One of life’s biggest blessings are encouraging books. When I found Dearest Josephine on my Kindle on a particularly difficult day, I had no idea how that book would minister to me–probably in ways the author could never have imagined.
So when I finally picked up another book I’ve been meaning to read for months and it, too, kept me spellbound while it also worked to speak truths to my heart, I shouldn’t have been surprised. But I was. No Less Days offers such a beautiful picture of hope even when nothing makes sense.
Two beautiful books read at exactly the right time. You’d think the Lord had something to do with it!
Can 2 Great but Opposite Books Encourage You in Similar Ways?
Oh, yeah. If you’d asked me weeks before one of my dearest friends died just what I would do to process, grieve, and frankly, honor her life, I would have said, “Read a good book.” Good books are more than great stories. Encouraging books do more than just soothe a heart. One of the most beautiful things about fiction is how it can show you truths you know but maybe don’t know how to live in your life.
I talked more about that in Episode 11.
What I couldn’t have predicted, however, is that the Lord would use a split-time, epistolary romance with an unusual happily-ever-after to remind me that I had my years with my friend, and I’ll have them again, but right now… now is the time for other friends.
Dearest Josephine did that and more as one of the most encouraging books I’ve read all year.
The year 1821: Elias Roch has ghastly luck with women. He met Josephine De Clare once and penned dozens of letters hoping to find her again.
The year 2021: Josie De Clare has questionable taste in boyfriends. The last one nearly ruined her friendship with her best friend.
Now, in the wake of her father’s death, Josie finds Elias’ letters. Suddenly she’s falling in love with a guy who lived 200 years ago. And star-crossed doesn’t even begin to cover it….
But that’s just one of the encouraging books I’ve read recently.
Honestly, I expected to like this one. I even expected to to be intrigued by how the author worked through some of the consequences of having someone who couldn’t die. I just had no idea how I would be challenged by the situations, thoughts, choices, and results of those choices. It’s a brilliant book that I’m still unpacking.
How many lifetimes can God expect one man to live? Over a century old, David Galloway isolates himself from the mortal humans who die or desert him by making a quiet life as a used bookstore owner in Northern Michigan. But then he spots a news article about a man who, like him, should be dead.
Daredevil celebrity Zachary Wilson walked away unscathed from what should have been a deadly fall. David tracks the man down, needing answers. Soon David discovers a close-knit group of individuals as old as he is who offer the sort of kinship and community he hasn’t experienced for decades—but at what cost?
David finds himself keeping secrets other than his own. . .protecting more than himself alone. He’ll have to decide what’s worth the most to him—security or community. When crimes come to light that are older than any mortal, he fears the pressure is more than he can stand. What does God require of him, and is David strong enough to see it through?