- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted March 22, 2013
Fascinating and insightful, this enriching read is astonishingly affecting and beautifully written as to enchant!
As a Christian and avid reader I was delighted to find a most surprising book, which is illuminating on religious practices and ideals as well as being spiritually uplifting. By exploring other viewpoints and perspectives on faith, including Mormonism, it ultimately broadens your mind on how others live by their beliefs. Amid the religious connotations is a well-written story which is full of warmth and optimism and which is entirely satisfying and fulfilling. As a debut novel (the first in a series) I was so impressed by the author’s way of expressing thoughts on paper with such effortless ease and dexterity. Highly readable and intensely engaging this character-driven tale was one that I had difficulty in putting down, for I completely lost myself within a profoundly meaningful and exquisitely evocative story.
The Mountain Christians: for the strength of the hills, follows the character James who has a challenging lifestyle in Waldensian. Embarking on a life-changing journey of self-discovery with his family, this powerful tale is one of enlightenment and change. Full of intricate detail, realism and thought-provoking narrative this is a book of cultural awareness and exploration (in all of its forms) for those readers of all religions. Younger readers will also be able to connect on a personal level with this story, for it is a coming of age book which observes a young lad as he not only grows in age but in wisdom too. One’s religious beliefs are very personal and sensitive, and so as I read about James exploring his options (past religions and new ones) I felt a sense of nostalgia as I reflected on the time when I also was at a similar stage in my life.
This indisputably exceptional, quite remarkable debut novel is something that will touch you deeply. It is clear how much time, effort and thought Hiram J Bertoch has put into this literary masterpiece as it just oozes originality and a fresh perspective, which I find most exciting to behold! For those seeking spiritual revelation and assured prose containing much substance and vision, then I greatly urge you to discover the delights that lie waiting for you in this brilliant book.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe”
- St. Augustine
*I won a paperback review copy of “The Mountain Christians: for the strength of the hills by Hiram J Bertoch” through a Goodreads, first-read giveaway*
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2013
I was very pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I knew this was the author's first novel so I really didn't know what to expect. Also, I knew it was about Mormonism and being of no particular religion myself, I was curious to discover how the book would feel to me. Although religion was the focal point, it remained in the background for the story itself to shine, and I was perfectly comfortable with it.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and sometimes found it hard to put down, staying up too late to read "just one more chapter." I loved the way the author gave each character a life of his or her own, making it very easy to engage with them and the story. The effort he must have put into that was worthwhile in my opinion, because by spending time with each character, gaining insight into their private thoughts, I was able to care about each of them.
The environment that James and his family lived in was often brutal in the winter, and while it was splendid in the summer months, they were constantly working the land. I was able to not only forgive the landscape that made their lives so hard, but to love it. At one point James remembers eating the spring mulberries and I felt like I was right there with him.
There is something that is of utmost importance to me as a reader, and that this book pulled off successfully: I was not aware that I was reading someone's writing. Few things are more bothersome to me in a book than being jolted from the story by a sudden display of writing. An attempt at describing a picturesque sunset, for example, when the effort suddenly reminds you that this is the work of some person who is trying to impress you with their ability. "Look at me! I'm writing!" It seems to say. It's as jarring as a pothole on a highway, this razzmatazz kind of tap dance across the page. Reading this book was smooth and easy, and I was pulled into the story entirely. Yes, there were descriptions of picturesque sunsets, but they only further enhanced my reading experience and were not disruptive. The hallmark of a great writer.
I feel the same way as another reviewer: I was sad when the book was coming to an end. When I saw that this was the first in a series I was relieved as I wanted to read more and discover what happens to the family. Also, I wouldn't mind getting to know Margeurite better so I can better understand where she's coming from.
Oh, I should mention: the book contained several small errors, either punctuation or missing words, or the use of the wrong form of a word. I really thought about that before rating the book. I wondered if I should give it four stars instead of five for those errors. I saw that five stars meant "I love it"' whereas four stars meant "I like it." The small errors in the book were not enough to affect my enjoyment of the story so I decided I should give my rating based on my overall impression rather than being a fuss-budget over technicalities.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Posted January 14, 2013
Delightful book and an easy read. It’s always a bonus when I read a book to come away learning something new and this book definitely provided that. It was easy to put myself in the story alongside the main character, James, and to appreciate the challenging lifestyle he lived as a Waldensian. I came away strengthened by the faith and commitment demonstrated by James and his family as they boldly left the only lifestyle and religion they knew to join a new religion and embark on a life-changing journey. I am looking forward to the sequels to continue the journey alongside James and his family as they travel to the American Frontier.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2013
As a teen I was amazed by the attention to detail and incredible storyline that made it hard to put the book down. I loved learning so much about the other cultures and religions and how much respect the author expressed towards each and the wide spectrum of different viewpoints and perspectives that were used to describe all events. It is obvious that the author did incredible research into every subject that makes up this incredible story.
Overall an amazing book, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. I learned a lot and cannot wait for the sequels.
Posted January 3, 2013
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was really interesting to learn about the Waldensian people. I also enjoyed following the story of James and his family and what they had to go through to live high up in those mountain valleys. Well worth the read. I definitely look forward to the next book in the series!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It was a bit slow to start, but before too long, I became engrossed in the story of the people. I had never heard of these people before, and it was very interesting to read of their life and beliefs. I was sad when the book ended, and look forward to the sequel!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2012
What a wonderful story! This author draws you in with the story of Jean and his 5 children who live as Waldensians high in the mountains. I had never heard of the Waldensian people before. I found myself drawn to the history this book provides about these people. I found myself getting drawn deeper and deeper into the story, and when I got to the last page, I couldn't believe it was over! I can't wait for the next book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 21, 2012
I learned about a part of history I never knew existed. It was very interesting to read about the traditions of the Waldensians in the 1800s. I'd never heard about them before now. This was a touching story about a family's love for one another and their struggle with a new religion. Very heart warming!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2012