Serena B. Miller treats readers to a gentle story of love and sacrifice in "A Promise to Love." She portrays life in 1870s Michigan with historical detail, and many of the events are based on actual occurrences. A plot based on a marriage of convenience is relatively common, but the circumstances surrounding Ingrid's and Joshua's relationship make it unique. Their love blossoms from a partnership, shared grievances, and Ingrid's tender nurturing. It is a departure from the more romantic leanings of other novels, despite the fact that Ingrid falls in love with Joshua at first sight.
Ingrid is a very compelling and sweet character, with remarkable strength and determination. Her broken English adds authenticity to the dialogue; and it is endearing, but a bit distracting at times. Despite the many hardships she faces, Ingrid remains upbeat, and it is impossible not to like her and hope that Joshua will realize his treasure. In some ways she seems almost too perfect. She almost effortlessly transitions into a mother and takes on numerous duties to support a husband who cares for her but does not love her.
In addition to striving to win her husband's love, Ingrid also hopes to find her long-lost brother. Both issues are resolved at the end of the novel, but a bit too quickly for me. A longer epilogue or perhaps a couple of more chapters would have left me more satisfied.
There are some gripping action scenes toward the end of the novel. I found myself eagerly reading the last 100 pages, captivated by Miller's vivid descriptions. She paints clear scenes throughout the novel, but the clarity takes on extra poignancy when danger enters the plot. The tragedy that occurs is based on actual events experienced by Michigan residents in 1871. It is a small snapshot of a major event that significantly altered the Midwest. One of the treasures of historical fiction is the introduction to events that shaped history. Miller's history lesson will definitely remain in my mind.
"A Promise to Love" is a heartwarming novel, and I enjoyed my first introduction to Serena B. Miller's writing. I will put her future novel and her debut novel, "The Measure of Katie Calloway" on my reading lists.
Available October 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through their book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Such an amazing book. I think it rates at the top of the books I've read this year. I Loved, Loved, Loved it. Serena B. Miller has out done herself with this wonderful, page turning read.
Ingrid Larsen has arrived in 1870's Michigan with hardly any possessions. When a chance meeting with Joshua Hunter, while she is being beaten with a whip, is about to change her entire life. Joshua has his own problems, he has just lost the love of his life, his wife and mother of his 5 children.
His In-Laws have accused him of murder? If he is able to convince the judge that he was not responsible for his wife's death, will he be able to raise his children alone, and keep up with the farm?
Ingrid has come to America to meet her twin Hans, but she has not heard from him. She doesn't know what she will do, now that she has left the employment of the woman who was beating her.
There is a blessing out there by the name of Hazel, and her She-Wolf dog.
There are many struggles ahead for these people, but there is a lot of love and compassion shown. Especially by Ingrid, loved her reaction and acceptance of the children, and Mary. She loves the Lord, and shows it in her actions.
If you only read one book...read this one! It is GREAT!
I received this book from the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
I fell in love with this story. This is a very well written book with lots of historical tidbits in it that make it very interesting. It is a great love story with lots of twists and turns that keep you so interested you cannot put it down. This author is quickly becoming one of my favorites. You wont be disappointed in this book.....