The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson

The Fairest Beauty, by Melanie Dickerson

Reason for Reading: I led the book discussion for ACFW this month.

When Gabe Gerstenberg learns that his brother’s fiance – who everyone thought had died – was very much alive and being held hostage by an evil duchess. Gabe’s brother is down with a broken leg, and his father is busy, so he decides to rescue her himself. He bites off more than he can chew with this rash act, and ends up running desperately from the duchesses men – with a woman that he finds very attractive and very unavailable. 

This sweet Christian historical fiction retelling of Snow White, has all the recognizable elements of the fairy tale, but is set in a realistic world. There were a few really creative twists – like the “seven dwarves” that made this story a fun creation. There were a lot of ethical questions brought to light – the main theme was: when do you know you’re following God’s wishes rather than your own? This is a good book for readers of fluffy/sweet romance, fairy tale retellings, or Christian historical fiction. Personally, I found Sophie’s character to be just a little too sweet and perfect, but I think that’s the nature of the snow white fairy tale. As far as I’m concerned, that was the only flaw in this cute retelling.

The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink

2012 Book 29: The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink (2/14/2012)

Reason for Reading: Filled in a 1001 Books and an International Fiction slot in my 12 in 12 challenge (and it was nice and short)

My Review 3.5/5 stars
15-year old Michael has a love affair with an older woman, who then disappears leaving him with uneasy feelings of guilt and abandonment. Years later, he discovers that she was a guard at Nazi concentration camps. While he attends her trial, and in the years following, Michael explores what it means to love someone who has done terrible things. For me, this was a new way to view the Holocaust, and so the story was very interesting. However, it’s not the type of book I generally enjoy, so this is the only reason I gave it a lower rating. I think it’s a very well written and thought-provoking book.