Redeeming Reads

Showing items filed under “Church family”

The Invisible Wall

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Carol Osterling recommends Harry Bernstein’s memoir, The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers.  At age 93, the author recalls growing up in small-town Manchester, England, on a street divided by an invisible wall of prejudice and misunderstanding.

In the early 20th century, the Bernsteins and other Jewish families had migrated to England from Poland and Russia to escape persecution.  The street where the Jewish immigrants lived was only half theirs.  Christians lived on one side, Jews on the other. 

The invisible barriers were real on both sides, but they would be tested by a Romeo and Juliet drama that gradually unfolded between Mr. Berstein’s older sister and a Christian boy. 

Carol shares that she read this story a few years back, but she learned a lot about that time and the social divide of anti-semitism. As the book title indicates, though, love can overcome barriers.

This book is available at the Saline District Library and from most booksellers.

Ordinary Grace

A mystery novel with all the usual elements – secrets, lies, adultery and deaths. When I came across Ordinary Grace on the Edgar Award best mystery list, I was not expecting a “redeeming read.”   This quote stirred my curiosity: “That was all of it. A grace so ordinary there was no reason at all to remember it. Yet I have never across the forty years since it was spoken forgotten a single word.” 

     The story is set in a small Minnesota town in 1961 and is told from the perspective of Frank, the teenage son of a Methodist preacher.  Tragedies befall his town and specifically his family.  As Frank and his family struggle to come to grips with grim reality, God’s grace is shared in simple, yet surprising ways.  It is a quiet novel with rich, believable characters that hooked me from page one.  Recommended by Sue Snow.

     Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger is the winner of the 2014 Edgar Award, an annual presentation by the Mystery Writers of America.  It is available at the Saline District Library and from book sellers.