Wednesday, October 20, 2010

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
While We're Far Apart
Bethany House (October 1, 2010)
Lynn Austin



It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.  


In an unassuming apartment building in Brooklyn, New York, three lives intersect as the reality of war invades each aspect of their lives. Young Esther is heartbroken when her father decides to enlist in the army shortly after the death of her mother.

Penny Goodrich has been in love with Eddie Shaffer for as long as she can remember; now that Eddie's wife is dead, Penny feels she has been given a second chance and offers to care for his children in the hope that he will finally notice her and marry her after the war.

And elderly Mr. Mendel, the landlord, waits for the war to end to hear what has happened to his son trapped in war-torn Hungary. But during the long, endless wait for victory overseas, life on the home front will go from bad to worse.

Yet these characters will find themselves growing and changing in ways they never expected--and ultimately discovering truths about God's love...even when He is silent.

If you would like to read the first chapter of While We're Far Apart, go HERE.

Cheryl Comments:

Lynn Austin has created a masterpiece of a novel with While We're Far Apart.  The story takes place during World War II, in Brooklyn and was reminiscent of  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a book which I remember from my childhood and one that has stayed with me for thirty-five years or so...

The characters in While We're Far Apart are all so well drawn that I feel as if I could reach out and touch them, visit with them and share a cup of war-rationed tea, as I watched their lives play out in a drama so warm and so real that I found that I didn't want to leave them or their world.

Who are these characters and are they  so perfect that they can only be admired from a distance like statues on a pedestal?  Far from it! At the start  I wasn't sure that I even liked the protagonist, Penny Goodrich.  At first glance she appeared to be an over-eager mouse of a woman who volunteered to care of Esther and Peter in order to gain the affection of their widowed father, who was serving over in England as a mechanic.  Esther is almost thirteen and is determined to block Penny's every attempt at kindness as she mourns the loss of her mother, and Peter, her younger brother has lost his voice as a result of trauma that today would be referred to as post traumatic stress syndrome.

Oh but keep reading, because this is a story of ugly ducklings turning into swans,  of pain and loss, fear and hoping against all hope that a loving God exists in the universe, and that somehow He still cares in spite of the unspeakable horrors affecting the world and everyone in it.

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to read this book and I know that this story will stay with me for a long time.
Share with those you love.


Patti Lacy said...

Cheryl, I LOVE Lynn's books and am so glad you liked this one.

Sigh. Maybe by Christmas I'll have time to read it!

Love having you stop by Seas & Secrets!!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Thanks Patti. I love hanging out at Seas and Secrets! It's one of my favorite things to do!

Lynn's book is amazing. I found myself growing with the characters and didn't want to leave their world.