May 11, 2010

Book Review: Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr

"She lowered her gaze, and salty tears that flowed freely now warmed her flaming cheeks. Jackson Smith's unexpected proposal, which played on her plain looks and reduced circumstances, simply added more fuel to the flames of resentment she had tried so hard to extinguish these past few months.

He knew that no other woman would ever consider such a proposal. He had even admitted as much, which made his proposal to her all the more hurtful.

She tasted her tears and swiped at her lips, but the yearning for a family and home of her own resurfaced - a yearning she had set aside willingly for years." Hearts Awakening, pg 43.

Elvira "Ellie" Kilmer never expected widower Jackson Smith to be so young and handsome. When she takes the job of housekeeper for the widow and his two young sons, Ellie's heart is drawn to the heart broken little boys, but she is not prepared for the unlikely proposal of marriage that Jackson gives to her. Frustrated that he would use her plain looks and reduced circumstances as a reason to safely propose, Ellie tries to see the Lord's hand at work in this awkward circumstance. Could God really be giving her the desire of her heart, a desire for a home and family of her own?

Hearts Awakening takes us to Pennsylvania in the 1840's. The story takes place on a small island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. The seclusion of the island and the life in the apple orchard gives the perfect backdrop to this novel. It is a story of truth, second chances, forgiveness, family and love. I appreciated the way that Delia Parr led me through the complications of the plot line, giving the backstory slowly, so that I could feel the frustration of the characters as they try to sort out the past and make way for the future.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review.)

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