Book description: "Maren Jensen, a rejected mail-order bride from Denmark, works as a domestic on Elsa Brantenberg's farm and helps care for Elsa's granddaughter. Maren's failing eyesight has made having a family of her own seem impossible. When Rutherford "Wooly" Wainwright returns to the farm, now a Civil War veteran, he discovers that Maren has become an important part of his mother-in-law's and daughter's lives. Maren soon realizes there isn't room for both she and Rutherford on the farm and takes a job at a store in town, making it possible for Rutherford to start fresh with his family, but her absence in the home affects them all. In the end, Maren realizes God has been lighting her path all along."
My review: This is a novella that I think should have been a longer book. I enjoyed the characters and the story, but the book was just not long enough for the author to fully develop either one. I was really disappointed when the book ended, because I felt like I had been cheated. Where was the rest of the story?! I did appreciate the spiritual lessons. Even Elsa had lessons to learn though she was "old" and a grandmother. I really liked that this portrayed the fact that no matter how old we get, our spiritual lives can continue to grow and learn and mature. I also appreciated Maren's physical limitations caused by her eyesight. We often don't think about what it would have been like to live even a generation ago where modern medicine was not advanced enough to correct what is more easily corrected today.
Even though the book was a bit disappointing, I did enjoy reading it. I received a complimentary e-copy of this book from Waterbrook/Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.