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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2006
Availability: In Stock
Series: Candlewood Trilogy
There are many subplots started here, as this is the first book of an intended trilogy. Emma owns some land that is insistently sought by a developer. A great many people work or stay at Emmas boarding house, called Hill House. The towns continuing development and the future possibility of a railroad play a major role and, obviously, will continue to do so throughout the series. What appears to be the main plot of the trilogy as a whole is the ownership of Hill House. Emma had bought it against the advice of her lawyer, ignoring the fact that the title was not clear. There is also the promise of a developing romance between Emma and Zachary Brekenwith, her lawyer.
Unfortunately, this book has several elements that may put some people off. There are several times when characters lie and deceive, and the climax of the book is achieved by most of the cast participating in an elaborate deception. There is also an incident that starts with a workman going to the bathroom in public. The book approves of spouses keeping their financial assets separate as well.
The historical accuracy of the book is also shaky. There are two female characters who dress in mens clothing, and they are looked on as only a tad strange, rather than being arrested and morally condemned. Emma expresses her amazement at someone rearing eight children, a quite normal number of offspring in the days before modern medicine virtually assured the survival of all babies to adulthood.
Another troublesome historical inaccuracy is related to the New England silk industry. Mr. Langhorne, the key antagonist, wants to purchase land from several characters to speculate in this industry. The winter of 1839-1840 had dealt an ultimately fatal blow to the silk industry, and the book starts in September of 1841 making this scenario feel poorly researched.
The setting on the canals of New York State may appeal to some, as may the many strong female characters. Those who have enjoyed Parrs earlier books may also be interested. However, the almost feminist views espoused at some points and the lack of a genuine historical feel will cause readers to suspend belief in order to enjoy. Sarah J. Deal, Christian Book Previews.com
Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Ending a bit frustrating, but enjoyable storyJuly 13, 2012Debbie from ChristFocusHarrison, ARAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4"A Hearth in Candlewood" is a Christian historical novel set in the 1840s in a small canal town in New York. It's the first novel in the series, but while I was reading it I wondered if it was the 9th or 10th in the series since there were so many interesting stories briefly referred to as back story.
I really enjoyed the characters and setting. I found the vivid details about the time and setting to be interesting and they brought the story alive in my imagination. The characters acted in realistic ways, and there was an underlying humor to the book. I liked how Emma would scold someone for how they behaved, then realize she needed to apologize for something she'd done and so have to go back and humble herself. Though she "said a prayer" a few times or would realized her behavior wasn't Christ-like, the novel wasn't preachy. Yet her faith obviously had an impact on how she acted, though she obviously still had much to learn about faith.
There were two sources of suspense: the conflict about the "grandma's" sons (which Emma was calm about solving, so I assumed it'd work out) and the suspense about her not really owning the house. I would have been okay with the book ending without resolving the house problem if we hadn't been told that the true owner was expected to arrive any minute and make his decision...and then the book ends. I don't like "cliff-hanger" endings.
The story also lost a bit of charm for me over the whole chicken scenario. I've owned chickens for year. I just can't imagine anyone--even "village folk"--being terrified of a hen calmly sitting on a table. Yet all the characters are! Also, chickens don't ruin everything they look at (like a hat that fell off as a man dashed by) or sit on (like some riding trousers). I took me out of my immersion in the story, though it probably won't be a problem for others.
There was no bad language or sex. Overall, I'd recommend this charming, engaging story.
Sue4HimAge: 45-545 Stars Out Of 5Very good storyFebruary 13, 2012Sue4HimAge: 45-54Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Story kept me guessing what was going to happen up to the end. Great story!
shirlNew MexicoAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent readFebruary 10, 2012shirlNew MexicoAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Good story line. Well written. Insightful.
enjoyed the book greatly.
CJ LewisOregonAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Good BookJanuary 20, 2012CJ LewisOregonAge: 45-54Gender: femaleMeets Expectations: 4This was a good book. She kept her faith going in spite of adversity.
DebbieDayton, OhioAge: 55-65Gender: female3 Stars Out Of 5Nice story but...January 11, 2012DebbieDayton, OhioAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3I loved all the people in this book and it was very interesting but the ending was such a disappointment as it does not tell us if she loses her home! I kept reading to see if her home was safe and if a romance ever developed and neither happened! Felt let down.