Authors Showcase: Featuring the novels of Jim H. Ainsworth and Lana Lynne.
May 16, 2013
The Book: Rivers Flow
The Author: Jim H. Ainsworth
The Story: Flow is the difference between the way things are and the way they ought to be.” Jake did not understand the meaning of his grandfather’s words. It was easier to believe that the flow was not real.
The Rivers have a name for the mysterious presence that continually saves them from ruin. They call it the flow. Ten-year-old Jake Rivers is the only family member who has not experienced it, and fears he never will. On a dusty baseball diamond in the middle of a drought, the flow visits Jake, sending him on a quest to understand more than a young boy can.
As Jake searches, a succession of events pushes the family into a downward spiral of economic and emotional disaster. Jake fears that the flow may have turned against his family. An evangelical preacher, a woman who has lost an infant child, and a young boy who loves baseball but can’t play the game help Jake to find the secret of the flow.
Review by Betty Lancaster: This book is the first of a trilogy about the Rivers family as seen through the eyes of a sensitive young boy, Jake Rivers. I am familiar with the area, the time and place, as I grew up on a farm in an adjoining county.
The author captures so well the role of rain in the life of a family living on and dependent on the land for their well being and livelihood. I loved the character of Papa Griff, the aging cowboy, who always offered love, wisdom and sage advice to his young grandson, Jake. The story is not only Jake’s coming of age story, but the story of a family in crisis in more ways than one.
It is the story of love, family ties, strength drawn from stories of past generations, and a strong commitment to getting through present day crises that make this story uniquely of the time and culture that I well remember.
Ainsworth finds the perfect voice to tell this captivating story. It was difficult to put the book down, for there was also an element of mystery about just what was going to happen next.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of fine prose. You will not be disappointed.
Review by Rosalie T. Turner: I loved this book! The characters were drawn very well, & pulled me into the story from the very beginning. The description of time and place was excellent. I am not familiar with east Texas – or the times of drought – & yet I felt that I was transported there. I could feel the dust in my face.
Also, I am not a sports person, but the scenes of the Little League games completely caught me up in the tension, excitement, disappointment, etc. I loved the theology of the book and the way it was expressed. I hope there will be a sequel, because I miss being with the Rivers family now that I’ve finished the book.
The Book: Home Always Beckons
The Author: Lana Lynne
The Story: Author Lana Lynne has written a historically poignant story filled with characters that will capture the hearts of teens and adults alike. Home Always Beckons emerges in the shadow of a war’s end as lives are rebuilt and the treasure of enduring love is found. Marcus Johnson and John Wilkins marched from Rockport, Arkansas, over five years ago to aid in resolving the war that divided the nation.
Many friends and family members fought beside them. Some returned home, spent and broken. Others remained where they had fallen, leaving only memories for their families. John and Marc had made a rare choice. They would not make the return journey for a time.
They had found solace after the war in work with Texas cattlemen. Now the devastation they discover in their home state further deepens the waters of guilt that engulf them as they ultimately travel home to Rockport.
The Civil War had painfully reached the very doors of the family and friends they had left behind. Anger, forgiveness, betrayal, and love are waiting for them. Faces and names echo from the trees and farms. But when John and Marc discover romance in the surprising love of two sisters, A New Sunrise dawns.
Review by Dian Marchese: This book is part of a trilogy, because it would not be fair to the reader if the full story left any parts out. The characters in this book are very real, and they will jump right off the first few pages, and it won’t matter if you like them or their life decisions, you won’t easily forget them. It doesn’t matter what war it is, things always change while the soldier is away.
This story just happens to be set right at the end of the Civil War. so in addition to their own personal lives, these characters face the challenge of dealing with tribal treaties and trust in their fellow citizens who’s sympathies may have been on the other side. They were commited to uniting our nation. Just as with us, these characters face the joy and consequences of their life choices.
Shortly after I began these books, I made the wonderful decision to follow the author on Twitter. I had a desire to know something about the person who could put so much life into so many characters. Lana Lynne is just as delightful as anyone could wish another to be. It didn’t come as a surprise to me that a heart the size of hers could only be contained in the great state of Texas.
I don’t like to read a book review that tells me all about the events of the story, because then why would I read the book if I know all that happens? But I will tell you that it starts in the south after the war and ends in early Washington, and will take you on a very realistic ride with the lives of the characters.
Take it to the beach curl up with it at night, you’ll be glad to root for the success of the characters you love, and hold your breath waiting to find out if some get what you feel they deserve. Do yourself favor and check these books out, they are well worth your time.
Review by C. Roberts: This is a very touching story about three men who are on their way home from the Civil War. They come home to find that many things have changed, but yet some stay the same.
This book has it all, romance, adventure, many touching moments. Whether you live near home or far away, this book will bring back fond memories of home no matter what your age. A family’s love translates the same over the decades. A must read!