Ada vowed to only marry for love to the dismay of her parents. So when she married the Gamekeeper, Ned, her parents followed through on their threat to disinherit her. Now isolated and in London, Ada must find a way to survive while war looms on the horizon. When World War One breaks out and her husband enlists, Ada must use her faith to remain strong. Unfortunately, her husband is killed sending her into freefall with a young child to care for and not a whole lot of options. I picked this book up because it features one of my favorite but underrepresented time periods, World War One. And I really enjoyed the look into life in Britain during the Great War. It is well researched and little historical facts are woven in nicely. The writing was lovely and the author does a good job of developing interesting characters. But…
So… I didn’t realize going in that this was supposed to be inspirational Christian romance. Which there is nothing wrong with that, but the first time a character said, “Let me tell you a bible verse I think will help in this situation.” I was thrown out of the story. There are better ways to do that and it got even more heavy handed where at one point the main character asked if it was okay to say a prayer because she was happy.
I found several of the religious notes overly heavy-handed. And maybe that’s supposed to be normal now. I know I’ve read books where the religion wasn’t heavy-handed “Vision of Light” by Judith Merkle Riley comes to mind. But here sometimes the message drew the story to a screeching halt and it ended up breaking the fourth wall for me. They felt shoehorned in. Like the author was going, “Oh, it’s been 15 pages time for a bible lesson.”
The whole book wasn’t like this. Thank goodness. There were parts which didn’t bother me, particularly later in the book. If the author had used the methods she did earlier, I would have likely given this one more star.
The book never was a five star. The story started in the wrong place. I would have liked a little bit of how and why Ada fell in love with Ned. We got a lot of tell and not show with her relationship with him. He mostly served to be her spiritual advisor and mentor before being shipped off to fight in WWI. (This is not a spoiler since the author states this in the summary.)
I also found the revelation of Hugh loving her at the 50% mark also in the wrong place; we needed hints earlier. A lot earlier. Again there was a lot of tell but not show in this respect. Ultimately, this ended up not being my cup of tea and because of the issues above I can only give this Three Stars
*** I received an ARC from NetGalley
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