July 2023 Book Reviews

Summer reading has not been my strong suit this year! I signed my kids up almost a month after our library started their program. And my own reading has been a little slower. I feel like July just flew by! Between helping at our church's VBS, celebrating my oldest kid's birthday, & getting him ready for his first week of camp, it was just a lot busier than I thought it would be.

I managed to finish 5 books, but I'm super close to finishing another that's super short. I'll save it for the August post though.


The Hidden Prince by Tessa Ashfar

This novel is set during the time of Israel's captivity in Babylon. The main character begins the story as a servant in the home of Daniel. Because of Daniel's prominent place in the court of Babylon & her grandfather's training as a scribe, Keren has a front-row seat as momentous events unfold. She soon must flee the land she knows, but this flight puts her on the way to helping a young man fulfill a prophecy of Isaiah. I read this & then read the passage in Isaiah that it refers to in my devotions a week or 2 later. The author used some creativity to fill in the blanks of these ancient events, of course. If you enjoy learning about what life might have been like during some of the Biblical accounts, this is a good one to try.

Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom by Ilyon Woo

I don't usually read history books, but this one came highly recommended. It's an incredible story of the many nuances of the experience of Ellen & William Craft. They faced dangerous close calls, met prominent abolitionists, shared their story, & fought to make their own way in a world that was not about to give them any advantages. Even in Canada & England where slavery was outlawed, Ellen & William faced prejudice & had to free themselves from situations where they were still being treated like free, able-minded adults. It's not a Hollywood ending. The Crafts return to the American South, buying land in the very state where they were enslaved. But the Klan burns a cross in their yard & refuse to let them live out their lives in peace. Their children lived on as successful adults, so in that way the Crafts got their happily ever after. But it was hard-fought!

Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams

I've been reading Sarah Adams' books since she first started writing as an independent author. Her books used to be squeaky clean. As she's become more popular & received a book contract, the books have become a little more steamy. The main female character, Annie, is a sweet younger sister who never stands up for herself & suffers from low self-esteem (even though she's a small business owner & sister-in-law to the pop star from the first book in this series). She takes "dating lessons" from a tattooed, commitment-phobic bodyguard. And romance happens, of course. It's a fun little book, but I was definitely flipping through quite a few scenes because I just felt they were too much. Compared to the romance novels Annie hides from her sisters, I know this is tame. But I still miss the cleaner stories from those early days.

Emma by Jane Austen

After that contemporary novel, I had to cleanse my literary palette. Nothing makes you remember that a novel doesn't have to be steamy to be romantic like Jane Austen. I first read this book in depth in my literary criticism class in college. We spent one whole class period on the first paragraph. The novel is just that good! If you haven't read any Austen novels, I encourage you to give them a try. The humor, characters, insight, & intelligence of her novels are worth it. Oh, and they end happily, making them great for stress relief!

Homeschool Bravely by Jamie Erickson

I recently started following Jamie on Instagram. She's so encouraging to the homeschool community, & I've already bought at least one book based on her recommendations. Homeschool Bravely was a great reminder to put aside the criticism, the negativity, the doubts & just a friend who is a teacher thinks. Don't let weaknesses & shortcomings stop you. If God has called you to educate your children in this way, walk forward with courage. When we are weak, He is strong! He has placed these kids in my care & has continued to make homeschooling a part of our lives. It's the perfect book to read as a spend hours & days planning our upcoming school year!


Short & sweet as always! I hope you found some ones to add to your TBR pile, too!

Cheering you on!


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