Monday, December 11, 2017

Mary's Christmas Goodbye (also known as Coming Home for Christmas) by Linda Byler - Review of one of the books in the Amish Romance series

Mary Stoltzfus, splashed with freckles, is thirty years old and unmarried. In her Amish world, that qualifies her to be called an old maid. She is living her quiet schoolteacher life in the Lancaster County Amish community when she gets a surprising invitation in the mail. Would she come to Montana to teach? Before long, Mary is on Amtrak, "just to take care of her curiosity," she explains to her mother.

She arrives at a desolate station and meets Arthur Bontrager, who soon raises her old buried question as to why no man has ever been her match. Who is the young woman in the photo at Arthur's house? And why does Mary suddenly care? Does she really belong back in Lancaster?

A great short book for Christmas, I have read a few of Linda's books now and enjoyed each one. I think there are a lot of people who know how Mary feels, never pretty enough, not interesting enough to overcome your shortcomings, yet seem to be content with your life and unconsciously push people away but still have a lot of friends with people who look up to you at the same time.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund - Review of the first book in the Orphan Train series

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime
Cost Them the Love of their Lives?

One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850's New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possess everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire,  Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward.

Oh Jody, you never fail me when I choose to read one of your books!!! I loved this story as it showed what strength and faith, even when they thought they'd lost it, women had/have in such hard times. The farther along I got in Elise's story the more I hated having to put the book down. I am so anxious to read the next two books, yes, two, I see there is one coming out in May of 2018 and I'm 'sure' there will be at least one more, that is the one I'm really waiting for.

I highly recommend this book, this series, to historical fiction lovers. I will suggest that you read the prequel, "An Awakened Heart" first, then this one as we wait for the next one, "Together Forever" in the series.