What a powerful book! It was full of difficult topics such as loss, grief, and hopelessness. The characters felt very real in their reactions and interactions toward each other. Sometimes the heroine reacted badly to situations and struggled with selfish desires. She went through a lot of growth thoughout the story, making this a book that was very hard to set down. I've already begun reading the second book in the series, Wishing on Willows, because I wanted to continue to visit with these characters.
Bethany Quinn had the seemingly perfect life- she worked in her dream job as an up-and-coming architect at a top firm, was dating a high-powered attorney, and lived far, far away from her hometown and the traumatic events of her childhood. However, her life quickly nosedives as she faces multiple losses- shes laid off from her job, her and her boyfriend go separate ways, her best friend from childhood loses her husband, and her beloved grandfather dies unexpectantly. With no job and no home, Bethany reluctantly returns to Iowa to tend to her grandfathers affairs and learns that she has inherited the family farm. Seeing this as a golden opportunity to get her life back on track, Bethany decides to sell the farm so she can re-invest the funds into her own architectural firm. However, she is met with strong opposition from Evan Price- farmhand and close friend of her grandfathers- who inherited the family farmhouse and a small portion of the land. From the beginning, tensions escalate between Bethany and Evan as both are very strong-willed and stubborn. When she agrees to remain in town to help her childhood friend through her pregnancy, Bethany and Evan begin to soften toward each other finding a growing attraction developing. The two wade through conflicting views of God, the shared grief of losing Bethanys grandfather, and the tension that still remains over the fate of the farm to discover new beginnings in both of their lives.
Gansherts depiction of Bethanys journey to faith and Evans role in that process through their developing romance drew me into this story. Bethany arrives on her grandfathers farm filled with bitterness, resentment, and loathing for the God she encountered as a child through her fathers death. Although Evan seemingly despises Bethany early in the story, he begins to see the hurt and pain buried deep below the layers of bitterness she exudes. I love how his quiet, steady faith and the simple beauty of the rural setting coaxes Bethany to re-examine her perceptions of God and her purpose in life. Readers are sure to enjoy the sweet love story and depiction of Gods immeasurable grace and love found in Wildflowers from Winter.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.
This was Katie Ganshert's debut novel which was released in 2012. While shopping during Christmas I happened to spot this at Lifeway and bought it. I had never read this book and was really looking forward to it. Needless to say it is a spectacular read and one of the best nights of lost sleep. Yes, it was that good. This is a book that will swallow you heart and soul.
Bethany Quinn is a beautiful, young woman living in Chicago. She left Peak, Iowa 10 years ago and vowed she would never return to her hometown. Her only true link that remains in Peak is her beloved grandfather. He had always been her safe haven after the death of her father.
Evan Price has always been the odd man out in his family. He loves his work as ranch foreman at the Quinn farm and protects the ones he loves. He has a dream of one day owning and operating his own farm and is determined to see that dream come true.
Bethany and Evan will both grab your heart immediately. I loved this story for several reasons, but mostly for the message it gives. You never walk alone. Even when you give up on God, he never gives up on you.
It seems that Bethany and Evan should have a lot in common. After all, they both love Bethany's grandfather and come from the same place. However, Bethany's determined to move on with her life and leave her past behind. When she inherits her grandfather's farmhouseÃ¢â¬âsans houseÃ¢â¬âshe's determined to sell ... even if that means selling Evan's dream out from under him.
Sparks fly between Evan and Bethany nearly from the beginning. I could tell that this was going to be an interesting relationship and couldn't wait to see how and if it developed further ... though I hoped it would! As much as I came to like Bethany, I liked Evan from the very start. He was the perfect hero for this story and may have been the most well-developed character in the story.
The third-person vignettes were a unique touch. I enjoyed the glimpses they gave to the past and they really helped fill out the story. Additionally, Robin was a great character, and I'm excited that her story be featured in Ganshert's next book.
Katie Ganshert's debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, was fantastic! If this first novel is any indication of what readers can expect in the future, I can't wait to read what's next! [5 stars]
I did not receive this book for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.