The Courtship Basket, a novel by Amy Clipston, opens with Rachel hoping her boyfriend of four years would ask her to marry him soon. Instead, he and Rachel’s best friend break Rachel’s heart. Trying to heal, she accepts a teaching position at an Amish school for children with special needs. Through one of her students, she meets Mike Lantz whose family has endured their own heartbreaks. For their own reasons, neither wants to enter into a romantic relationship, but reluctantly a friendship starts to develop. Will it lead to something more?
The characters are believable and their emotions are clearly detailed. They face very real challenges. They are committed to their families and take responsibilities seriously. Readers watch as Rachel and Mike grow as they come to know themselves, and each other, even during the most difficult of times. There are meaningful messages in this story. One of which is that love often appears when least expected.
I found this to be a well told story. This book is well worth reading.
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
A Beauty Refined, a novel by Tracie Peterson, opens in Helena, Montana in 1907. Phoebe Von Bergen is a child of privilege. Her father is a German count and they have come to Montana to buy sapphires. She finds herself attracted to an American, Ian Harper, who works as a lapidary. Ian was hurt badly once and is afraid to take another chance on love. Despite his fears of being hurt again, he finds himself caring deeply for Phoebe. At first, Phoebe has no reason to believe anything is amiss, but this changes very quickly. An unexpected encounter changes her life. Secrets are revealed and Phoebe faces unimaginable danger and lives are threatened. Do Phoebe and Ian have a chance at a future together?
The author has written an engrossing novel with a cast of multidimensional characters whose world becomes very real to the reader. The story deals with serious issues including honesty, betrayal, deceit, love and faith. This is a fast moving story with enough twists, turns and surprises to hold the reader’s attention to the end. Highly recommended.
I received this book for free from Bethany House and I give this review of my own free will.
The Mapmaker’s Children, written by Sarah McCoy, tells the stories of two women living one hundred and fifty years apart. Sarah Brown, a daughter of abolitionist John Brown, was an incredible woman. She was actively involved in her father’s cause to help slaves escape to the north. Modern day protagonist is Eden Anderson, who with her husband, has moved to an old house in a small town in West Virginia. She is a deeply troubled woman whose marriage is in danger of falling apart. She unexpectedly discovers an unusual doll in the house which seems to have its own set of secrets. What commonalities could the women share?
The protagonists stories are revealed alternately. This is a captivating character driven novel. We follow their paths of personal growth and watch how they embrace lives they might never have imagined for themselves. The author skillfully blends the past and present into an engrossing and well researched book. Highly recommended.
I received this book for free through Blogging For Books and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.