Genesis 5020

Stories for His Glory

The Letter Keeper by Charles Martin July 9, 2021

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 5:26 pm
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Combining heart-wrenching emotion with edge-of-your-seat tension, New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin explores the true power of sacrificial love.

Murphy Shepherd has made a career of finding those no one else could—survivors of human trafficking. His life’s mission is helping others find freedom . . . but then the nightmare strikes too close to home.

When his new wife, her daughter, and two other teenage girls are stolen, Murphy is left questioning all he has thought to be true. With more dead ends than leads, he has no idea how to find his loved ones. After everything is stripped away, love is what remains.

Hope feels lost, but Murphy is willing to expend his last breath trying to bring them home.

My thoughts:

I’m going to be honest. I was about 40% through the book and I didn’t really care to read anymore, which is weird, because I always love Charles’ books. But the first half is really a lot of backstory and narration. I was bored.

But I kept reading, and wow, I’m glad it did. I was up until 2am because I had to see how it ended. So push through that first half because the last half is well worth it and it does add a lot of depth to the overall story.

I would say I think you need to read The Water Keeper first, otherwise you will probably be pretty confused, but you won’t regret reading that one either.

Visit Charles here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or our favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


The Water Keeper by Charles Martin June 26, 2020

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 3:11 pm
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A riveting new story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.

Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.

When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.

With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.

With Charles Martin’s trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story and a heartrending search for freedom.

My thoughts:

If you have never read anything by Charles Martin I just need to ask, what are you waiting for?

His writing is very unique and I think his stories would appeal to men and women. The things I like about his stories are things that I might not appreciate with other authors, but the way he tackles it gives the story intrigue. For example, nothing is clear at the beginning. Many things are introduced and none of them have a landing place. Murph doesn’t come out and say what he is doing in the first scene for quite a while after the scene is over. Even though I felt confused at times this only pushed me to keep reading so I could put all of the pieces together.

Honestly, the way a lot of the characters act don’t seem realistic but I eat it up in Charles’ books, I believe it for whatever reason.

If you are looking for a different read then your typical Christian fiction then I encourage you to pick this one up.

Visit Charles here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through All opinions are my own. 


Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin July 26, 2018

Filed under: Book Reviews,Uncategorized — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:45 pm
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Mountain Between Us comes a new, spellbinding story of buried secrets, lost love, and the promise of second chances.

Allie is still recovering from the loss of her family’s beloved waterfront restaurant on Florida’s Gulf Coast when she loses her second husband to a terrifying highway accident. Devastated and losing hope, she shudders to contemplate the future—until a cherished person from her past returns.

Joseph has been adrift for many years, wounded in both body and spirit and unable to come to terms with the trauma of his Vietnam War experiences. Just as he resolves to abandon his search for peace and live alone at a remote cabin in the Carolina mountains, he discovers a mother and her two small children lost in the forest. A man of character and strength, he instinctively steps in to help them get back to their home in Florida. There he will return to his own hometown—and witness the accident that launches a bittersweet reunion with his childhood sweetheart, Allie.

When Joseph offers to help Allie rebuild her restaurant, it seems the flame may reignite—until a 45-year-old secret from the past begins to emerge, threatening to destroy all hope for their second chance at love.

In Send Down the Rain, Charles Martin proves himself to be a storyteller of great wisdom and compassion who bears witness to the dreams we cherish, the struggles we face, and the courage we must summon when life seems to threaten what we hold most dear.

My thoughts:

There aren’t many books that I have read that seem to touch a very deep place in my heart. This one did.

The raw brokenness of the characters, the situations they found themselves in all added up to a book I simply couldn’t stop reading.

There were somethings that seemed a bit to coincidental for me and the main character could have come across as stalker-ish but I could overlook those things because the overall story was wonderful.

If you want a book that will speak deeply into your hurting places and offer hope then this is a must read.

Visit Charles here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 


Long Way Gone by Charles Martin November 28, 2016

Filed under: Book Reviews,Monday Musings — Melissa Finnegan @ 1:37 pm
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“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

My thoughts:

What a beautifully written book. If you haven’t read anything by Charles Martin you really need to. His books take you to a depth rarely found in books. There is a spiritual tone to everything.

I loved this retelling of the prodigal son. The book actually starts after Cooper is older and we catch up with him. Then the book flashes back to how he got where is today.

I also appreciated the music in this book (since I’m a music person). Charles describes what music can do to a person in wonderful pictures.

Overall, this is a great book that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a new perspective on a story you already know.

Visit Charles here.

Grab your copy at your local bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite retailer.

A copy of this book was given to me though the BookLoook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 


Water from my Heart by Charles Martin May 21, 2015

Filed under: Book Reviews — Melissa Finnegan @ 4:06 pm
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water from my herat


Charlie Finn had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society.

That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami.

Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible—and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?

My thoughts:

I have been wanting to read something by Charles Martin for a few years. I have heard excellent things about his books. Still, as I opened the pages of this book I wasn’t sure what to expect from his writing.

Wow. This is not your typical Christian fiction. I loved this book. Which is strange to say because our leading character isn’t a nice guy, not on the outside anyway. Deep down you can sense there is goodness in him, he just needs an encounter with the love of Christ.

This book sort of reminded me of Breaking Bad, or at least what I have heard about it. I haven’t actually watched the series, I’ve seen bits and pieces (dare I admit it?) and have heard others talk about the series. But the guy himself isn’t really a bad guy but is doing horrible things because he thinks it’s the best way to make money and make it fast.

The good news is both the character in Breaking Bad and this book see the error of their ways and try to make amends. But at what cost? What lives have been damaged because of these choices? Can things be redeemed?

Since this is a Christian book you hope there will be redemption. You but you will have to read the book for yourself to see if and how that all comes to be.

A wonderful read that will have you thinking about the book long after the last page.

Visit Charles here.

Grab your copy at your local book store, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Books-A-Million or your favorite retailer.

An e-copy of this book this book was given to me by the publisher through in exchange for an honest review.