I came across Lucinda’s blog quite a few years ago, a chance encounter that eventuated in becoming a dedicated follower because her writing blessed and intrigued me. Who was this Mennonite girl who wrote with such depth of meaning and big words? I hadn’t met many fellow Anabaptists online up to that point, so hearing her perspective was refreshing. Time came and went. She published her first book, Anything but Simple, and though the synopsis intrigued me, I never took the time to try to find a copy for myself (psst! Lord willing, I’ll be reading that one soon—so watch this space for my review!). Then her picture book came out, from a publisher we often order schoolbooks from, so I asked Mom to buy it. That was a fun read.
Years went by, and one day, she announced that Turtle Heart was releasing! I vaguely remember some mentions of a person named Charlene on her blog, but never took a lot of notice of them. By that time, I’d had a little more to do with Lucinda, and knew I wanted to read it . . . so when the opportunity for participating in a blog tour came up, it wasn’t a hard decision to join in.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which help support this blog at no added expense to you. Thanks! Also, the author gave me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, and all thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.
About the book:
What happens when a sheltered young Mennonite befriends an ornery old Ojibwe woman in order to lead her to Christ—and finds that old woman has more to teach her about God and humanity than she ever dreamed? These two women from widely differing cultures and belief systems soon build a connection that runs deeper than their differences. Kinsinger’s memoir of friendship reads like a novel, at once riveting and introspective, timeless and surprising.
Turtle Heart: Unlikely Friends with a Life-Changing Bond invites you into the world and perspective of a young Mennonite woman who allows love to lead her beyond her comfort zone into uncharted territory.
Turtle Heart is little like I expected it to be. Written more like a novel and less the realistic recounting of incidents than I thought, it gripped my heart and pulled me into Lucinda’s world—a world quite unlike my own, but very like it in some ways. Honest, thorough, stated as it was, I felt like I was experiencing the events along with Lucinda in her early twenties.
It takes a certain kind of bravery to write a book like this. Bravery to pull together the thoughts and conversations you’d rather forget about, despite them making up a part of the story as a whole. Bravery to state the world as you see it, without pretense or derision, or bowing to what’s currently popular. Bravery to be you, without apology.
This story is a deep dive into what it means to love someone as Jesus loves. Not always perfectly or beautifully, sometimes mixed with a heavy dose of ulterior motives, but in its purest, most beautiful sense. In a world where it feels like there is more splintering than mending, where shunning is preferred to openhearted forgiveness, where there is division instead of the acceptance that we are all in need of grace, this book is a breath of fresh air and a reminder that ultimately, we are all God’s children and we all need each other.
Honest, thoughtful, beautiful, and heartfelt. Those are a few of the many adjectives I have to describe this book. Be prepared to be challenged, blessed, and inspired by this read. I certainly was, and can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy of my own!
About the author:
Lucinda J Kinsinger has always viewed herself as a shy little Mennonite girl but refuses to let that stop her from pursuing what she loves—whether that’s writing with honesty and vulnerability or traveling to a remote village in China. She is the author of two memoirs—Turtle Heart: Unlikely Friends with a Life Changing Bond and Anything But Simple: My Life as a Mennonite, as well as a children’s book, The Arrowhead. She writes a column for Anabaptist World Review and blogs at lucindajkinsinger.com. Lucinda lives with her farmer husband Ivan and her baby daughter Annalise in the rolling hills of Oakland, Maryland.
To celebrate her tour, Lucinda is giving away the grand prize package of a 50 Amazon gift card with a copy of the book! Be sure to comment on the blog stops below for nine extra entries into the giveaway. Go here to enter.
The other blog stops:
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 5
Texas Book-aholic, March 7
All-of-kind Mom, March 8
Lots of Helpers, March 9
Inklings and notions, March 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 11
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 12
deb’s Book Review, March 13
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 14
For Him and My Family, March 15
Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 16
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 17
Mary Hake, March 17
By the Book, March 18
What was the last memoir that blessed, challenged, or encouraged you in a profound way?