â€¢Â°oâ€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢. THESE PEOPLE BECAME FAMILY .â€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢
June 25, 2012
Blue Jeans & Teacups
ALL FOUR BOOKS IN THIS SERIES ARE REVIEWED HERE FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
THE WIDOW OF LARKSPUR INN, The Gresham Chronicles Book #1
â€¢Â°oâ€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢. THESE PEOPLE BECAME FAMILY .â€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢ oÂ°â€¢
Book one of The Gresham Chronicles is set in England/1860s. Julia Hollis has 3 children, servants and a grand home, and everything she needs until her husband suddenly passes away. She finds herself very suddenly deep in debt. She has days before the bank will throw her out and take everything. The only thing they allow her to keep is an old coaching inn in a village she has never heard of.
Initially, this book was hard for me because it focused on Julia's husband having a secret life of gambling. A life of sin he chose over his family. However, as the story progressed, I was able to relate to so much of what Julia was going through and the growth in Christ that she experienced. God used this book to grow me as well, and minister to my heart to continue to trust Him to see me and my kids through.
There are SO MANY WONDERFUL characters. You get to meet them and become a part of this village life and wish you were there. I am now about to start my 4th book in the series. I know I will be sad when it ends.
I so appreciate how this book is written with faith and God well-written throughout. It is very much the way I live life everyday. God is a part of my everyday life and a natural subject of conversation. But this book doesn't feel preachy, above-your-head. Just simple and flowing like a gentle river of God's love. One thing I love, is how the books switch back and forth from different characters perspective. You really get inside each one's head. It feels like you are watching a miniseries! Each time I read from the books, I feel better and uplifted like I have been around good friends at church. I highly recommend these books.
Book1 - 432 pages
Also, please view her website. It is under her full name and very sweet. www.LawanaBlackwell.com
The Courtship of the Vicar's Daughter, Gresham Chronicles Series #2
â€¢Â°oâ€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢. LAUGH OUT LOUD, CRY, GENUINELY ENJOY .â€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢ oÂ°â€¢
Book TWO of The Gresham Chronicles continues in the lovely and now cherished village of Gresham. The details of these books are so rich. The fact that The Larkspur Inn is a boarding house allows for characters to move in and out and change so we can easily expect new ones to grace us with their presence. I love that there are several elderly characters, not just one or two and the author does not shy away from giving detailed descriptions of their emotions and lives. In this second book, you also get to know some of the children better, such as when young Philip goes off to boarding school. I absolutely love Mrs. Kingston. She is so cheeky. I laugh at her antics and enjoyed her thoroughly. Seth and Mercy are my favorite in this book. The way the Lord worked in their lives was amazing, and I found myself really rooting for them. However, the writer takes her time and does not rush the situation so you really get to go on a nice ride as their characters develop in an unexpected way.
The author also makes reference to books or authors that her characters are reading, such as Little Women, An Old Fashioned Girl, Jane Austen, etc. It is fun to see books/authors listed that I recognize.
I highly recommend these books.
Book2 - 416 pages
The Dowry of Miss Lydia Clark, Gresham Chronicles Series #3
â€¢Â°oâ€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢. I WANT TO MOVE HERE! .â€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢ oÂ°â€¢
Book THREE of The Gresham Chronicles delivers you right back where you want to be. My only regret is that where Mercy and Seth had such a major role in book two, but they have only minor parts in this book. However, there are plenty of new relationships to follow. Mercy's brother Harold, actually grows into a very pleasant character in this book. Ooooh, those Sanders men were hard to like in Book two! There is love, faith, jealousy, introspection, the growing pains of youth and more in all of these books. There is also a great deal of humor that is injected at the most unusual moments so that you are caught of guard laughing out loud (and wondering if anyone else heard you!). In fact, Lydia's dad really reminds me of my own dad who has dry humor that is all to happy to share with strangers and causes Lydia to role her eyes, and sarcastically commented that she's adopted. Ha ha! Once again, I felt warm and happy and wanting to live in Gresham, surrounded by the love of good friends, and God's love and simple times. I generally finish these books in a few days to week, allowing one full day off just to devote to reading. I did not plan it that way, but each one was so good, that's just what happened. I could not put them down!!!
I am so looking forward to reading book #4
Book3 - 398 pages
The Jewel of Gresham Green, Gresham Chronicles Series #4
â€¢Â°oâ€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢.NOT AS GOOD AS THE FIRST THREE .â€¢:*Â¨Â¨*:â€¢ oÂ°â€¢
Book FOUR of The Gresham Chronicles picks up in April 1884, 15 years after book three ends. It is very sad and depressing in many instances. Several of the old characters are gone, but some are still around. The sad times seem to outweigh the good times so I just did not enjoy this book as much. When it ended, I was finally ok with that, which is really a bummer after love, love, loving the first three.
Before I read this one again, I had not been to Gresham in many years--in fact, since high school. Thus, my copy of "Larkspur Inn" had ended up in my basement, but it was so good to visit Gresham again, because I remembered everything I loved. Julia's strength, faith journey, relationship with her children, and tender romance, as well as her mentorship of Elizabeth, are all wonderful character and plot points. Julia's children are sweet, but delightfully human, and I especially loved the passages written from Philip's POV. The subplot of Fiona and Ambrose's romance is both intriguing and sweet, and I rooted for Ambrose all the way, in part because, as a sufferer of mild depression, I could identify with him somewhat. But I think my favorite part of coming back to Gresham was seeing all these lovely people again and catching up on the news. After I finished this book, I was eager to dig up the others, put on an imaginary Victorian dress, and go visiting again!
"The Widow of Larkspur Inn" by Lawana Blackwell is a real treasure--well-written and captivating. It offers spiritual insight and growth and plenty of fun moments. There are several intriguing subplots as well as the main plot. Mrs. Blackwell has done her research and tells us a lot about England in that period of history. I ordered several books because I am going to use them in a Christian book club I lead. I'm sure the members will love the series. My husband and I are reading this first book together for the second time and are enjoying it even more (if that's possible). All the books in this Gresham Series are wonderful!