"Beyond All Measure" by Dorothy Love is an historical fiction romance set in the backwoods of Tennessee shortly after the Civil War. Ada Wentworth has just come from Boston by train to be the companion to a cantankerous elderly woman. The circumstances that led to this situation are kept from the reader for quite some time, yet eventually unfold. Expecting to be met at the train station by the woman who hired her by correspondence, she is surprised and flustered when Wyatt Caldwell comes to get her instead. She's even more flustered when Mr. Caldwell turns out to be her employer, a Civil War veteran and successful mill owner who has hired her to care for his aunt.
Though is all begins so awkwardly, the story unfolds in a subtle, quiet way. I really liked this, so let me try to explain. When you put a Yankee in the midst of deep southerners just after such a traumatic war, there are bound to be problems. To make matters worse, the small town where the story takes place is struggling with racial tensions. The war is over, but people are still choosing sides as they work to discover what their changed world will ultimately look like. There is a lot of repressed anger and conflict in the story, yet most of it is resolved peacefully as people get to know each other over time. As they do this, they learn and grow and change themselves, building a successful community. Ada, Wayne, Lillian, and some unexpected others play their part in this process as they choose to do what's right regardless of what others pressure them to do and sometimes above concern for their own safety.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. I'll admit I was frustrated by the author's obviously kept secrets at the beginning of the story, but once I got past those, I liked the way the story played out. If you enjoy historical romances, I recommend this book.
Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending it to me.
Ada Wentworth is a Yankee from Boston who has lost everything. With her parents no longer alive, a broken romance and no money, she moves to the small town of Hickory Ridge, Tennessee post Civil War to take care of the elderly Mrs. Lillian. She answered an ad in the newspaper and had no idea what she was getting into until she arrived. Although she made friends, many of the citizens in the small town were not happy that a Yankee had moved into their town and they found ways to make her life difficult. There were many political tensions and the Klan was active in punishing anyone who showed compassion to "the coloreds." While caring for Mrs. Lillian, Ada begins to fall for Wyatt Caldwell, Lillian's nephew who is also Ada's boss. Ada is forced to deal with issues of trust and forgiveness in her past so that she can learn to love again.
This was the first book I read on my new Kindle and I enjoyed it immensely. I had a difficult time putting it down, once I started reading. The characters and scenes were so vivid that I felt like I was really there. I wanted to befriend sweet Ada and walk in Mrs. Lillian's garden with them. The town was quite charming as were many of the people and I loved to hate those that were hateful to Ada. I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction or romance stories.
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In Beyond All Measure, Dorothy Love does an excellent job of portraying this time period in history. Ada Wentworth is a Yankee now in the South after the Civil War. She encounters unexpected hatred but refuses to let that stop her from showing kindness to those who need it most.
Despite a difficult transition into this new town, Ada is blessed with treasured friendships that give her strength and support when she needs it. Wyatt and Ada are attracted to one another but Ada struggles with a past that makes trust hard. A few unexpected twist and turns are also thrown in that make some intense moments.
Overall, I enjoyed Beyond All Measure. I did feel that the ending fell a bit flat and was a bit disappointed. I was surprised that aspects of Ada's past wasn't developed a bit more as it a crucial point in her struggle to trust the Lord in her relationship with Wyatt. For those who enjoy historical fiction, this would be an excellent read when you just need a few hours to get away.
"Beyond All Measure" by Dorothy Love is one of the best books I have read in a long time; I could not put it down. I am an avid Francine Rivers reader and I have to put this book right up there with my favorites of hers. I enjoy books that transport you back in time and that are about second chances not only at love, life, and relationships but also at faith. This one transports you back the late 1800's in rural Tennessee after the Civil War, gives you insight on the way of living, the still grown ignorance and intolerance of people, the growth in industry, the community events and education at that time, and the mindset of the people of those days. It paints a clear picture on how God helps us to find the right paths in life, and how he steers us in the right direction whether we know it or understand it at the time. Wonderful book, I highly recommend it.
The 1870s were tough on women. The Civil War decimated the ranks of eligible bachelors. Few jobs were open to women. Ada Wentworth takes a position as a lady's companion in Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, hoping to save enough money to open her own hat shop. But the job isn't quite as advertised. And the town isn't welcoming to a Yankee, especially when Ada helps a young mulatto girl. When Hickory Ridge's most eligible bachelor, mill owner Wyatt Caldwell, shows an interest in this newcomer, more hostility is directed her way. Fortunately, Ada is resilient and finds help from unexpected sources - a heroine worth rooting for. With more twists and turns than a Smoky Mountain road, "Beyond All Measure" is a journey of discovery, healing and love beyond all measure.