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Customer Reviews for Harvest House Publishers Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook

Harvest House Publishers Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook

Jude Whetstone and Lyyndaya Kurtz, whose families are converts to the Amish faith, are slowly falling in love. Jude has also fallen in love with flying that new-fangled invention, the aeroplane.The Amish communities have rejected the telephone and have forbidden motorcar ownership but not yet electricity or aeroplanes.

Though exempt from military service on religious grounds, Jude is manipulated by unscrupulous army officers into enlisting in order to protect several Amish men. No one in the community understands Jude's sudden enlistment and so he is shunned. Lyyndaya's despair deepens at the reports that Jude has been shot down in France. In her grief, she turns to nursing Spanish flu victims in Philadelphia. After many months of caring for stricken soldiers, Lyyndaya is stunned when an emaciated Jude turns up in her ward.

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Customer Reviews for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Review 1 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

What A Fascinating Read!

Date:August 17, 2013
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Judy K Burgi
Location:Kendallville, IN
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Wings of Morning is the first book I have read by Murray Pura. How exciting it was for me to read about the Amish from a different perspective.
The main characters Jude Whetstone and Lyyndaya Kurtz will capture your heart. Both will have their faith challenged. Will Jude be able to stay true to his faith and still be involved in war? Will Lyyndaya be able to walk away from her Amish roots if necessary?
This story really played with my emotions. There were times when I wanted to put this book down because of some cruel treatment but yet I couldn’t because I had to read what the outcome would be.
This story is filled with faith, love, and finally forgiveness. I dare you to read this book without shedding tears!
I can’t wait to read more books penned by Murray Pura!
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Review 2 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Excellent book - have tissues handy

Date:February 8, 2013
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wfnren
Location:St Cloud, FL
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Whetstone and Kurtz families both joined the Amish about 10 years ago and during that time Jude Whetstone and and Lyyndaya Kurtz started falling in love. Jude also fell in love with aeroplanes and since they were new the church had not decided whether to ban the use of them so they allowed Jude to take flying lessons. He even gave every Amish member a ride that wanted one but when he took Lyyndaya up she asked him to do barrell rolls, dives and fly as fast as he could, she fell in love with flying too.
Lyyndaya's father forbid her to see Jude because he didn't approve of the flying and since they were new to the Amish he didn't want any problems if it was decided flying was not allowed. The young couple followed her father's rule and Jude casually saw Lyyndaya's best friend, but still truly loved his Lyyndy Lyyndy Lou from afar, and she loved him, but the words were never spoken to each other.
The Amish were exempt from serving in the Military but since some officers had seen how good Jude could fly they wanted him desperately. One day the army showed up and took several of the young men, including Jude, and told them they were being drafted because they had not been Amish long enough so the exemption didn't include them.
These young men were treated worse than the German prisoners of war, the longer they refused to enlist in the service the worse the treatment was. Jude couldn't take it any longer so he enlisted and the other boys were sent home barely alive. Lyyndaya was forbidden to write to him or to receive any letters from him. Any letters he sent had to be held at the post office and any sent to him were held there also. When he returned home they would each be given their rightful mail only if Jude would recant his enlistment.
While Jude was serving his time Lyyndaya turned to helping people with the Spanish Flu in Philadelphia on the weekends. When the flu hits her community she helps to nurse them including her own family. Once they were better she returned to Philadelphia to help, soon there were servicemen coming home and needed nursing and to her surprise Jude was one of them. She had thought he had died when his plane was shot down over France.
Jude returned home accompanied by Lyyndaya. He was given two weeks to recant his enlistment or he would be placed under the ban. During that time things went back to the way they were before the war, all the while waiting for the dreadful day Jude would have to tell the church if he recanted his enlistment or not.
What will Jude do? Will he and Lyyndaya spend the rest of their lives together? Will the community ever forgive him?
This is the first book I've read by Murray and I will tell you that I really enjoyed this book, even though I did need a lot of tissues to get through it. I feel that anyone who can get this book in their hands will find it hard to put down, but be sure and have a lot of tissues handy. If you don't shed some tears I just don't know what to say. Wonderful job Murray!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley book review program. 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.”
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Review 3 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The perfect blend of romance and history!

Date:January 4, 2013
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
If you live in the Amish world you must learn to give up certain conveniences of the world, electricity, cars and modern technology. However in the small Amish town of Paradise, the subject of flight is still up for debate. So while it is not yet banned, Jude Whetstone continues to pilot his Curtis JN-4, the Jenny as he affectionately refers to it to the amazement of the residents below. But his heart belongs to more than the sky, it belongs to Lyyndaya Kurtz.
"If God had meant for us to fly, Master Whetstone, wouldn't he have given us wings?" asked the ever curious Bishop Zook.
"Bishop Zook," he responded, "if God had meant us to ride a buggy he would have given us wheels and four legs."
"Ah ha!" shouted the bishop, slapping his huge hand against his leg and making most of the people jump, including Lyyndaya. "You have it, Master Whetstone, you have it." He clapped his hands lightly in appreciation and a smattering of relieved laughter came from the small crowd. "So now take me up."
It's the year 1917 and while the war in Europe is brewing, the Amish are exempt from the draft because of their religious beliefs and their unwillingness to take the life of any man. However when a British pilot sees the remarkable ability that Jude exhibits being self taught, he feels he could be just the edge his squadron could use to prevent so many deaths on the front lines.
Soon the army shows up and proceeds to take the young men from the Amish community believing that they pose a threat to the war, speaking German and refusing to fight in the war. After countless months in prison and on the verge of watching some of his friends facing death, Jude learns there is a way to save them. If he is willing to enlist, his friends will be released and sent back home. It may be the greatest sacrifice of his life, for if Jude does this, he will lose the life he knew back in Paradise. He will be shunned and the love of his life, Lyyndaya will never be allowed to write or wait for him. It is the greatest punishment of the Amish community, but for the sake of his friends it may be worth the cost!
In the novel, The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura, the men in the Amish community must face extreme persecution for a crime they didn't commit. However in the eyes of the government, they treat them like spies and they undergo the worst treatment imaginable for people who don't understand their way of life. Once again Murray Pura blends the perfect genres of historical fiction along with Amish romance to create another unforgettable story. I would have never considered what the implications would have been for the Amish young men when faced with this difficult decision and applaud Murray Pura's portrayal of this storyline in his Snapshots of History series. This is the second book in the series and one I had been waiting to review after reading, The Face of Heaven, dealing with the Civil War. I was not disappointed and literally took my time reading this one. The richness of the details he manages to capture are unforgettable as well as the tenderness of love and romance appeal to the hopeful romantic in all of us.
I received The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura compliments of the author himself as a gift during a Christmas giveaway!!! While I was not required to review this book, I just knew I had to share it with fans of Historical Fiction and Amish Romance. I absolutely love this one because I am a huge fan of World War 1 and 2 fictional books and this took my favorite genre's to an entirely new level of delight!!! I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for his next book in this wonderful series! Trust me, this author will be on your must read list!!!
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Review 4 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:August 21, 2012
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Marbie
Location:The Netherlands
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murray Pura has found a new fan across the ocean! After reading The Face of Heaven I can’t get enough of his writing. So, The Wings of Morning was the next of Pura’s books that I’ve read – and certainly not my last! From the first page I was hooked and I knew this was going to be another awesome book.
It’s 1917 and the Amish have not yet made a decision on aeroplanes. Jude Whetstone is a convert of the Lapp Amish community. He loves the aeroplanes and took lessons to fly. Some people of the community don’t agree with the flying – including Lyyndaya Kurtz’ parents. Jude and Lyyndaya grew up together and slowly fell in love. Now Lyyndaya’s parents don’t want her to see Jude anymore. This is breaking Lyyndaya’s heart, but as a good Amish daughter she will obey her parents.
In Europe WWI is afoot. The Amish don’t fight in war, but when the US Army finds out that Jude is a good pilot and has not enlisted to fight in Europe, he soon finds himself imprisoned – together with some other young men from his community. The Amish men are treated badly. Jude is praying for a way out of prison and understands that the only way to end the imprisonment is to enlist. When he does, the other men are freed and returned to their community. Jude’s decision is not understood among his people and he is shunned.
Jude knows he is in the will of God and asks God to guide him through the air fights. He learns to fight the Germans without killing anyone.
Lyyndaya is not allowed to send letters to Jude, but she decides to write him letters and keep them somewhere safe until he has returned from Europe and his shunning is ended. Jude is also sending letters to Lyyndaya weekly, but she can’t read them.
Through reports the Amish are informed about what Jude is doing in France, but the question why Jude ever enlisted remains unanswered. Then a report comes in that Jude’s plane was crashed and he is missing in action and presumed dead.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania there’s an outbreak of the Spanish flu and Lyyndaya volunteers to care for the sick. Then one day at the hospital a stranger is whispering her name...
I can’t find the right words to described how much I enjoyed this book. Mr. Pura is an awesome and fascinating writer. Normally I don’t read many Amish books, but the way Pura combines Amish, history and WWI is phenominal. I can’t wait to read Pura’s next book!
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Review 5 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great read!

Date:May 22, 2012
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KathyS
Location:Cochrane, AB Canada
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murray Pura has written a fascinating story about the Amish faith and their ethical and spiritual dilemma concerning war. Based in the early 1900's during World War I, a young Amish man, Jude, is forced to go against his church's beliefs as well as his own to fly for the American troops in Europe to defeat the Germans. Meanwhile, he leaves behind a father, community, and a young lady whom he loves, Lyyndy, in order to fulfill his obligation in the war. The story goes back and forth between Jude and Lyyndy, to tell their stories and how they intertwine; each expressing their love for God, the church, the Amish community and each other. Pura does a wonderful job of going into the spiritual and emotional thoughts of both Jude and Lyyndy. Their sweet love story is depicted in a reverent and respectful way without being too "preachy" but true to their strong Christian values. This historical fictional story is obviously well researched and provides a captivating story of the Amish faith, World War I, and the early years of aviation. I would encourage anyone to read this wonderful novel and fall in love with the Jude and Lyyndy story as I did!
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Review 6 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Highly Recommended

Date:April 23, 2012
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BBandBoys
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
BUY THIS BOOK . . . it’s fun and thought provoking!! There is nothing I love better than a good story! Murray is a beautiful writer and it is impossible to go wrong picking up anything with his name attached. This book held an added appeal because my husband is a pilot. He is in the military as well. Both my husband and I have grappled with the question of the morality of war. We have talked in depth about how to reconcile our beliefs as Christians (that all life is sacred) and his potential to be placed in a position to take human life. These are difficult and significant questions. What do we do when life puts us in positions where it is not obvious where we are to stand? What if God puts us in a situation where we are asked to do things that appear to others to be wrong? Murray took on some of these quandaries in a story full of love, family, community, religion, and war. The book answers all of the questions with a resounding – Our God is faithful to us!! He never leaves us to figure it out all alone!! He is good! The tale was GRIPPING and lovely. A++ Mr. Murray – Keep Writing Please!!!
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Review 7 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Sweetly Satisfying Read

Date:April 12, 2012
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ccav
Location:Alberta, Canada
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murray Pura's first foray into Amish fiction does not disappoint. As a novelist of some distinction, Pura has already established himself in other genres and his ability to tell a great story is as evident in this book as in his others. Pura weaves romance as well as spiritual depth into a challenging plot that will keep readers turning pages and leave them sweetly satisfied when all is said and done.
Most of the story in The Wings of Morning takes place in a a peaceful Amish community aptly named Paradise, Pennsylvania in the last years of the Great War, WWI. The hero, Jude Whetstone, a blacksmith by trade -- as was my own dear dad a lifetime ago -- learns to fly. The Amish have already spurned the ownership of automobiles and telephones but have not yet made a decision regarding this new invention -- the aeroplane. Into this brief window of opportunity, Jude Whetstone finds his passion and hones his giftedness for all things aeronautical.
Jude's budding romance with Lyyndya Kurtz barely gets off the ground, pun intended, when the war in Europe intensifies and America gets involved. Jude is swept into the conflict as a flying ace in a most unlikely way, causing his Amish brethren to officially shun him since the Amish do not believe in bearing arms. The letters that Jude and Lyyndya write to one another but which they are not allowed to read bring the reader into their vastly different daily lives, their personal spiritual journeys and their growing love. However, the weight of a very uncertain future is always hanging over their heads and threatening to mar their future happiness.
Jude's plane is shot down over enemy territory and he is presumed dead. As if things weren't bad enough an outbreak of Spanish flu sweeps through their community, leaving no family untouched. When things are at their darkest Pura masterfully ties the threads of this rich tapestry together in a way that is artful, believable and a bit magical. You won't be able to wipe the grin off your face when the last page is turned.
Harvest House Publishers sent me a copy of The Wings of Morning for an honest review. I give this book five stars out of five. It is suitable for readers of all ages and has elements that appeal to both genders: war, romance, history, amish culture, aviation and community dynamics to name a few.
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Review 8 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Wonder, Realistic, Inspirational Read

Date:March 25, 2012
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Bill
Location:Las Vegas, NV
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Wings of Morning is historically realistic, well written and inspirational without being “preachy.” This is the best way I know of to experience medicine… caught before one realizes what has just been ingested.
The characters are sincere in their relationship with God and each other, even the Christian “jerks” one would love to disagree with loudly. The period of history was actually pregnant with momentous change and that reality lurks in the background by the author’s choice of time, places, and the situations on the world scene.
Nearly the full spectrum of the Bible-believing Christian community is offered opportunity to “speak” to issues many of us may not have had to face yet, but which are, and offer, important and worthwhile meat for those who wish to follow the idea further; for example, how does one know God is speaking or leading in particular matters? Another excellent question raised is could honest attempts to follow what we believe is God’s leading bring us into extremely harsh circumstances in our century? There are at least two more really disturbing and vitally important questions: if I am doing my best to honestly follow God, and I am not deceived, will my Christian community love and support me even if they may not understand my decisions, and, how do I decide what to do if I find myself in a place where reason dictates I have to take another human life?
That last question has a terrifying family of follow up questions:
What kind of man or woman am I? Am I a coward? What is courage, really? At the end of the matter, what is “right” and “wrong”? And, God, what do you require of me?
I normally give books 4 out of 5 stars, because, in the words of one of my wife’s student’s from years ago, “Well, Mrs., nobody is perfect,” but, the more I think about this book... well, you see the rating.
Be assured, Wings is a wonderful read. If you are able to feel, you had best bring something to wipe your eyes with… it might rain in the room you are reading in.
Bill L.
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Review 9 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The Wings Of Morning

Date:March 15, 2012
Lyyndaya Kurtz and her family became Amish and were living with the Lapp Amish settlement for 10 years. Jude Whetstone and his family had done the same. Jude and Lyyndaya were friends from day one. Now older and ready to court, Jude and Lynndaya were attracted to each other.
Jude loved flying and could do maneuvers like no other. It was 1917 and the Amish had yet to decide if aeroplanes should be allowed or not. It was also the beginning of WW1. The US Military found out about Jude's extraordinary flying skills and they convinced Jude to join them. He said he did it to save lives. Jude know he would be shunned because the Amish did not believe in joining the military but he felt it's what God wanted him to do.
While Jude was in France, Lyyndy (as Jude called her) and Jude wrote to each other. These letters strengthened their relationship with each other and God, even though they couldn't get each others letters due to the shunning.
Jude decided that he would shoot down enemy planes but only to cause harm to the plane, not the pilot. He was soon recognized as a gentleman of the air. After Jude brought down a German Ace that killed many people, he was also shot down over enemy lines. He was presumed dead. Lyyndy decided to save lives like Jude, and helped nurse those with the deadly Spanish Flu. While working with patients in Philadelphia, she discovered Jude on her ward.
Jude returned home only to discover that the shunning was still in effect. Will he repent of his sins and be brought back into the church? Will he stay in the miitary? Do Jude and Lyyndy ever get to court?
Another character in this book is Emma Zook. The relationship with Emma Zook and Lyyndy was odd to me. Emma was trying to get Jude's attention when she knew he only had eyes for Lynndy. Lyyndy went from being jealous of Emma to being close to her and calling her a sister. When a woman is saying she is going to marry the man I want to marry, I wouldn't be calling her sister. Emma went so far to say that if it were the time of King Solomon in the Bible, Jude could have more than one wife - Emma and Lyyndy both could be married to Jude.
Anyone who enjoys reading about WW1, war planes and aerial conflict will enjoy this book. There are a lot of air battle scenes described as Jude fights the Germans. It seemed a bit far fetched that Jude only shot the plane to force it down, not to kill the pilot. I did some research and discovered that there were real life pilots that did this.
The scene at the end off the story, when Jude is given the chance to repent for joining the military, during the church service is touching. I don't want to give it away, you have to read the book to discover what goes on. I found myself wanting to keep reading to find out what was happening and if Lyyndy and Jude ever got together. I liked how the characters depended on the word of God that they learned from childhood to help them through difficult times.
I received a free copy of this e-book from NetGalley for my honest review.
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Review 10 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Refreshingly different!

Date:February 17, 2012
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Faye
Age:Under 18
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Refreshingly unique, and well done.
The one thing that really caught my eye about thia book was how different the premise was from other Amish books. And I loved every minute of it! Slightly reminding me of Gilbert Morris, Mr. Pura wove an engaging story about a young man full of honor and a commitment to doing his duty. We need more heroes like that! A book that made me smile and sigh, hoping that somehow the truth would come out, though non of the problems were caused by the lips of the main characters.
The Wings of Morning is an adventure about trusting God for the best, even when things seem their bleakest. And then taking those situations, and making the best out of them. Who knows? It might just be for such a time as that, that God chose you to endure a certain hardship for the glory of his kingdom.
I really liked how different this was from any Amish book I had read before, set in the changing times when things like telephones were just starting to get banned.
And if you haven't already guessed, my favorite character was Jude, for his honesty, and pure heart :)
Overall, a book that engaged me on all levels, I can't help but give it five stars! Very clean, and I would recommend it to young teens as well as adults, both girls and guys :) And as a closing, let me just say that I will certainly be looking out of more books by Mr. Pura in the future!
Final Rating : 5 out of 5
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. Just to be honest and respectful in sharing my thoughts. Thank you!
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Review 11 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A Different Amish Romance

Date:February 17, 2012
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MaureenT
Location:Syracuse NY
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is an Amish romance story, and nothing like any you have ever read before! The story is set beginning in 1917 and includes WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic.
Lyyndaya Kurtz's family and the fellow she has eyes for Jude Whetstone's family are both converts to the Lapp Amish...very unusual. Again another unusual feature is Jude flying aeroplanes! When it is discovered what a great pilot he is, I can't stand what happens! I want to believe that these things happen in another Country, but not here...how naieve I am.
With this horrible War, and the Amish speaking German, and now a flu epidemic. You will wonder who is going to survive, never mind make a love match.
A great and unusual read. Do not miss this one!! It is a one of a kind!
I received this book from the Publisher Harvest House and was not required to give a positive review.
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Review 12 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A powerfully moving story

Date:February 16, 2012
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Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Murray Pura has written a powerfully moving story in The Wings of Morning, a book that proved to be so much richer and poignant than I'd been expecting!
I've read many Amish fiction books over the years, but this is the first one I've read that dealt with the fascinating issue of planes and flying and the official Amish position on whether such activies would be allowed in their communities. In 1917, the Amish community was still deciding on whether flying airplanes would be an activity the community allowed, although they'd already decided that ownership of motorcars or telephones was not permissible. The author created a heart-wrenching scenario by combining this issue of flying airplanes with the persecution and pressure Jude receives from the army to join the war effort in World War I. I found my heart breaking for the young men who experienced torture due to their beliefs.
The last few chapters of Pura's book is where tears sprung to my eyes as I lived the anguish the Amish felt among their community, and where they lived out the grace of God and the power of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is the power of these scenes especially that leaves me no choice but to highly recommend this book and give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars!
Although this is the first work I have read from this author, it will certainly not be the last.
Book received courtesy of the publisher and First Wild Card for the purposes of this unbiased review.
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Review 13 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Emotionally stirring and well-researched novel

Date:February 15, 2012
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Rachel Ropper
Location:Scotland, UK
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
GENRE: HISTORICAL/AMISH/ROMANCE
PUBLISHER: HARVEST HOUSE
PUBLICATION DATE: FEBRUARY 01, 2012
RATING: 10 OUT OF 10 – NEAR PERFECT
PROS: Well-researched historical detail; encouraging presentation of the Amish; gets the reader emotionally invested in the story
CONS: None!
It is 1917 and the Amish have not yet decided whether to ban the flying machines that are taking the country by storm. While they abhor the use of them as a weapon of war across on the frontlines of France, Jude Whetstone has been allowed to take flying lessons in Philadelphia and members of the Lapp Amish community are amazed at the tricks that his plane can do. But Jude is only intent on impressing one person – Lyyndaya Kurtz, a childhood friend whose parents do not approve of his flying. Being banned from spending time with Jude is bad enough for Lyyndaya, but when Jude and several other young men from their community are imprisoned for refusing to fight in the war taking place in Europe, Lyyndaya wonders if she’ll ever get to see Jude again. When Jude’s friends are mysteriously released from military prison on the same day that he volunteers to fly on behalf of the United States Air Force, Lyyndaya’s fears are confirmed as Jude is placed under the bann. But soon she has matters closer to home to worry about, as her sister and various other members of the community fall ill with the Spanish Flu. While continuing to write letters to Jude that she knows he won’t be able to read until he returns home, Lyyndaya helps the local doctor nurse her friends and family back to health. Meanwhile, Jude is quickly being lifted up in the ranks of aviation as members of the Air Force witness his flying abilities. But can he bring himself to kill? And even if he manages to survive the war without taking another man’s life, will he ever be accepted back into his community? And will they ever understand why he felt called to sign up?
Just as with Ruth Reid’s The Promise of an Angel, I was doubtful as to whether this unusual blend of genres would work. And just as I was completely won over by the angelic characters in Ruth’s novel, I completely fell in love with Murray Pura’s take on the Amish during the First World War. The Wings of Morning wasn’t simply an attempt to break out of the typical mould of Amish romances by sticking the story in front of the backdrop of WWI. Murray’s writing showed that he’d researched not only military camps and bases, the treatment of conscientious objectors and the role that aeroplanes played in WWI, but the actual flying of these planes. I don’t claim to be an expert on early twentieth century flying machines but I’ve visited the Museum of Flight in East Fortune and listened to my dad talking about aviation enough to figure out that the descriptions given in this novel had to be based on research. I never thought I’d enjoy reading flight sequences but Jude and Lyyndaya’s descriptions of their experiences surprised me and made me think about what it would have been like to fly in one of the open-cockpit planes that were flown in this period.
Murray presents us with a view of the Amish that hasn’t been overly explored before. Nowadays, we think of them as a religious group who have rejected many modern conveniences. But The Wings of Morning visits the Amish while they’re still trying to figure out whether or not to permit the use of electricity and aeroplanes, having recently banned the telephone and ownership of motorcars. The picture presented in this novel is not of religious leaders who wish to make life hard for their followers by rejecting the use of certain technologies, but of a group determined to preserve the bonds of family and community over convenience. The leaders of Jude’s community struggle to come to an agreement over how they should deal with his interest in flying and are unhappy when they feel they must shun him when he agrees to use his flying skills in the war in Europe. Murray definitely seems to have captured the essence of what we “Englishers” admire about the Amish, and while he doesn’t openly endorse their way of life, he presents the dilemmas and struggles that made them into the iconic people we see them as today.
The biggest issue surrounding the shunning of aeroplanes is that they can be used as a weapon of warfare, and although the Lapp Amish community may be joyful when watching Jude flying his plane at their Fourth of July picnic, they are acutely aware that the aeroplane is a force that can be used for good and evil. Jude struggles with this dilemma also when he finds himself based in France. He does not want to kill, but how can he sit by idly as his friends are shot down by enemy planes? Murray does not condemn nor endorse pacifism, and I appreciated that he didn’t take sides on this issue. I found myself becoming increasingly wrapped up in Jude’s struggle and wondered how I would react in a similar situation. While ideologically I oppose to the concept of war, I don’t think I could suggest that my country should not defend itself if it were attacked. The Wings of Morning subtly discussed this idea, as both Jude and Lyyndaya serve their countrymen and without compromising their beliefs.
I would class The Wings of Morning as a historical novel, but it does contain a romantic aspect to it. But because Jude and Lyyndaya are kept apart for the majority of the story it does not take on the conventional romantic structure that readers of Amish fiction will be familiar with. Jude and Lyyndaya are unable to receive letters from each other, but continue to write in the hope that when Jude returns from war he will be accepted back into the community and then they can read each others’ letters. I loved this device, as it kept the reader aware of the characters’ emotions regarding their relationship and gave them each a place to express their feelings about the wider situation of the war and the Spanish Flu. Of course, Jude and Lyyndaya get their happy ending eventually, but I felt it appropriate that the novel ended on a positive note considering all that they had suffered over the course of the book.
The Wings of Morning crosses the genres of historical, Amish and romantic fiction and will hopefully appeal to readers of each of these groups. Murray Pura shows the beginnings of being a popular voice in inspirational fiction and I look forward to reading more emotionally stirring and well-researched depictions of history in the next volume in his Snapshots in History series.
Review title provided by Harvest House Publishers.
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Review 14 for Wings of Morning, Snapshots in History Series #1 -ebook
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

The AMish and an aeroplane

Date:November 22, 2011
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Edna Tollison
Location:SC
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
I enjoy reading about the Amish way of life even if I do not agree with their ways. It is always interesting to see which author will come up with another book and Murray Pura is one I have never read her work. I recieved the Review copy of this manuscrip for my review from Wynn-Wynn Media, LLC. Thanks Jeane
As Lyyndaya Kurtz is working in the family garden she heard something she though was bees and then she saw that it was aeroplanes. There were six of them and one broke away and few even closer to the ground and a hand came out and waves at her. Then it landed in her papa's field. She could not believe her eyes when a young man got out, and as all the children and Lyyndaya ran to meet him it was Jude a friend of Lyyndaya's she could not believe he flew from Philadelphia just to see her. No one knew they were counting, as was a coustom of the Amish youth. This was something that the
Amish did not do and it really was not too appealing to Lyyndaya's dad.
A good book to look forward too in Feb of 2012. You can pre-order or make sure you mark it on you list to read for the cold months.
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