Her Good Name / New edition - eBook
It is 1890 in Holliston, Maine. Esperanza Estrada is a smart young woman born on the wrong side of the tracks, and surrounded by ten other siblings she is just another one of "those Estrada's." Unable to further her education because she has to work to support her family, Espy struggles to make her way in the world. Wanting to expose herself to a more cultured, refined environment, and desperately wishing she had a higher education; she leaves her job at the cannery and takes a job at a local teacher's home as a maid.
Warren Brentwood III is the successor of his father's business, educated in the finest of colleges, and a gentleman. Only the finest life awaits him, with the respect and accolades that follow a successful business and family. But Warren doesn't feel the satisfaction of his accomplishments or the pride that his parents say he should feel. Yet when in the company of Espy, he feels alive and complete. So when rumors circulate about Espy and the respected professor, Espy flees the town, leaving Warren more alone than ever. Will Espy's good name be forever tainted? And will Warren ever be able to fill that hole in his heart that seems to grow ever wider in Espy's absence?
As usual, I had my doubts with a new author that everyone raves about. I don't want to be disappointed, so my expectations are pretty low when I try a new writer. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that while the book did not have a lot of historic portrayal of the time period, (Axtell didn't go on and on about the when and where), she did have a lot of character development in her story. The tale started with two immature characters that you really get to know and understand at the story's end. You find yourself rooting for them, and hoping the best for everyone involved. A story with a message deeper than your typical Christian romance.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
December 21, 2013
Thought-provoking historical romance
Espy Estrada is the oldest of the town drunkÃ¢ÂÂs eleven children. She left school early to get a job in the cannery to support her family. She and her next-oldest sister shoulder a lot of the burden of raising their younger siblings, as well as working alternating shifts so there is always someone home to look after the babies.
Warren Brentwood has had every advantage money can bring: an education, and a job in the family firm. But he findÃ¢ÂÂs heÃ¢ÂÂs boss in name only: his father still wants to make all the decisions, including who he should be seen with socially. Espy and Warren are thrown together when the pastor asks them to participate in a project to entice young people back into church, and they both find themselves looking forward to the meetings for more than the project Ã¢ÂÂ¦
I liked both Espy and Warren as characters. I often find the male lead character in a romance is less well-developed than the female, so it was good to meet a hero with a mind of his own, who faced his own set of internal and external conflicts rather than merely providing a foil for the heroine. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs not to say Espy was weak; quite the opposite. Her background has given her a strong personality and the ability to weather the storms of life. Well, most of them.
This is a Christian novel, and I thought the faith elements were particularly well done. At the beginning, it seemed that Espy and Warren attended church more out of habit than personal faith (especially with Warren, as church attendance was clearly an expectation in his social circle). But both characters grew spiritually as the novel progressed, in a way that felt natural for their characters.
Every now and again I read a book which is more than the sum of its parts. Her Good Name was one such book. While it was set in Maine in the 1890Ã¢ÂÂs, there were several themes that resonated today: the tendency for people to not believe the victim, especially if she is poor and female. The difficulty of reaching out to minister to people from the Ã¢ÂÂotherÃ¢ÂÂ side of the tracks (I suspect many contemporary mission efforts fail for much the same reasons). And the attitude to women in the workplace that still persists with some people (as though there was ever a time when women didnÃ¢ÂÂt work). This novel made me think about some of these deeper issues without resorting to sermonizing. Well done.
January 16, 2014
Her Good Name;-)
Ã¢ÂÂI Received this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.Ã¢ÂÂ
Ã¢ÂÂHolliston, Maine. 1892. No matter how striking she is, a fishermanÃ¢ÂÂs daughter doesnÃ¢ÂÂt stand a chance with Warren Brentwood, the heir of the local lumber empire. So in an effort to better her life and eventually catch WarrenÃ¢ÂÂs eye, Espy takes a job at the local professorÃ¢ÂÂs home. But when the professor begins to tutor her, the rumors begin to fly.
Scandal turns EspyÃ¢ÂÂs world upside down and she flees town in disgrace. Alone and penniless, Espy has nothing left but her faith when she is rescued by a missionary family. Espy longs to return home freed from the lies that surrounded her departure. But will anyoneÃ¢ÂÂparticularly WarrenÃ¢ÂÂbelieve in her professed innocence?
This was a very good book. There was not much action, but I did enjoy how the story progressed and how Espy and Warren looked to God before each other, and in that, their love grew.
I enjoyed both of their characteristics and personalities and they seemed very realistic. I also really liked the missionary family that took in Espy and then helped Warren get more involved in the ministry. The Pastor of the local church was also very likable.
Again, this was a pretty good book and I have nothing negative to say about it!
November 8, 2013
PURE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE!
Her Good Name is more than just a superbly entertaining novel; it holds spiritual truths that are important to remember. Social boundaries were heavily drawn even in the late 1800Ã¢ÂÂs when this story takes place. The wealthy worked hard to keep their group elite and unspotted by those of lesser means. This is the situation Espy Estrada and Warren Brentwood found themselves in.
Espy was a beautiful and intelligent daughter of an American mother and Portuguese fisherman. She had her 11 siblings lived in poverty. After an accident her father had developed a serious drinking problem to the point he was rarely at home. It fell to Espy and her older sister to support the family. Her dreams for an education had been cut short.
Warren on the other hand came from a wealthy family that had given him the best education possible. They had his life planned out to take over the family business and marry the girl (of course an aristocrat) of their choice. He had been taught since he was young that this was his destiny. Although he felt obligated to comply with his parentÃ¢ÂÂs wishes, he was made of a different cloth than his family. He was kind and compassionate and saw value in people no matter what their station.
Espy had liked him since they attended grammar school together many years ago. He had just returned to their hometown from college and she finds ways to run into him on a daily basis. Warren is shocked at the beautiful young woman she has become and the strange affect being near her brings.
They are suddenly thrown together when their pastor asks Warren to start a youth group to bring young people back into the church and proposes Espy be his assistant. They become very excited about bringing both the wealthy and the working class together not only to learn GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word but also to help the poor in the community. Alas, trying to combine the two social groups is like mixing oil and water. In spite of the difficulties, EspyÃ¢ÂÂs enthusiasm, energy, and positive attitude are encouraging and impressive to Warren. His family is very upset at him having any type of interaction with her. He becomes torn between his growing feelings for her and his familyÃ¢ÂÂs expectations.
Espy feels she is moving up in the world when Mrs. Stockton, the wife of a respected local high school professor hires her on as housekeeper. Espy knows Mr. Stockton has a large library and hopes to be able to read some of his books. Unfortunately the professor has other motives and his wife catches him making inappropriate advances on Espy. Rather than tell the truth they spread lies about her and she becomes shunned by the entire town including Warren. She can stand it no more and moves to a nearby town where she lives with a missionary and his wife. God begins to work in both their lives in amazing ways.
The author beautifully illustrates truths in GodÃ¢ÂÂs Word warning us not to judge others by how things appear. I loved EspyÃ¢ÂÂs strength in facing such condemnation and as she grew spiritually, allowing God to defend her good name. I admired WarrenÃ¢ÂÂs strength in choosing to please God no matter who he might displease, even those closest to him. Two scriptures that this story brought to mind were:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
And of course, A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1
I was also very impressed that although this was a romance novel, it was written very clean and purely. An excellent book!
"I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review."
May 17, 2013