her life is transformed by her care for Will, ending in moral and ethical issues and loss.

After You picks up Lou’s life two years later, as she surmounts her loss and becomes her own person in the midst of all the messiness and moral dilemmas of everyday life.

These novels deal with hard topics – incapacitating injury, joblessness, loss of life purpose and confidence, sexual assault, and assisted suicide. Yet there is buoyancy and hope that emerges. As Moyes writes, “You only get one life. It’s your duty to live it as fully as possible.”


FEATURED AUTHOR: Dr. Margaret Mayo Gibson

Books about Life, Love, and Learning

Our own Margie Gibson has authored five books and they are all in Reformation’s libray! Here is a brief summary about each book.

A Seed In Good Soil

In A Seed in Good Soil: Parenting through Childhood Memories, readers get a nostalgic look at a childhood that nurtured a creative parenting style. Readers are entertained and informed as Dr. Gibson reveals how adults in the 1930’s and 1940’s faced the challenge of parenting. These heartwarming stories illustrate valuable parenting pointers that are appropriate in today’s society. Discussion questions for each anecdote stimulate interaction for small groups. Parents, grandparents, teachers, mentors, and adults of all ages will enjoy this book.

Family Treasures: A Guide to Writing Your Life Stories

In this book, Dr. Gibson shares a memoir of her life and loves. Her personal stories will help you recall details of your own life experiences. These stories are told in themes that stimulate your memory. Questions relating to each theme will give you an opportunity to record those personal memories right in this book. Chapters on several ways to preserve your memories help you pass along your own legacy. Family Treasures motivates you to start writing now!

Avanti! – Tales of Love and Survival

Avanti! begins in a world without television, the Internet, iPads, or supermarkets—a world where blackberries were only fruit and children had time for play. This is a story many immigrants could tell. They survived with the same resources: hard work, determination, a close community, and faith in God. In Part One, read to discover the similarities and differences in the difficulties your ancestors and mine overcame to find the American Dream. In Part Two, read about struggles and hardships in the twenty-first century. People have “wilderness times” in their lives today. Current survival stories can provide hope and strength for those of us in the twenty-first century. In Part Three, the reader will discover the many ways in which people of Italian descent made a positive difference in society. Although several people are named, it is only a sample of Italians who made a positive impact on our world. Everyone has a story. After seeing the stories shared here, readers will hopefully be encouraged to share their own stories with others.

Life Lessons Learned in 84 Years

Life Lessons Learned in 84 Years presents funny and serious excerpts from a life well lived. Containing experiences from childhood to the golden years, the book gives readers entertaining, true stories they can apply to their own lives.

Everyday Miracles

The dictionary defines a miracle as “an extraordinary occurrence that is ascribed to a divine or supernatural cause.” In Everyday Miracles, the author has gathered thirty-two such occurrences from her own experiences and from her associates, friends, and relatives. These personal accounts cover a variety of subjects, including medical emergencies, job hunting, and meeting future life mates. Reading through this book will hopefully enable you to remember several of your own miracles that have helped you and other folks through such lifetime experiences.