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on May 9, 2002
Overall, this book was a really good book about the romance between Lily and Gabe, and the problems that Lily had with her father. I like how Wick seems to write for the Lord, and the book is strongly Biblically based. We need more fiction out there that is Christian. There were a couple of points that prevented me from given this book a 5 star rating.
The characters were a little too good to be true and a little bit 1-dimensional. Practically everybody was a Christian. Lily was, at times, a little "too nice", and it about drove me nuts. I was happy that Lily stood up to her father later in the book, and showed a little bit of spunk there. I like to read about characters who have character flaws because these characters are a little easier to relate to and are more real. Read the "Seasons" series by LaHaye and Blackstock to know what I'm talking about.
Second, I would have liked to have seen the reasons why Lily's father treated Lily the way he did, treating her like women were treated in Kashien. It was mentioned that he treated her like he did after Lily's mother died, yet, it seemed that that aspect of Lily's and Owen's relationship wasn't explored as thoroughly as it could have been.
Also, Wick makes the mistake that many Christians make in assuming that anger is a sin. Anger itself is not a sin. It is what you do with the anger that is a sin (example: Owen treating Lily as he did, Bailey expecting everyone to do things her way before she changed). This is backed up in Ephesians with the verse: Be angry but sin not. And there is such a thing as righteous anger, being angry at sin. Owen's way of treating Lily was sinful, and Lily had a right to be angry about that, but it seemed that the character was being punished for that anger.
Again, this was a good book overall, and I would recommend it. I liked the evangelical approach, but I wished that the characters weren't so goody-goody.
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on March 27, 2002
I have to say that the lengthy negative review was too critical. Let's have a little grace. Granted there are flaws with the book, but Mrs. Wick is only human, and who knows what is going on with her personally.
I thought the setting was beautiful, and I felt the book was peaceful overall. Some things I found missing were the time the story was place in. I could not tell at first if it was modern day, or not. Also, the development of the characters was lacking a bit. I never really knew what Lily looked like.
I personally would prefer to have characters with more flaws, and more human error. I think God is glorified by how we handle our mistakes just as well as how we move away from our faults. Not that we should sin.... Also, the male characters are usually a bit too insightful for me. They are almost women. The men I know don't really think too deeply about someone upon first meeting them, but Wick's characters always sense something special. And, once settled on the woman they want to marry, their eyes never stray. This is not realistic. Young women are reading these and developing opinions about their future husbands, so they should be more realistic.
Overall, it wasn't bad, but I prefer the California series much better.
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on February 8, 2002
This is the first book of Lori Wick's I've read. I've almost finished the book, and I simply love it! I grew to care very much about the characters and their story. It made me laugh and cry! It made me take a look at my own spiritual life and see some things I could do differently to become more like Christ. It made me thankful for my family and friends, and especially my dear husband. It was simply a wonderful book.
Regarding the earlier negative review, I enjoyed the changing point-of-view, as I'm always wondering what all the characters are thinking, and she made it very clear whose POV it was, never making you guess. An author has the right to take creative liberties with his or her work and I think Lori Wick has done so to her, and our, advantage. I believe the characters and their actions were very plausible and completely in line with their personalities. Never were they boring or predictible, but I did not react in disbelief at their words or actions either. They were dynamic, interesting characters.
Bamboo and Lace was a captivating book and I'm a better person for having read it. I will be reading many more works of Lori Wick's. Enjoy the book!
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on August 28, 2001
In this technological age in which we live, I have often thought about how a person from another time stepping into the 21st century would react, how many things would be unfamiliar and bewildering to him, how many words in the language of today would either make no sense in the context used or else would be totally meaningless. For instance, the word "gay" used to mean "happy" and "surfing the net" unheard of. Lori Wick's newest book, "Bamboo and Lace" reminded me of this theme and therefore caught my fascination. Her twist, however, had her heroine stepping not out of time but out of place, invoking many thought-provoking situations. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest work by Lori and feel it is a much better example of the type of liturature she is capable of producing as opposed to a few other recent works. I didn't want to put it down. As always, she brings her deep spiritual insight into the lives of her characters, bringing blessings to her readers.
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on August 14, 2001
I am a Lori Wick fan and own all her fiction books. The Texas Rose trilogy was somewhat disappointing, but "Bamboo and Lace" was downright awful. Because I always look forward to Mrs. Wick's books, I had this book read within 12 hours of it arriving in the mail. Unfortunately, I kept waiting for it to get better. This is the first Lori Wick book I had to force myself to finish (although "Texas Sky" was a close second and I really loved the Dakota Rawlings character).
The characters in "Bamboo and Lace" were totally unrealistic and acted uncharacteristically from the personalities they were given. The only one I really liked was Jeff and he was a secondary character. Even though this is fiction, characters must act realistically and true to their given personalities. The major characters in this book did neither.
The heroine, Lily, came across as not innocent or simply trying to fit into a different world, but as timid and stupid (just because she was self taught in physics did not make her smart.) Lily was a whiner/weakling and much too perfect-even more so than that other fish out of water character, Sunny Gallagher in "The Hawk and the Jewel". The ways in which Lily were raised (in seclusion in the mountain village she called home for over twenty years) were completely abandoned after only six months in the U.S. This is totally unrealistic, uncharacteristic and highly improbable. This change in mannerisms and thinking would take a LIFETIME to accomplish.
Gabe had such potential but as far as heroes go, he was a let down. I was disappointed that Ms. Wick would not realize that any young man in modern days would take the health precautions that Gabe did not to ensure his future fertility (I also don't think it realistic that a man as young as Gabe was when he got sick-his early 20's-would be convinced he would die. Men and woman of this age think they will live forever). Gabe obviously had a caring family and he normally listened to their advice, but he didn't in this case. Thus, his infertility only served as a conveneint reason to require this couple to adopt from a foreign country.
Not that this is not noble and it goes without saying that these children surely need good, loving homes. But many an American couple will have their own child and then chose to adopt others-my church is full of these parents. It was uncharcteristic for him to not listen to listen to his family when life was involved. Again, the character made uncharacteristic choices. Gabe made me long for the men from any of the Kensington Chronicles (now those were heroes!)
Now to Lily's father, the disciplinarian missionary. I cannot imagine an American man moving to an Asian village and subjecting his daughter to live the submissive and subservient manner Lily's father required her to. In the village was one thing so as not to alienate the villagers he was trying to witness to, but living this way in the home is something completely different, and no believing man that had been raised in the U.S. would treat is daughter this way (requiring her not to meet a man's eyes, or not able to speak until she was "commanded" to). Sorry, Mrs. Wick could not convince me that a modern man would do this. He just came across as a cruel man and not as a believer afraid of being left alone. Why was his reasoning not expanded upon??????
And with regards to submission and obedience. Sure, this story has that, but only if you can overlook the fact that the man (Lily's father) was asking her to be obedient outside of Scripture. I suppose this is a weak protest on my part, but consider this. If he had asked her to do something illegal or ordered her to marry an unsaved man, would she have been right to be obedient to him? Not hardly. Obedience to man and parents must follow Scripture and Lily's father was not following Scripture. Lily admitted this herself.
In summary, the story is passable, but the characters were unrealistic and they deviated from the personalities given by the author (hey, I know it's fiction, but fiction has to be based on probability and there wasn't any here).
"Sophie's Heart" was great, but otherwise, Mrs. Wick's contemporary fiction always falls short of her historical work. Always. She needs to stick to the historical settings where she shines. (Like the Californians and Rocky Mountain Memories series-now those I couldn't put down and practically went into mourning when they were finished).
If you would like a great writing example of historical fiction romance, read Lauraine Snelling's "A Secret Refuge" series about the Highwood sisters during the Civil War ("Daughter of Twin Oaks", "Sisters of the Confederacy" and "A Long Way Home".) And for a great example of contemporary romances, read the "O'Malley Family" series by Dee Henderson. The heroines are wonderful and the heroes are fantastic, and the writing superb.
However, if you are a true Lori Wick fan, read the book. But think twice before you spend your money on it-borrow it if you can.
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on October 21, 2002
Lori Wick is an amazingly talented author who I have enjoyed over the years. Unfortunately, I believe she missed the boat with Bamboo and Lace. I am extremely concerned with her lack of understanding about anger. We are allowed feelings of anger without guilt when our anger is displayed appropriately. I am appalled by Mrs. Wick's assertion that all anger is directed toward God. That simply is not Biblical. I have deep concerns about what this book says to new Christians. We all "strive for perfection" and we all fall short. Mrs. Wick needs to show the internal struggles that most of us battle with our emotions and our daily lives. None of us can live up to the model that is portrayed in Bamboo and Lace. How discouraging. And how much more powerful this book would have been had we been allowed to see more realistic characters fighting their daily battles, instead of cardboard Christian paperdoll people who never fail, and who have all their dreams come true.
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on September 10, 2003
I picked this book up in the library and read the back. I thought it would be an interesting plot. But it wasn't. I was disappointed at how slow the plot went. Ms.Wick made Lily's character too naive and too nice. The other characters (Bailey, Evan, Ashton, and Gabe) were all too goody goody. I also disliked Ms.Wick's writing style. It's way too confusing. (I don't know who's thinking what.) I did like how she contrasted the two cultures but it did not tell why Lily's father treated her the way he did. I did like how she finally stood up to her father at the end when he couldn't accept that she was in love with Gabe. Then the book really loses the steam it had after Gabe and Lily got married. But I did understand that Ms.Wick wanted to tell her readers how they do adoptions in Kashien. So I'm giving this book 2 stars because it had potential and there were some good parts in it. But all in all, it needs some tweaking.
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on November 19, 2002
It amazes me that someone out there actually didn't enjoy this book. This was a fantastic read. I bought this book less than a year ago, and I've read it at least 9 times since then. Bamboo and Lace was more than a novel to me. To me, this book was a goal. By that I mean that the characters are so real and tangible, and the way they lived just inspired me to grow and become more like them in certain ways. I learned so much from this book. I've recommended it to at least a dozen friends and family. Everyone that I know that has read it has said the same thing--they loved it and couldn't put it down--even friends of mine that hate to read were so in love with this book that it made them pick up more of Lori Wick's books. Bamboo & Lace is packed with truths and insights. The relationships of the characters makes it flow so wonderfully. I highly recommend this book. It's just simply amazing.
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on November 21, 2002
This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. Lily is a wonderful character. She is an American 24 year old woman who was raised her entire life in Kashien. Her father raised her strictly as a Kashienese woman after her mother past away. Her brother Jeff who had moved to the Hawaiian islands finally convinced his father to allow her to visit the states for her very first time. Lily and all those around her battle with culture shock, spiritual battles, and realizing God's will for their lives. This is a story that may seem it would never come true. But that is why it is called a story. Lori Wick is an excellent writer who tells stories in a way that we can look at the characters as roll models of how a Christian should live, think, pray, and love. You will fall in love with the characters and when you're done reading it you'll want to read it again - I did!!
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on April 14, 2003
I really enjoyed this book and I enjoy the fact that Mrs. Wick is able to transport me into what most call a 1 dimensional world. I enjoy reading about her characters. I know there are a lot of reviews that really dislike how "perfect" her characters are, but I do truly enjoy reading about people like that. That is why it is called "Fiction".
However, I did completely disagree with her stance on anger. Anger is a natural human emotion and when used appropriately it is not a sin. It is not the emotion that is the sin but what we do with it. Remember in the Bible when Jesus became angry when he entered the Temple only to find a market set up? He turned tables and the like. And we all know that Jesus was sinless.
Like I said I did like the book overall. I thought it was a pretty good and relaxing read.
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