This historical fiction novel takes you back in time to a fictional island in Pennsylvania in the 1840's. Ellie Kilmer is an unusual heroine in that she is not a beauty but a simple, plain looking spinster. When she volunteers to clean and care for the sons of Jackson Smith, Ellie struggles to cook with the newfangled cookstove and gently begins to train two active boys. Her ability to forgive and look to God with trust even when her circumstances are less than perfect quickly charm the reader and enable her peers to begin to see beyond her looks to the beauty inside.
The characters in this book made me want to read more books by this author. I'd love to hear more about Gram's life and the experiences she had that enabled her to wisely mentor Ellie. Gram's observation, "the truth of the matter is that we've all got cracks in our spirits, and we have to remember they're only there because we need them....otherwise how could God's grace filter in deep enough to give us the joy and peace we're all searching for...." is a great picture of the story of rejection and God's redemption. A book about Mrs. French and the secret life she carefully hides from the gossips in town would be intriguing as well. The author handled the scandal and gossip concerning the adultery of Jackson's first wife with care and discretion. I'd give the book 3 out of 5 stars. All in all, an enjoyable read.
Thank you to BethanyHouse for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255