Saturday, August 18, 2012
A BRIDE'S FLIGHT FROM VIRGINIA CITY, MONTANA 5 Stars***** Reviewed by Teresa Mathews In this exciting tale Murray Pura takes us on an adventurous although perilous journey that starts in February 1875 in Virginia City, Montana and goes all the way to Bird-In-Hand, Pennsylvania. During this time we are introduced to Charlotte Spence, and Zephaniah Parker, both ranchers in Montana. The day Zephaniah is out riding the range and stumbles upon two very frightened young children, will be the day that will forever change his life. The boy and girl are both too frightened to tell their names so Zeph calls them Cheyenne and Cody Wyoming. Little does he know they have just witnessed the horrendous slaughter of their parents and friends. They are the lone survivors of “The Angel of Death’s” visit. Charlotte Spence is the sole owner of the Sweet Blue Meadows Ranch now that her brother Ricky has passed away, another delayed casualty of the war. Charlotte is a strong, brave woman running a ranch with ten men that obey her every command, which is a tad out of the ordinary in 1875. To anyone looking at the outside all they see is the beauty of Charlotte but if they could look on the inside they would see the secrets she harbors and she is so afraid no one would like what they find out. When Zephaniah talks with his brother Matt, the local lawman, and finds out why the children are frightened, both men realize they need to get the children to safety because the Angel of Death will never let them live as soon as he hears they are alive. Matt suggests to Zeph that the children might do well staying at Charlotte’s ranch. Charlotte is delighted to take the children in; she wants to ease the pain they are going through. When Matt receives a telegram from the Angel saying he is coming to kill the children and the woman hiding them, Zeph and Matt insist that Charlotte take the kids by train to their relatives in Pennsylvania. But the only way Charlotte agrees to the plan is for Zephaniah to accompany them as her husband! Charlotte explains that they will blend in better if they travel under the guise of a man and his wife with their children. Zephaniah could see the wisdom of the plan and he really didn’t like the idea of her and the children traveling alone, so he agrees. Will they make it safely? Or will they have an untimely appointment with "death"? I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this, from the first page right up until the last. It took me through a whole gamut of emotions, joy at the beautiful scenery that Murray described so well, excitement and fear knowing they are running from a man that seems subhuman with one goal in mind; killing them. And complete overwhelming satisfaction when it was all said and done. I will tell you that I’m sure you will find yourself reading late into the night like I did. Don’t be surprised if you are shocked into a wide awake state just when you think you might be getting a little sleepy, I know I was!! Had anyone else been awake in my house they would have seen my mouth hanging open because that is how shocked I was at one point!! Job Well Done, Mr. Pura!
Reviewed by Diana Flowers 5 stars~***** Not Your Typical Amish Fiction! In The Face of Heaven, Murray Pura has penned a powerful, literary masterpiece, set during one of the most tumultuous, heartbreaking times in our country's history--the Civil War. The whipping and hanging of an innocent man near an Amish farmhouse forever changes the course of three young Amish people's lives; Lyndel Keim, her brother Levi, and her beau, Nathaniel King. In spite of being pacifists, they remain haunted by what they have witnessed, and feel compelled to follow the call to join the Union forces. Lyndel obtains permission to work in the midst of the battlefield, nursing the wounded before they are taken to the hospital, and finds herself serving both the fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. Nathaniel King serves in one of the most courageous regiments in the Union army, the 19th Indiana Brigade, and Lyndel finds her way to him which results in a bittersweet reunion for the two. Separated by the horrific battle of Gettysburg, Nathaniel is severely wounded, and Lyndel must call upon her faith in God; not knowing whether the love of her life is dead or alive. Will she have the strength and the courage to keep nursing the wounded?...when her beloved is lying out there somewhere; possibly dead? Murray Pura has written a brilliant novel; destined to become a classic. This book evoked so many intense emotions in me-heartbreak, horror, elation, and most of all pride...pride in this great country of ours, and of the men and women who gave their lives to truly make it "the land of the free and the home of the brave." At times my emotions were at such a peak, I had to place the book down, only to find myself picking it right back up--truly a page turner. *WARNING* This novel relives the battles of the Civil War and may not be suitable for more genteel readers. War is not pretty, and there is a lot of carnage, violence, and the harsh realities of war in this book. Though an intense novel, the love story within its pages is timeless and beautiful, and with a strong, spiritual thread throughout this is a definite must read for history/romance lovers everywhere! Very nicely done, Mr. Pura!
Reviewed by Marian Baay 5 stars~***** Truly A Masterpiece! During the Civil War The main characters Lyndel Keim and Nathaniel King are Amish. After they witnessed the brutal treatment of runaway slaves, their lives are changed forever. They are just starting to fall in love when Nathaniel joins the Army. Some time later Lyndel follows him as an Army nurse. After about a year they finally see each other again. Now that both have become a part of the war effort, they are banished from their Amish community. Despite of the war their love grows. And despite of they're being banished they still live up to their faith. Nathaniel fights in several well known battles. It's nice to read about the camaraderie among Nathaniel's platoon. I almost felt a part of them and could imagine the bullets whistling around my head. Lyndel cares for the many wounded soldiers. It's not always pleasant to read about the battle injuries, but it was reality back then. When loved ones get seriously injured, will Lyndel be able to nurse them back to health? This book truly is a page turner and a masterpiece! Awesome job, Murray!