Jeanie Kenkel

Jeanie is an RN in Kearney, Nebraska. She blogs at Mystical Rows and The Jeopardy! Fan .

Book Reviews by Jeanie Kenkel

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The Shack

I have to admit I didn't give this book much consideration until I recently saw books - several in fact - about The Shack on a secular bookstore shelf – and The Shack was published in 2007! After reading the book, I can see what all the fuss (positive and negative) was about.

The story begins with an introduction to Willie, who narrates. He is a friend of Mack Philips. Mack goes to his mailbox one day to find an invitation from "Papa" to visit him at "the shack." There is already an element of the supernatural, as Mack soon finds out that, due to icy weather, the mailman never did deli...

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The Mistress of Husaby (Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy)

The Mistress of Husaby, or The Wife, is the second part of Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy. It begins just after Kristin and Erlend Nikulausson have married. Kristin is pregnant when she marries him, with the first of seven sons.

In this second book, the sin which Kristin committed in the first book, taking up with Erlend against her parents’ wishes, bears its rotten fruit in violent and heart-rending fashion.

Before Kristin, Erlend had a long-term girlfriend who had been married to someone else. Erlend and this girlfriend ha...

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North of Hope

John Hassler’s North of Hope, published in 1990, revolves around the lives of Frank Healy and Libby Girard in Linden Falls, Minnesota. It spans generations, calling to mind The Thorn Birds. In fact I could name a counterpart from The Thorn Birds for each character in North of Hope.

The story begins when Frank and Libby are in high school. Harry Truman is the president. Libby has just moved to Linden Falls, Minnesota, from Minneapolis. By the end of the first chapter, still on the day he first laid eyes on her, Frank thinks, "She's the ...

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The Exorcist

I was a little spooked about reading William Peter Blatty’s notorious novel of demon possession The Exorcist. That’s because I was always the girl at the overnight birthday party who hid behind a chair while the other kids were watching the horror movie Carrie. Because of the same sort of gore and violence, I still won't watch Passion of the Christ either.

Nonetheless, I took a chance and started Blatty’s book – in the dead of night and all alone. And I was perfectly fine. I continued it the next night under the same circumstances.

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