Monday, August 19, 2013

Book Review: Ripples Along the Shore by Mona Hodgson

Book Details:
Title: Ripples Along the Shore (Quilted Hearts Novellas #3)
Author: Mona Hodgson
2013, Waterbrook Press
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Book Summary:
Can a War Widow Escape Her Grief—and Find God’s Promise—on a Wagon Train West?

When Caroline Milburn steps off the boat and back into her hometown of St. Charles, MO, part of her wishes she could step right back on board and sail away. St. Charles, though home to her beloved friends and quilting circle, hasn’t felt like home since the death of her husband. And living with her sister, Jewell’s family hasn’t provided much balm for her grieving heart. Caroline knows something needs to change—but for now she’s stuck sharing her sister’s home, and enduring the anger and bitterness of her brother-in-law.

But change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boones Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw. Despite her dislike for Mr. Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed her husband, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new.

When the lovely young widow makes her intentions to travel west known, Garrett Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them. Will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?

My Review:
If you love historical fiction, good love stories and excellent storytelling - this series is for you. This is the 3rd and final book in the Quilted Hearts Series by Mona Hodgson and I loved all three of them. These three short novellas (this one is only 128 pages) follow the lives of several women who live in a small German town in Missouri in a post-Civil War America. Saint Charles is a bustling town where people are trying to rebuild their lives after the war. 

Almost everyone has lost someone in the war. 
In one of the outlying farms is a woman who hosts a Thursday quilting circle and these novellas follow the lives of several of these women. Each novella follows one main story, but I love the way the author introduces us to the women she'll be following in the next installment.

In this particular book we follow Caroline. She has just found out that her husband died during the war and she is at loose ends as to what to do with her life. She lives with her sister and brother-in-law because she has no where else to go and no job to earn a living. Her brother-in-law is a bitter man who has allowed the loss of a limb during the way to color his entire life. Caroline wants to start anew - but how?

There is also Garrett Cowlishaw. He was a Confederate soldier (although - there seems to be more to that story....) and has come to Saint Charles to lead a wagon train west on the Oregon Trail. His path seems to keep intersecting with the widow, Mrs. Caroline Milburn and he develops feeling for her despite her obvious dislike of him.

Caroline decides she is going to attempt to go west on the wagon train. She could start a new life as a schoolteacher. But will Mr. Cowlishaw allow her - a single woman - to travel with his wagon train? Will her hopes for the future be delayed? And what of the strange attraction she has for this man.... a man who fought with the men who killed her husband?

Excellent stories - all three of them. This book left some loose ends hanging at the end and I was panicked that I wasn't going to find out what happened! But, I am happy to see that the author is starting a new series following these characters out onto the Oregon Trail in the Hearts Seeking Home series. About half of the characters are leaving Saint Charles and I will definitely be getting those books and continuing their stories!

You can pick up each of these novellas on Amazon Kindle for only $1.99!

Disclosure: I was provided with an e-book copy of this book free of charge by Waterbrook Multonomah Press for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own.

No comments: