Merrimon Book Reviews

From Merrimon Book Reviews
Homespun Bride
 Homespun Bride by Jillian Hart
by Jillian Hart

A beautiful, poetic western inspirational historical romance
Set in Montana Territory in the early 1880s, Jillian Hart's inspirational historical romance Homespun Bride makes the West come alive. As a meditation on the Psalm 23:1 (The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want) this second chance romance gives a glimpse into how God answers prayers, not necessarily in our planned time but in the fullness of an individual's life and with an unimaginable richness.

Homespun Bride opens with a scene of the tiny railroad town Angel Falls as seen though auditory images and the thoughts of the blind heroine Noelle Kramer. Years ago, Noelle Kramer lost her eyesight, her fiance and her parents in an accident. Heading home in the midst of a brewing snowstorm, Noelle and her aunt Henrietta's sleigh stops perilously close to the edge of a river below. The stranger, the Good Samaritan, who comes to their aid is none other than Thad McKaslin, Noelle's first true love but he never identifies his name to her. When Noelle has lost everything, can God find a way of returning what she has lost and perhaps more? More than anything, Noelle has dreamed of being a rancher's wife but her blindness has left her feeling like a burden on others. Fiercely independent, she sews and teaches music but she feels useless in following her dream of running a rancher's home. Can God open her heart with Thad's assistance and love to see herself as she truly is, not as others have labeled her? Can Noelle's love and this second chance help Thad stand up for love? Distant from his faith, can his love for Noelle also open his heart to God?

The secondary character of Henrietta with her quirks and spunk creates a laugh aloud kind of humor and in one point, a very moving glimpse into the kind of deep love described in Scripture and often used in weddings. Angelina, Henrietta's daughter gives the reader a humorous feel for mother-daughter tensions. Jillian Hart uses poetic descriptions of sound and touch to give the reader a feel for Noelle's blindness. Her sewing and music descriptions are very finely constructed and flow with a poetic feel. Jillian Hart's use of nature imagery gives the reader a feel for the West, but also, in the sense of the land and climate as part of God's creation. In seeing the creative force of God in nature as the background for this inspirational romance, Jillian Hart magnifies the sense of God's presence in Noelle and Thad's lives. One flows naturally from the other.

The romance in Homespun Bride is just as stunning as the inspirational aspect. Noelle and Thad's love for each other emerges from the heart, while also challenging them to reach out beyond their pasts into a richer and deeper faith and understanding of themselves. Some delightful surprises at the end lead the reader to a new found appreciation of the Bible and of romance itself.

Homespun Bride is a wonderful read, both romantic and inspirational with a moving vision of prayer and God answering prayers ---- not necessarily as one imagines prayers should be answered at the moment of prayer, but rather in ways that are truly whole and bring us to  deeper answers bigger than we can possibly imagine. Homespun Bride also captures a glimpse of how bad things happen to God's people but also how in times of darkness and seeming abandonment, God is present and moving in creation and in the hearts of people. Beautiful! A romance highly worth reading and rereading!

Publisher: Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical Romance (Feb. 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2008  All Rights Reserved