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.
I have long enjoyed love stories where the hero and heroine have to overcome both society's strictures and personal obstacles to forge a life together. Her Good Name is an excellent story in that aspect. Espy Estrada and Warren (love that name!) Brentwood come from different worlds, even though they both grew up in the seaside town of Holliston, Maine.
One thing I loved about this novel was the way Espy always did right. Life had thrown her some pretty hard situations, and though she often thought about scaling back and not trying her hardest to honor God, she chose to do right anyway, time after time, struggle after struggle. I was so glad to see a happy ending to her story. But boy oh boy, was that happy ending a long way off at times!
Before Espy and Warren could forge a life together, they had to overcome society's class structure, cruel rumors, and their own self doubts. Both Warren and Espy ended the story as different and more mature people then they were when the story started. Plus as a woman who married a pastor, this story holds a special meaning to me. I'm so glad Espy and Warren found way to be together and Warren was able to pursue his divine calling.