Review: No Other Will Do

No Other Will Do No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great story telling! I was entranced until I ran into some not so great fact checking/modernisms. Just be prepared to be jerked out of the 19th century every once in a while. Plus the dialogue sometimes falls a little flat. I really expect a lot from established writers; they are experienced and supposed to know what they are doing. I also give just as much expectation of experienced editors. Fact checking is one of the must dos. Weeding out modernisms is a must do. I expected a lot more from Bethany House. One other problem that a good editing job would have taken out all the rehashing of problems that the characters do. This rehasing took up at least 8,000 words, and the story would have been much tighter and moved along a lot faster if this angst of the two main characters had been capsuled rather than dragged out.

However, this book is really great story telling summed up in one delicious word: Anticipation! Witemeyer is a genius with anticipation. The mystery part of who is doing the threatening is a sidenote in the story, not the main storyline. I think that part could have been woven in a bit better.

I'm quite sure there were plenty of women who hated men because of what they suffered at their hands. That was a really neat premise. I love strong women characters, but characters that have weaknesses as well make the best and most interesting characters. Witemeyer does a wonderful job with this. She also does a great job with giving the reader several different characters to chew on about the mysterious helper.

Weighing all the pros and cons, this comes out a satisfying read.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Tank Man's Son: A Memoir

The Tank Man's Son: A Memoir The Tank Man's Son: A Memoir by Mark Bouman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My heart broke for Mark Bouman as I read this book. I had a wonderful father, but my husband dished out verbal abuse almost everyday. I could identify with what was going on in this family, and see the thoughts that must have been going through my teenage girls heads because I didn't have the know-how to stop the verbal abuse.

The story telling had a few flaws. Sometimes the worded illustrations didn't quite click into place, but other times the word paintings were quite vivid with emotions and pain as well as fun times. I really liked that Bouman shared some of those good times with his readers.

One thing that didn't gel as well as other things were the characterizations of brother, sister, and mother. Mother was better than the other two, and I understand why. The siblings were too afraid to open up because it was too painful, and it almost always backfired when the Tank Man used those things against them. So what is not said is just as important to the story as what is said. That is a hard way to write.

As I said earlier, I have suffered abuse. I know how hard it is to forgive the abuser. This is why I know that Mark Bouman could not have forgiven his father without God's help. Years and years of abuse take a deep toll on a person's mind, body, and especially the soul. I was deeply touched by the soul cleansing Mark received, and recognize the same soul-stretching God did for him that he did for me.

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