The Potter’s Lady, a novel by Judith Miller, opens in Philadelphia in May of 1872. Rose McKay has graduated from the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. She had won the school’s Excellence in Design Award which was something she was proud of. Her time at the school had been challenging as the other students had not accepted her and as a result were unkind to her. She is anxiously awaiting her brother Ewan’s arrival so that they can return to their home in West Virginia. He confides that he is looking to buy a business and together they tour a pottery. Ewan buys the pottery and Rose is committed to helping him make the business profitable and known for it’s beautiful designs. She has lots of ideas about changing the pottery for the better, but this makes the employees nervous. Especially nervous is long term employee, Rylan Campbell. Change threatens his sense of security. He is reluctant to embrace Rose’s changes at first, but over time he accepts them and his feelings for her turn romantic. He wonders if she could ever feel the same.
From the beginning, there are problems at the pottery. Someone is underbidding the McKay’s for contracts and they are losing business. It is as though someone knows in advance the amount of their bids and deliberately undercuts their bids to customers. Is there a traitor at the pottery? Rose learns of a pottery design contest where the prize is a contract with a famous hotel. Can the future of the family’s business hinge on a contest? Rose and Rylan work together closely to create what they hope will be the winning design pattern. Prior to the judging of the entries, they are shocked by what the judges tell them. They have been betrayed on many levels. Are Rose and Rylan strong enough to weather this storm?
This is a well written story about family, integrity, honor and love. The characters are believable and the dialogue is natural. The story moves quickly and keeps the reader engrossed.
I received this book for free from Bethany House and I give this review of my own free will.