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No Other Paperback – January 23, 2012
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
Shawna's writing journey started with a dream --- an actual, nighttime dream. The story within her dream captivated her to the point that she became obsessive, and in order to put together all the little details and fill in the gaps, she had to write it down. Now she has two books based upon it. Shawna is an Inspirational Romance writer, who loves creating complex, flawed characters, believing that's the secret to making them real. And as an inspirational author, she is able to write about God's Grace through her characters' humanity. She also loves including a good dose of nostalgia in her work, which is why her stories tend to take place in small towns during the first half of the 20^th century. When she's not writing, she's spends her time with her husband and three children, reads, makes jewelry, and enjoys life on her family's ranch.
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No Other is a beautiful Post-War story, full of colorful, vibrant, and heart-wrenching characters driven by their personal struggles with the effects of war's inequities and the power struggles and burdens within families of different social castes in post World War II America. Ms. Williams does a truly amazing job of bringing these characters and their story to life. I laughed and cried right along with Jakob and Meri as they struggled to find their way toward a future together, despite all the forces trying to pull them apart.
Now, for me, the one downside was that this was a Christian Romance. If you read and love Christian Romances, you will definitely love this story in all its particulars. However, for me, I found the religious tones of it at times overbearing and preachy. But I understand that it's most likely because I don't read Christian Romance or particularly care for that genre angle, and was reading it more for its merits as a World War II romance.
The characters are rich and vibrant. They are real, with flaws, trials and heartache. We see how the Lord brings beauty from ash. There is beauty found within these pages that will stay with me for years to come. I was sad to close the last page. The story continues with, "In All Things", available now for your eReader.
Jakob's story is one of loss, tragedy, trial, and forgiveness. He holds His Christian values dear to his heart, but he is hurting. His family has been through so very much. The war has taken place and things are not the same. A war so very far away has touched his family and left it's mark burning in the heart of Jakob. Most of all, it's one of overcoming. It's one of letting go and letting God.
Meri is that girl that comes from everything Jakob did not have. As the story is being woven we see that material wealth is not what brings joy to life. Meri's family is controlling and has brought much pain to her life. She needs to find an escape route. She just wants to be herself and seek her own dreams instead of fulfilling what others expect from her. She knows of God, but not what is real of Him. Only the facade that her family has created.
Jakob and Meri share a love story like no other that I have read. It's pure and deep. We see these two character grow in such valuable ways. The road before them is not an easy one, but with faith, nothing can stand in their way.
The cover of this novel is breathtaking. The house is a story of it's own. The locket tells of a love that is withstanding. I encourage you to pick up this gem that holds a story of value. It's hard to find wondrous stories like this one Shawna has penned. I truly loved it.
This book was given to me by Shawna K. Williams for its review and is published by Desert Breeze Publications.
As Jakob's love deepens for his teacher, he feels compassion for Meri's unhappy situation with her parents. They don't seem to care what Meri wants, but are just interested in their family status in the political and upper class world. In spite of her corrupt parents, Meri is a decent and caring young woman. However she doesn't hold the same Christian values as Jakob, but he's not judgmental and has unconditional love for her. He's sweet when he invites her to attend Bible studies with him. When Jakob does something he regrets, I felt this made his character more realistic because Christians aren't perfect and make mistakes. Readers will relate on a deep level to Jakob's personal struggles.
There are many big moments that touched my heart. One that especially did happens in the deserted farmhouse Jakob's family lost. During this important scene, we see and feel the joys and laughter Jakob shared with his family in their beloved home. It's here that Meri tells Jakob how awful her father treated her. She was robbed of her first career dream by her cruel father.
Shawna Williams brilliantly stirs profound emotions throughout No Other. It's filled with wonderful drama, romance, and history. I highly recommend this book. I'm looking forward to reading her sequel, In All Things, in November.