On the heels of the Civil War, a dying man gave Doctor Travis Logan the deed to his Tennessee farm. The man's brain must have been a bit addled, because he also offered Travis Heaven and Angel.
Life is tough in Tennessee as the war closes, and Heaven Wharton has her hands full keeping marauders off her land. Surely soon Pa will return to take Heaven and her sister off to Chicago. Too bad Heaven is a lousy shot. When she attempts to shoot over a man's head, she accidentally grazes him instead. Horrified, she drags him into the house and tries to save his life.
Angel, her 12-year-old blind sister, has been trying to get a bit more freedom to do things on the farm, but Heaven has been protecting her. It's been a stop-gap measure while they wait for Pa. But when the stranger regains consciousness, she finds that not only has Pa died and given away the family farm to this. . .this stranger, but he's thrown in Heaven and Angel as well. Surely that can't be right!
A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee is a wonderful glimpse of life in a difficult time. So many men didn't return home from the Civil War and, of those who did, many were so changed they found it impossible to pick up their lives where they'd left off. This story showcases several characters with differing levels of war-induced trauma, making the issues feel very real.
Although I loved Heaven's spunk and Travis's determination, my favorite character was Angel. She has such conflicting emotions and no hesitation speaking up, from wondering if she is a suitable chaperone (being as she's blind), to telling both Heaven and Travis things to make them think more kindly of the other. So many times I wanted to laugh and cry and cheer with Angel.
If you enjoy historical romance, or possibly even if you don't, you'll love A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. This is one of my favorite books so far this year.
A digital copy of this novel was provided by the author for review. However, the opinions are, as always, mine alone.
A couple months ago I was in a reading slump. It seemed everything I picked up was either poorly edited or had cardboard characters. But the last three books I've read renewed my love for reading! A Bride's Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer is the latest great book.
A lot of books start off with mysteries and partial information. While some people love to trudge through the muck until things start making sense 150 pages later, I don't. It frustrates me and I will typically give up in 20 pages or less. Ms. Brandmeyer, however, has found that beautiful balance between giving me enough information to make me both curious and comfortable at the same time. Yes, I wanted to know more about the hesitant Travis Logan, but I knew enough to trust him and follow his journey.
I found the female leads to be charming and realistic. I identified immediately with Heaven Wharton's frustrations in raising a child who is so involved in life that she can't remember to do the most basic chores on a daily basis. I understood her need to be overprotective as the realities of her sister's life came out in the story, but I also empathized with Angel Wharton's desire to be independent of her sister. In just a few short pages, I fell in love with both these characters and had to know more about them.
I found Ms. Brandmeyer's writing to be comforting and easy going. It was enjoyable and I found myself ignoring my own chores to spend time in this book. I not only look forward to reading more by this author, I recommend everyone interested in Christian Romantic Fiction give this book a try.