Thursday, March 01, 2012

Book Review: Beauty for Ashes, by Dorothy Love

In Beauty for Ashes, we meet Carrie Daly, a Civil War widow whose future looks grim. Her brother, with whom she’d been living, marries a mean-spirited woman with two ill-behaved children, and Carrie strikes out on her own to survive during very lean economic times. Although she is “promised” to the local bookstore owner, her heart is not fully engaged -- until Griff Rutledge comes to town. Griff makes it clear that he’s not the settling-down type and his stay is only temporary, but nonetheless Carrie can’t help losing her heart over this man of mystery. Is Carrie destined for further unhappiness or does God have other plans for her life?

I really enjoyed reading Carrie’s story. I liked that she and Griff weren’t perfect. Each had their flaws. Carrie was understandably bitter and unhappy with her life of hardship, and Griff had a troubled past and poor relationship with his family. Both needed to learn some lessons about forgiveness and love. It was interesting to see what post-war life was like for many people in a small town. And the characters were multi-dimensional, not clichéd. For instance, Carrie’s sister-in-law, Mary, could be nasty at times, but I got the sense that there was a kinder soul underneath her bitter exterior. Beauty for Ashes is published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian publisher, and thus Carrie’s faith in God is also tested in this book. But it is woven well into the story and doesn’t feel heavy-handed or preachy at all.

If you like an engaging historical romance, you’ll love Beauty for Ashes. This is just one of several novels by Dorothy Love featuring the people of Hickory Ridge, a fictional town in the southern Appalachians.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze in exchange for my honest and objective opinion about this product. Affiliate links are included with this review.


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