Monday, June 1, 2009

Breathe by Lisa T. Bergren - MY REVIEW

"And sometimes God asks us to wrestle with the unfamiliar until it becomes our new familiar...Until we can breathe freely in that new place." (p. 34)

To breathe freely is to live. But how can you live if you are not able to breathe freely? And how are you to breathe freely if your life's path is clamped tightly shut by the dreams and desires of those around you? Lisa T. Bergren's latest novel, Breathe, explores this life-giving concept in the context of the St. Claire children as they attempt to survive in the newly-birthed city of Colorado Springs in the late 1800's.

Sent west seeking a cure for Odessa's illness, Dominic and Moira St. Claire must operate beneath the specific instructions of their father in order to obtain the means to establish themselves as merchants in this burgeoning city. Their beginnings are as fragile and fleeting as Odessa's gasping attempt to draw a breath, and their desire to suvive and thrive is just as strong. Odessa meets Bryce McAllen as she is trying to recover in the local sanitorium, while Moira and Dominic make the aquaintance of the local sheriff. None of them are prepared for the changes introduced into their lives through these new relationships.

As the story progresses, the St. Claire's find themselves entangled in an expansive plot that seems to reach further than their ability to escape. By the time you reach the final chapters, the pages are turning at a furious pace, and the suspense is so real that breathing does become a bit of a challenge! However, the treasure found amid the words of the story will touch your heart and cause your spirit to soar. Truly, Breathe is a story you will long remember!

By now, you know I love a good historical novel. You also know I love suspense. Well, Lisa Bergren has blended these two elements of writing so seamlessly that the reader is not only transported back to Colorado Springs and the late 1800's, but her plot becomes so taut with suspense as the story builds that you will give up sleeping, eating and any other bothersome detail just to find out what happens! In short, I have discovered a true treasure for my bookshelf, my heart and my spirit!

My greatest joy - besides reaching the very satisfying ending of this tale - is that there are going to be more books to follow in this fantastic story! Breathe is the introduction to the The Homeward Trilogy, so fans of Bergren's work have much to look forward to! I can't recommend this book highly enough!!

Lisa T. Bergren is the best-selling, award-winning author of over thirty books, with more than 1.5 million copies sold. A former publishing executive, she now splits her time working as a freelance editor and business consultant and parenting her three young children with husband Tim. She lives in Colorado Springs. Visit Lisa's website today!

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