Sixty Acres and a Bride, Ladies of Caldwell County Series #1 -eBook
Beautiful story, with laughter and tears
Regina Jennings' novel Sixty Acres and a Bride looks deeper into the story of Ruth, exploring the relationships, emotions, and prejudices that might have similarly affected Ruth and Boaz themselves. Placing it in 1878 Texas, with Rosa, the Ruth equivalent, a native Mexican who accompanies her American mother-in-law back to Texas, Jennings dives right into the prejudice toward and the fascination of a foreigner who tries to join the rest of society rather than existing on its fringes. Since she is now the daughter-in-law of one of their own, the locals cannot ignore Rosa and must try to accept her in spite of her improper ways. As a foreign woman, she is colorful and different, attracting the eyes of the male population while inspiring jealousy and horror among the women. Modest attire in the Sierra Madres turns out to be scandalous in Texas; a dance that embodies propriety in Mexico becomes a seductive act suggesting wanton behavior among the Americans. Rosa stumbles repeatedly in American culture, just as Ruth no doubt experienced the shock of Israelite culture. In addition to cultural mistakes Rosa makes, she also faces the prejudice of a Mexican among Americans.
Jennings also depicts the horror and embarrassment of the girl as she humbles herself to a reputation-shattering position as she begs financial rescue for herself and her mother-in-law. In Sixty Acres and a Bride, Rosa pleads with the kinsman redeemer for money rather than marriage, but the end result is the same - he saves them financially and chooses to marry her (though as much to salvage her reputation as out of attraction). So Rosa finds herself saddled to a man who married her through obligation, and her husband knows that she, too, married him under duress; they must learn together how to love and respect each other as spouses and overcome the fear of potentially being unloved in return.
Overall, Sixty Acres and a Bride is a beautiful story - detailed, exciting, sprinkled with moments of humor, sporting a villain one loves to hate, filled with tenderness, and ripe with hope. Not many novels inspire me to tears, but as a bride, I find that this one really speaks to the hopes and fears of a young marriage. No matter how in love and prepared one feels prior to the wedding ceremony (and Rosa and Weston scarcely felt ready at all), learning to put aside one's individual self in order to live as one with one's spouse is a bumpy road, and small misunderstandings between a husband and wife can lead to great hurt without immediate reconciliation. Thankfully, God's grace sufficiently covers us in our foolishness, and Jesus came to heal our bodies and hearts (and, of course, to save), and so we can truly love our spouses with God's perfect help. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear," I John 4:18a.
July 16, 2013
Honor and Redemption
When I realized this story was a retelling of the biblical book of Ruth, I assumed I knew the story. I still wanted to read it for its cultural take--that of a young Mexican woman returning to Texas with her widowed mother-in-law in the 1870s. Certainly the main points of Ruth and Boaz's story were present in Sixty Acres and a Bride, but it was so much more.
Rosa Garner accompanied her late husband's mother to Texas because becoming a Christian had cost her everything. Her Mexican family no longer wanted her. She had no reason to stay south of the border when she could help her beloved mentor work the family homestead. The two women may have had sixty acres upon arrival, but the taxes had been mounting and now the women only have a few months to save up enough cash to pay up, or lose the farm.
Widowed Weston Garner is the man of the clan. A cowboy and successful overseer of his extended family's lands, he takes care of his relatives but, in his long-held grief, he doesn't know everything that's going on. He's attracted to the spirited and charming foreigner but has no intention of ever remarrying.
Some of the local men think Rosa should be thankful for whatever attention they're willing to give her, even when it's less than honorable. And one neighbor, in particular, has a plan to grab the sixty acres--and more--when the women fail to pay their taxes. What will it take for Weston to act? The novel carries on with a few more twists that expand upon the biblical tale.
This is a beautiful story of honor and redemption, with many a moment of humor dropped in. Read and enjoy!
February 16, 2013
The overall story was good and the characters were written fairly well, I had a hard time getting into the book. For me it started slow and didn't really pick until the last half. That being said, the biggest problem I had with this book, just like many others that are published under the "christian fiction" banner, contain very little about God, Jesus or the salvation message. Hopefully within this authors upcoming books she can weave into her stories at least one strong christian character.
January 17, 2013
From the start, you will see this story is akin to the story of Ruth in the Bible.
The story surrounds a young, recently widowed woman named Rosa. She lives with her mother-in-law Louise who also lost her husband in the same tragedy that took RosaÃ¢ÂÂs husband. Both women make a move back to LouiseÃ¢ÂÂs hometown where hardship awaits both of them as well as a wonderful group of family members.
Within the family, the reader will be introduced to Weston, the modern day Boaz. He is the protector of the family and is also nursing tragedy and loss of his own. Weston is drawn to Rosa from their first meeting but he is reticent to give in. However, God has a very different plan for them both.
I enjoyed this book immensely from start to finish! The characters were very well written that it seemed that they came off the page. You will take a journey through their moments of struggle, loss, and joys. This is the debut novel for Regina Jennings and I can definitely say that I am looking forward to reading further books from this author!
Note: I have received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review
January 1, 2013