Tomorrow's Garden is Book #3 in the popular series, Texas Dreams, written by the talented and gifted author, Amanda Cabot. I would like to preface my remarks by stating that I read this book without having first read the first two books in the series. I had no difficulty at all in following the story line and feel that this book can stand alone and be thoroughly enjoyed without the benefit of reading the first books. However, having read book 3, I am completely in love with the series and fully intend to read the other books also.
There are two major components that I look for when reading a book. One component, of course, is that it must be enjoyable and entertaining. Tomorrow's Garden fulfills this need on many levels. The characters are well-developed and possess personalities that are believable, complete with very real flaws and redeeming attributes. The storyline is captivating and moves along at a pace that quickly grabs the reader and catches them up in the action in such a way that they feel as if they are a partner in the unfolding drama. A good story transports the
reader to another reality, a time and place that exist only in the reader's mind and the words on the page. Based on these criteria, Tomorrow' Garden successfully accomplishes the objectives.
The second feature that I look for is "does the book help me to be a better person?" Most of the time I read Christian fiction because in it I find elements that minister to me and make me examine my life and attempt to become a better person/Christian as a result. This does not in any way mean that the book must preach or sermonize. The intent can be achieved quite readily without going to these lengths. Indeed, much of Jesus Christ's ministry consisted of telling stories in the form of parables in order to deliver His message. So too, can a book of Christian fiction minister in this manner.
Specifically, Tomorrow's Garden delivers a message of patience, of waiting upon the Lord for the answers which will be revealed in His time. Amanda Cabot has skillfully shown, through the simple act of having her students plant a garden, the lesson of patience found in James 5:7 (KJV) which states "the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it..." It also speaks a message of hope and reinforces the fact that through Christ we have hope of deliverance, both in this temporal life and also eternity.
Harriet and Lawrence both lived with a dreadful fear, a fear that, based on past events in their lives, was completely justified. Harriet's every action was governed by an emotional fear that was planted in her by her hypocritical parents and also by a physical fear based on the circumstances surrounding their death. To the observer, the actions and reactions of Harriet and Lawrence are seemingly irrational but, when the full picture is revealed, it is readily apparent why each of them responded in the manner that they did to events that transpired.
This book fulfills my personal requirements to be qualified as an extremely good book. This is one that I will read more than once. I highly recommend this book to you and hope that you will waste no time in getting your own copy of Tomorrow's Garden. You won't be sorry you did!
Tomorrow's Garden was provided to me by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group for review purposes. I was not obligated to give a positive review and received no other compensation for this review.
This was an interesting but predictable story. It could have really happened but one never knows where the story was leading. I enjoyed the series and liked knowing what happened to each of the characters from the previous books.
Harriet Kirk, a young teacher, strives to care for her five orphaned siblings. She faces numerous challengesâ€”physical, mental, emotional, and spiritualâ€”as she tries to establish a new life for her family in Ladreville, Texas, in 1857. She wants to escape a painful past and longs for a new start in this troubled town. Add in life-threatening excitement and inexcusable crimes and the tension accelerates.
Amanda Cabot's realistic historical fiction brings to life the time period and the personal experiences of the characters, keeping the reader anticipating and longing for a positive outcome. Harriet uses a garden to help teach her students patience and hope, a lesson readers also glean. Thus the title, Tomorrow's Garden.
Will Harriet be able to help her rebellious teen brother? Will she find true love and acceptance for herself? A sober German farmer courts her like he's making a purchase to improve his life. The local sheriff/mayor evokes longings and anger in this strict teacher. Could they ever forge a life together? Added to personal conflicts are the town's struggles between French and German settlers and between the old country and the new.
This novel is the third in the Texas Dreams series, but stands on its own as a powerful tale. Some of the characters continue from the first two novels, and I encourage readers to read them all.
Who can pass up a story with a handsome Texas Ranger, former or not?
Harriet is sober and responsible, yet with a touch of playfulness that Lawrence is able to bring out. It keeps her from seeming a bit too starched.
Lawrence is a man to admire. He's strong in his commitment to his job and to helping others. And, although Harriet raises his blood pressure at times, mostly a patient man.
I liked the way Amanda gave them each opposing fears based on past incidents in their lives. She has a way of finding something clever that resonates with me.
In Tomorrow's Garden, Amanda didn't shy away from a subject we, as Christians, tend to face from time to time---disunity within the church. She didn't make her Christian characters sweet and syrupy, but gave them a real concern and resolution.
Though I received the book from the publisher, my review reflects my own opinion.