book review

Book Review: Falling Free

It’s so rare for me to put a book down without finishing it. I did skip to the end because I assumed there must be a more definitive explanation for why Shannan Martin, author of Falling Free: Rescued from the Life I Always Wanteddecided it was God’s will for her family to sell their dream home in the country and end up in Goshen, Indiana.


The explanation isn’t there. Instead, the author likes to throw out platitudes and Bible verses and hope they make sense. And they almost do, but without concrete examples and explanations, they fall flat. I want explanations and examples, and got preaching and platitudes. Her blog, “Flower Patch Farmgirl” was so lovely. Her beautiful voice doesn’t translate to this book. The premise is there, but the delivery falls short. There is too much missing, too many unanswered questions.

I love what the author stands for; simplifying, follow Jesus, loving and giving. She invests her time and her money in helping others. I just didn’t love this book. I would love to see her blogging again, however.

book review

Book Review: Life After

“A pen coupled with paper can serve as a powerful life tool.”- Maud Purcell


I picked up this book, “Life After” by Kate Ganshert, at the perfect time. Not long ago, I submitted my manuscript for a grief journal that will be released by Familius in 2018, and last week I completed coursework towards grief counseling certification. In her wonderful book, Ganshert delves into both topics; journaling and grief.

In order to complete my book proposal, I did extensive research regarding the healing qualities of expressive writing. A writer by trade, I’d naturally turned to journaling and writing as a form of therapy after David died. I was so intrigued by James Pennebaker’s research and the idea of expressive writing as a tool for healing, that I designed an expressive writing workshop to present at the grief event I coordinated in October. I’m tweaking that workshop to fit a writing workshop and a community college class this summer.

expressive writing picture.jpg

Autumn Manning calls her journal Maude, and she is dealing with survivor’s guilt, a very real facet of grieving. Manning is the sole survivor of a train bomb that killed 22 people. Her grief is complicated by her obsession with the victims and their families. The fact that a young girl whose mother died that day keeps writing her letters only adds to the plotline.

I loved this author’s style of writing and couldn’t put this book down until I finished it. The journal entries in between chapters really added to the storyline.

I’m adding Ganshert’s other books to my to-read pile. You can read more about the author HERE.