After losing her husband in the Civil War, Carrie Daly is scared she will never have the family she longs for. Eligible bachelors are scarce in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, but Carrie has found love. Not the weak-in-the-knees kind, but something practical. Still she isn't quite ready to set a wedding date with Nate Chastain.My thoughts:
Griff Rutledge is a former member of Charleston society, but has been estranged from his family for years. He's determined to remain unattached, never settling in one place for too long. But when asked to train a Thoroughbred for an upcoming race in Hickory Ridge, he decides to stay awhile.
Despite objections from the townsfolk, and her fear that true happiness had eluded her, Carrie is drawn to Griff's kindness and charm. It will take a leap of faith for them to pen their hearts and claim God's promise to give beauty for ashes.
After Carrie's husband dies in the war, she moves in with her brother, Henry and his wife, Mary and her two sons, Caleb & Joe. Carrie cannot figure out what Henry ever saw in Mary as she sees her as the most unlikeable person she has ever known and Mary isn't too fond of Carrie either. The two boys have never been disciplined by either parent and they become a pain to Carrie on top of the mounting tension with Mary so she decides to move back into town.
She takes a job at the bookstore that Nate Chastain owns. After awhile, Carrie thinks she might grow to love Nate but something is always amiss and they never seem to quite connect. Carrie finally realized he was not the one for her which was pretty good for her because a new woman came to town named Rosaleen and she set her sights on Nate right away and before long, he forgot all about asking Carrie to marry him and turned all his attention to Rosaleen. And just as always, Rosaleen got way and her & Nate were married.
Carrie's feelings got hurt but deep in her heart she knew he wasn't the one and that God must have another plan for her. One day she receives word that her brother Henry had to leave town to find work leaving Carrie in charge of both boys and the lazy wife, Mary. But, there was good reason that Mary was in bed alot, she was pregnant with Henry's child! For awhile things settled into a pattern until the letters from Henry stopped and the money did not come either. The women started worrying but kept a brave front up for the boys.
Finally, Christmas came and Nate stopped by with a two books, one for each boy and let Carrie know that Rosaleen had left him. She had been using him all along to help find her lost child. Carrie was very sorry for Nate and knew he did not deserve this but it was done and nothing could change it. Later after Nate left, Griff came by with presents for the boys and a tree for them to have. Later after the boys were asleep he told Carrie that Henry had been in an accident at the railroad and was dead. It was as if Carrie's life was once again tested and could she manage to pull herself together again? Could she and Mary forgive each other and learn to get along for the sake of Henry's baby? Has does this change her plans with Griff?
I am going to stop there because it is a good story and a wonderful lesson to be learned. I hope you get the book and read it. I did not know at first if I would like it, but it grew on me and then I could not put it down. I wanted to know what was going to happen so I would stay up til 3 or 4 in the morning trying to finish it but my eyes got heavy and had to put it down. You won't be sorry if you get the book for yourself and read it. It is a sad story but also a happy story. It is a story about life and death. And lastly, it reminds us how quickly things can change.
Before returning to her writing roots in historical fiction, Dorothy Love published twelve novels for young adults. Her work has garnered numerous honors from the American Library Association, the Friends of American Writers, the International Reading Association, the New York Public Library, and many others. The Hickory Ridge Novels mark her Christian fiction debut.
For more about Dorothy visit her website: dorothylovebooks or friend her on Facebook.
Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Mary Bearden and her cranky camera took the photo used in this review.