I've come to look forward to every new book that release by Tracie Peterson because her stories are not only filled with romance, but suspense and intrigue as well.
In this novel, there was not only one love story but two! Both had their own unique identities - with Isabella and Orlando's, it was primarily adventure and passion that fueled their love. Even resorting to meet in risky (iron mine) and uncanny (back of conveniencestore) locations. Tracie stayed true to this plot line, as both Isabella and Orlando were 19, so their passion and adventurous nature was not unlike any couple who would be experiencing those same feelings. The urgency of the two having to get married added to the suspense of the plot line, which was a benefit to the story. But realistically speaking, I don't think it was necessary for the two to run away and create all this drama however I do have to remind myself of the historical time period this was set in.
Where Isabella and Orlando's romance developed from adventure and passion, Chantelle and Dante stemmed from intensity because of their sameness in personality. This makes their encounters heated with passionate debates and sharp banter but love blooms out of their obvious attraction for each other.
The plot line is further developed with the introduction of Alfredo and Marco, brothers of Isabella and Chantelle. In particular, Marco and his mishaps with alcohol and gambling. It was very interesting to see his internal struggle on whether doing the right thing is always the best thing. This little side plot provided a good break from the romance aspect and gave the story depth from being a one dimensional, traditional romance story.
Tracie also tackles the issue of alcoholism by introducing Reverend Black who gave a long drawn tirade that drinking alcohol leads to more sins, physical and spiritual death and destruction. I agree that are times when rebuke is warranted and even necessary, however Rev Black's speech came out of condemnation and judgement. It surprised me that Tracie was willing to talk about this prevalent issue, albeit in a historical context- how it was dealt with then, and that it still exists today! I appreciated that Tracie was willing to invoke her own personal opinion in a subtle way but still get the message across of Jesus' love, grace and mercy.
To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed the faith of Nonna Barbota especially since it helped bring clarity, and perspective to this whole matter while unifying the overall plot of this story.
Author Tracie Peterson sweeps the reader away to Ely, Minnesota, in the 1800s_a growing iron mining town with a mixture of ethnicities and a variety of businesses comprised of unfortunately far more saloons than churches. It is here we meet two Italian families, the Panettas and the Calarcos, who have been feuding for over 50 years over a matter they are vaguely aware of. Although the male members of each family all work at the iron mines together, they resentfully and cautiously keep their distance from one another.
The fireworks begin when the youngest Panetta sister, Isabella, falls in love with Orlando Calarco, in spite of the many warnings by her eldest sister, Chantel. Chantel finds Orlando's brother, Dante, totally insufferable albeit disturbingly handsome; as he fights tooth and nail to keep Orlando from marrying a hated Panetta. When a life threatening accident occurs to Mr. Panetta, his heart is forever changed and he resolves to put an end to this bitter feud. Will it take a near disaster as well to change Mr. Calarco's hatred and way of thinking?_and will even the enticing Chantel Panetta be enough to dampen Dante's resolve to prolong the feud?
I simply love all of Tracie Peterson's books, and this one was certainly no exception. I enjoyed the plot and the way the characters evolved spiritually and emotionally throughout the book. The Calarcos' "Nonna" is a delight, as is Mrs. Panetta, and they are the backbone of their familiesâ€”filled with wisdom and the love of Christ. I enjoyed learning about some of the customs and traditions of the Italians, and the cuisine was very mouthwatering indeed! This is a book about love, loss, forgiveness, and redemption, guaranteed to touch the reader's heart and leave it full. And your tummy if you satisfied your craving for lasagna and rigatoni while reading this delectable book! ;)
This story shows how one family extended kindness and unforgiveness even though the father from the other side of the fude held on for a long time and hurt his children. I did not like the deceit that was caused by the unforgiviness. Story did have a good ending of unforgiviness.
I received a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
Isabella Panetta has fallen in love with Orlando Calarco. She is asking her older sister Chantel to help her sneak away to spend a few minutes with him. The only problem is that the Panettas and the Calarcos have been sworn enemies for decades. As Chantel tries to help Isabella and Orlando have time together she keeps crossing paths with Orlando's older brother, Dante. As the families deal with the aftermath of finding out about the young couples' love for each other they find that they also have to deal with a tragedy at the mine that the men all work at in Ely, Minnesota. Is there any hope that the hatred that has simmered between these two families might be resolved?
Tracie Peterson is an award winning author and therefore it is no surprise that she has written incredible characters that quickly wormed their way into my heart. The story she developed for this book takes a very long and deep look at what unforgiveness can do to people. I was quickly drawn in and found that I needed to see how God was going to work in their lives to bring about changes. It was a very satisfying book and I was taken on quite an emotional journey along with the characters.
There were a number of the characters that had a strong faith in God from the very beginning. There are others that didn't see a need for Him. Throughout the book those who trusted God were encouraging the others to either trust Him more or to begin to trust Him. I found this to be very encouraging and uplifting to read.
I heard somewhere that The Miner's Lady was very loosely based on, or at least reminded readers of, Romeo & Juliet. They were right, the basic story is the same. But I liked this version so much better than any of the others I have run across so far. In my opinion this is the best book by Tracie Peterson since her Alaskan series's and The Brides Of Gallatin County series! The author has been so prolific that in recent years some of the stories have seemed almost a little rote, The Miner's Lady was fresh and different.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book There is romance, drama, humor, danger.
The historical details are believable and the story is richly interspersed with them. The turn-of-the-century mining practices are fascinating, Dante, his father and brother are blasting (explosives) experts at the mine. Full of history and details that are not overwhelming but remain interesting from the first page to the last.
The romance was fun and snappy. Neither the heroine, Chantel, nor the hero, Dante, like each other at first and the two spend some time sparring before finally falling in love. Kind and loving, Chantel is also no pushover. Dante is a dutiful and responsible son but he is a determined man as well. The sparks between them come from more than one source.
One of the things I found interesting, and well done, was the depiction of the two different families. Both are Italian and proud of it and both are still bound by a feud that neither family can really remember the origins. But there are big differences, the Calarcos have seen the pain of loss and God is distant to all but Nonna Barbato, the Panettas are a complete family and the women devout. How will both families handle the love and likely marriage of not one set of children but two? And what will happen when tragedy strikes, will the Pannettas cling to God and will the Calarcos find Him?
This is the third book in the Land Of Shining Water series but each one stands alone and can be read in any order. Even if you haven't read the other two yet, definitely read this one! The Miner's Lady is perfect for lovers of historical fiction and especially fans of Tracie Peterson.
This book even has one of the best cover designs of 2013! The Bethany House team has done a great job on each of the covers for the trilogy.
(I received a copy of this book from the Publisher through The Book Club Network in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.)