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VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Life In The Quiet Town Of DunbridgeMay 10, 2014VicsMediaRoomIrvine, CAAge: 55-65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Pam Rhodes in her new book, "Casting The Net" Book Two in The Dunbridge Chronicles series published by Lion Fiction continues the story of Neil Fisher.
From the back cover: Neil Fisher returns from ordination inspired by his vocation, and determined not to let his love life get in the way. Some might think a man lucky to have two women declaring their love for him, but it's not that straightforward when you're a priest!
Neil's second year as curate of St. Stephen's, in the small town of Dunbridge, promises to be no quieter than the first. There are joys to be celebrated, worries to be shared, and bereavements that shake the community to its core.
And of course, there are the women who mean to take care of him - from his domineering mother, Iris, who appears to have moved in, and Wendy, who knows she'd make him the perfect wife, to Claire, who doesn't believe in God, but does believe in Neil_
Neil Fisher returns and he is definitely living up to his name for he is a fisher of men and women. The little town of Dunbridge needs him and he needs to people of Dunbridge. Together this is a win-win situation. There is a lot going on in conflicts, births and deaths are just some of what Neil has to contend with. Then there is his mother and the women who want to marry him. This story is the kind that plays out best in a small town in an English countryside. Dunbridge is a town that I would not mind living in. The people who there are terrific and life, while it has its ups and downs, is slow and easy. I am glad Ms. Rhodes has given us this new taste of life there I can hardly wait to visit again Neil and the people of Dunbridge.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5A curate's life in EnglandMay 5, 2014bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 5This is the second in The Dunbridge Chronicles but it can certainly stand on its own. The series is a bit in the style of the Mitford novels but takes place in England.
Neil has been in Dunbridge a year as curate. As this novel opens, Neil has just been ordained and returns to St. Stephen's Church to start his second year of getting his feet wet in the ministry. As we follow along in Neil's experiences I was again reminded of all that those in ministry must do. There is the funeral of a recently born baby, a child the family had been trying to have for years. There is the church member who has found new love after his wife left him. There is tragedy in the vicar's family that may destroy her faith. And there is the young woman who is madly in love with Neil. If she can't have him, she is determined to ruin anyone to tries.
I found this to be a good read. There are emotional moments and there are funny times. I think the novel captures well the life of a curate or vicar in the Church of England.
American readers need to realize that this novel represents Christianity across the pond. Conservative Christians will be frustrated with the lack of clear moral or godly behavior. Neil is a compassionate curate and does not jump on his friend when he cohabits with his girlfriend before marriage. That may bother some readers. (But they do get married, eventually.)
If you would like to know what ministry is like in England in a rural village, this book will give you a good picture of it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Thoughtful Slice-Of-Life Fiction!May 5, 2014Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Young Reverend Neil Fisher understands his life purpose...fishing for the souls of men. His waters? The village of Dunbridge.
Casting the Net is filled with faith, hope, and confusion, all spilling over from Neil's heart.
There's a touch of humor and romance in this slice of life novel, and there's some very serious moments.
How does one young man bring the love of God to his church congregation?
Is there a way to keep the well-worn, time-tested beauty of tradition and also allow new expressions of living worship?
How will Neil cultivate a church environment that that brings whole families together to praise God when the generation gap in church culture is so wide?
When there's a fight about the vintage of the praise music, and a fight over who wins the baking contest, and at the same time there's widows and broken marriages to contend with, how does a curate stay sane?
And how should he live in light of the Resurrection in front of unbelieving friends, who are also navigating through life?
How can you show that Jesus matters in a world where we can distract ourselves to death?
How do you minister the Peace of Christ to a family with a dying child?
Neil's the kind of man who belongs in ministry... he's willing to ask questions right along with his flock, and yet always remembers that God extends Grace and is, Himself, the ultimate resolution to all questions.
Get ready to smile, to be sobered, to think hard about what you would do if you lived in Dunbridge.
Whether you hail from Michigan or Boston or England or Ireland, Neil's congregation will resonate with you. :)
Thank you Kregel for my review copy.
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5May 2, 2014lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Neil Fisher is just finishing his first year of training as a vicar under the tutelage of Margaret Prowse. His love life is a main topic of discussion with most seeing Wendy Lambert as an ideal wife for him. He likes Wendy and can see she would be an asset as a vicar's wife, but isn't sure he loves her. He has feelings for Claire, the gardener at the church, as well. Claire, however, isn't a Christian. Should he even begin a romantic relationship with her then? He learns that some Christians are not really what they claim.
He is kept very busy planning social events at the church, sometimes between or with other churches nearby, weddings, funerals, services for those who can't make it to church and visits to the elderly to name some of the things Neil does every week. Neil takes his responsibilities seriously and wonders if he will ever get over his nervousness and innate shyness to blossom as a church leader. He views his main task as bringing others into a relationship with Christ, whether he talks to people about Him or shows Him through Neil's actions. No matter the background or the current family/personal/social situation, Neil doesn't judge and shows compassion and caring to those in need.
This is a very enjoyable read about the everyday life of a vicar in the small town of Dunbridge. Neil encounters and must deal with a variety of situations, including his mentor's apparent loss of faith in this installment of the series. This causes him to wonder if this might happen to him after seeing such a strong Christian say they have no faith anymore after a tragic event. He is faced with life here on this earth and the good and bad that come with it. I really admire Neil's knowing his purpose in life and being centered and focused on God. He tries his best to show Christ to those he encounters. This is an entertaining series and I'm looking forward to the next book titled, If You Follow Me
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