Thursday, November 29, 2018

Review: In My Father's House and Silver Censers

Chris was confused. His mother has died, and he knows nothing about his dad. His life at the children's home is sometimes happy, but the strict staff members don't seem to care about his hurting heart. When Chris is hired out to a local farmer, his life becomes even more difficult.

 In My Father's House is a true story of a young man growing  up in western Maryland during the Great Depression. When Chris (not his real name) was an elderly man, he told his life story to Darletta Martin who recorded his experience of hardship, disappointment, and forgiveness. 

I recently lent the book to my sister. She said that the book must have been well-written because she couldn't stop reading even though she had work to do. Darletta had asked me to read her draft a year ago to edit for historical accuracy. Sometimes true stories have the well-earned reputation for being boring, but I stayed up late to find out what happens next in this book. Darletta is a talented writer, and I enjoy stories with local settings. Since there are so many children today who feel rejected, Chris' example of forgiveness is a valuable one.

Darletta has also compiled a poetry calendar called Silver Censers. For years she had gathered poems written by Anabaptist poets. With a friend's photography, she designed a daily flip calendar.

For over a year, this calendar has sat on my bedroom dresser. In the past few years I've been trying to acquire an appreciation for poetry. I've formed the opinion that poetry is best appreciated in very small bites. The short poems for each day have been perfect. Most are inspirational or based on Scripture and give me something to think on for the day. Ed claims to dislike poetry, but I find that he is usually the one who flips the calendar and reads the poem of the day before me.

The calendar includes poems by nearly 40 poets. I looked for my favorite poets such as Lydia Hess, Janice Etter, Elaine Gingrich, Christine Laws, Sheila Petre, and, of course, Darletta herself - but I was also introduced to many new poets. Not every poem is my favorite but with 365 options, I can find many to enjoy.

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You can purchase either In My Father's House or Silver Censers directly from Darletta Martin. Either one is $15.00 plus $3.00 for shipping. (Shipping is less for more than one.) You can email Darletta at dgdfmartin @ (delete the spaces) to place an order. She also sales larger quantities for wholesale orders.

And if you like to hold things in your hands before a purchase, come to the Christmas Craft Expo this weekend. Darletta will be there with her books.


  1. The book sounds really good! I too am not a big poetry person. I like some but really do not "get" or understand a lot of it.

  2. Happy to see you endorsing Silver Censors. :)

    1. Marlene-
      You are one of those new friend that I felt like I met through its pages.

  3. Thanks for your affirming words about Silver Censors. What be listed among your favorite poets. I was a last minute addition to the project, thanks to Sheila Petre, who is so generous in her support of other writers. I am just starting to read Darletta's book. Maybe I should wait till I am more on top of my Christmas to-do list, judging from other readers' experiences. 😊


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