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Esperanza Estrada, daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman and a local woman, Espy lives on the wrong side of the tracks, surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. She is unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas." When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local high school teacher's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity-to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again, but also to imbibe of the culture and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.
|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: River North
Publication Date: 2012
Availability: In Stock
In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father's business empire.
Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas," Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?
IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Thought-provoking historical romanceJanuary 16, 2014IolaNew ZealandAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
Espy Estrada is the oldest of the town drunkâ€™s 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 findâ€™s heâ€™s 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 â€¦
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. Thatâ€™s 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 1890â€™s, 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 â€˜otherâ€™ 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 didnâ€™t work). This novel made me think about some of these deeper issues without resorting to sermonizing. Well done.
debwilsonSummerfield, FLAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5December 21, 2013debwilsonSummerfield, FLAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
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.
RagdogsAge: Under 18Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Her Good Name;-)November 8, 2013RagdogsAge: Under 18Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
â€œI Received this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.â€
â€œHolliston, Maine. 1892. No matter how striking she is, a fishermanâ€™s daughter doesnâ€™t stand a chance with Warren Brentwood, the heir of the local lumber empire. So in an effort to better her life and eventually catch Warrenâ€™s eye, Espy takes a job at the local professorâ€™s home. But when the professor begins to tutor her, the rumors begin to fly.
Scandal turns Espyâ€™s 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 anyoneâ€“particularly Warrenâ€“believe 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!
MoonpiePRYORAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5PURE CHRISTIAN ROMANCE!May 16, 2013MoonpiePRYORAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
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 1800â€™s 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 parentâ€™s 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 Godâ€™s 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, Espyâ€™s 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 familyâ€™s 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 Godâ€™s Word warning us not to judge others by how things appear. I loved Espyâ€™s strength in facing such condemnation and as she grew spiritually, allowing God to defend her good name. I admired Warrenâ€™s 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."
crtnybcBritish Columbia, CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5An enchanting tale with deeper truthsApril 13, 2013crtnybcBritish Columbia, CanadaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5
A working class girl in the late 1800s falls for a wealthy lumber baron's son from a higher social class, Warren has newly returned from travelling abroad and is preparing to take over the family lumber business. One Sunday afternoon after church the pastor asks him to start up a young peoples group and suggests that Espy help him. they become good friends until her good name is smeared around town and Warren believes the rumours. Epsy runs off to a nearby town, trying to forget about Warren. He finds she's had an effect on him as well and is unable to forget about her. Class distinction and family duty stand between them. How could anything more happen?
I loved how Ruth Axtell wove this enchanting tale, not rushing through but definitely keeping my interest with all the new situations and difficulties that arise. For both characters there is the tension between doing what is expected of you by your family and doing what you feel God is calling you to do. This is especially difficult for Warren. He feels he has no choice but to aqiesse to his family's hopes and plans. Espy, for her part, isn't content to work the rest of her life at the cannery or some other job where her brain isn't an asset. Nor is she going to marry someone with no ambition beyond the small borders of the seedy neighbourhood she lives in.
Once Espy leaves town things get very interesting. God is working in mysterious ways and the ending seems organic and entirely possible, but definitely unexpected. There are much deeper ideas woven into this story than in any typical Christian romance.
Ruth Axtell is one of my new favourite authors and I will be watching for her next book. I would certainly recommend this book!
I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Moody Publishers.
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