Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook.com® <http://BookLook.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
I’m always game for reading a new author! I had never read any of Colleen Coble’s books, but had heard good things about this author. I was interested in the premise set in the early 1900’s, around the time of Anne of Green Gable’s setting. I’ve also always been a fan of stories about mail order brides, so I dove into this with a lot of anticipation.
Elli, the main character has traveled from Finland and a very wealthy upbringing to escape a man she believes to have been involved with the death of her father to start a new life as the wife of Nathan White and mother to Nathan’s four-year-old niece, Hannah. The first day of their marriage begins in turmoil as Elli is attacked for no apparent reason in her own new home. Soon more attacks and trouble begin to test the fragile threads of Elli and Nathan’s barely begun marriage.
Although the story-line had promise, I was actually a little disappointed in this novel. It is a very light read and only took about and hour and a half to read. That is nice in some ways for me because I do not have enormous amounts of time for leisurely reading. I completed most of this as I waited at a doctor’s office and it was simple enough to follow that I wasn’t distracted by all going on around me.
My disappointment came in the actual content. The conversation between the characters seemed forced at times and rather unnatural and the background information vital to the story was inserted in what felt like awkward moments at times. I also felt there was a lack of character development which I like in my fiction. Part of this may be due to the length of the novel since it is not very long.
I was also a little disappointed in the references to faith. While I’m not a fan of fiction that preaches at its reader, I do appreciate seeing the faith of the characters more than merely quick prayers for help or a passing reference to their spirituality which is what it felt like with this novel.
I don’t know that I will be reading more in this series, but I would definitely recommend this author to a younger audience just getting ready to step into more grown up Christian fiction. I’m planning on having my daughter (she is eight now) read it in a few years when she is more mature.