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.)
I love Tracie Peterson. Her books are always filled with adventure and focus on God. The Miner's Lady is no exception. A heartwarming story of two families who have been feuding for generations. Now the daughters of the Panetta family and the sons of the Calarcos family have fallen in love. Will love be enough to heal the wounds of the two families. When tragedy strikes the families put their differences aside for the better good. They find forgiveness, overcome pride, and learn the power of prayer. This is a great story, quick read, and hard to put down. I received a free copy from Bethany House for my honest review.
When Chantel's sister falls in love with a sworn enemy in their 1890s iron-mining community, will Chantel's attempts to aid the couple result in a romance of her own?
Land of Shining Water, Book 3
Ely, Minnesota, 1890
The feuding of the Panettas and the Calarcos families is about to come to a close ~ that is, as far as younger sister Isabella Panetta believes. She is certain of marriage to Orlando Calarco and subsequent children being the power to break this torrent of bad blood between them. Her older sister, Chantel, is home from Nonna and Nonno's in Italy. Isabella has waited to tell her sister before revealing her plans and desires to their Mama and Papa.
Their parents had a tradition of sending each of their children to stay with their grandparents in Italy. Upon turning twenty-one, the siblings, if unmarried, would leave home for a year to learn about the old country and their ancestors. Marco and Alfredo had each had their turn, and now Chantel had experienced the same.
--The Miner's Lady, 10
How could it be? Long ago, had there been a love like this? So endearing that every storm of life could be reconciled; by a smile, by a tear? Isabella is seventeen and eager to forgo her trip until a later time. Especially, since the feud happened in the old country before even coming to America. How could it affect her and Orlando?
This was a strong story of family. How will they choose; from the heart or from tradition? They live in the present with expectations from yesteryear. "We always have done it this way." Families feeling they disrespect and betray their ancestors by changing actions today. How much are "perceived" truths from the past that are leaned upon? I liked the three generations and their input. It wasn't always the oldest that resisted change.
The writing was excellent and so was the pace. Many opportunities for reconciliation. My favorite character was Nonna Barbato. She made the story come alive in that she spoke her mind and shared hidden things that could have made a difference if listened to correctly. She gave up her individual life to come from Italy to the Americas to care for her family when her daughter died. How humbling and resourceful, with a clear heart. She drew them all together by her consistency and love. Respect.
Tracie Peterson is the award-winning author of more than ninety novels, both historical and contemporary. Her avid research resonates in her stories, as seen in her bestselling Land of the Lone Star and Heirs of Montana series. Tracie and her family make their home in Montana. To learn more, visit Tracie's website at traciepeterson.com.
***Thank you to Tracie Peterson and Bethany House Publishers for providing me with this review copy of The Miner's Lady. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
This story is set in Minnesota in 1890. The other two books in this series, The Icecutter's Daughter and The Quarryman's Bride are also set in this same time period. The two main families are the Calarcos and the Panettas, who are feuding for years. Two love stories happen in this novel, between Isabella Panetta and Orlando Calarco as well as between their older siblings, Chantel Panetta and Dante Calarco.
The Panetta family and the Calarco family have been in the iron mining business for years. They are both Italian families with a long history of feuding brought with them when the left Italy for America. There are definite shades of Romeo and Juliet among this romance, which can be entertaining, is not original. Chantel has just returned from a trip to Italy and realizes she no longer wants to stay in Ely, Minnesota, but return to Italy. Upon her return, her sister Isabella informs her that she is in love with Orlando Calarco and wants Chantel to help her spend time with Orlando. Dante, on the other hand, works in the mines with his brother and as the oldest has been given the task of convincing Orlando that he can't love Isabella and to keep the two apart. Can Chantel continue to encourage her sister in a love she knows is forbidden? Can Dante convince Orlando of his folly? When Chantel and Dante inevitably meet, will they continue their families' feud or will they take a different path?
This book was just average in my opinion. In fact, I felt this entire series was average. The main male character in this story appeared only strong in the physical sense. I have read many of Tracie Peterson's books, and this one just didn't seem to have the depth to it that some of her older works have. The two main characters hardly interacted enough to develop a romance. There was too much focus on the sister, Isabella as well since the story was supposed to be about Chantel. The strong grandmother in the Calarco family was also a great source of wisdom, advice and mentoring. I so enjoy seeing the older generation involved in the lives of the younger generation; they have so much to teach. I also enjoyed the description of the delicious Italian food. Yummy!! I liked, as with all Tracie's books, that there was a Christian message and in this story it was about forgiveness.