Rosa Garner, a young Mexican woman, and her mother-in-law, Louise, have just arrived in Caldwell County, Texas. It had been four years before that Louise, her husband and son had moved to Mexico to make their fortune. Now she and Rosa have come back. The men had been killed in a mine collapse caused by an earthquake.
They've come back to the Garner farm only to find out that the renters have left early and had not been paying the property taxes. The back taxes come to nearly two hundred dollars, money the women do not have. They have three months to come up with the money or they will lose the farm.
Rosa is a hard working woman. She does all she can on the farm to raise produce to sell. She does needle work the local dry goods store happily buys. But it is not enough.
She narrowly escapes when the neighbor husband comes close to attacking her. He is a conniving man, willing to pay if she would only give herself to him. His wife is terrified of him, hiding her bruises.
Rosa meets Weston Garner and there seems to be an attraction. But his wife committed suicide several years ago and he has never gotten over the pain. He is not ready to give himself to love.
Rosa is desperate. Weston could help financially but how could she ask him? When Louise tells the story of Ruth and Boaz, Rosa has a plan.
This is Jennings' debut novel. Overall, it is pretty well written. The action is a bit slow at times as the main characters, Rosa and Weston do lots of thinking and ruminating. Both have to overcome past hurts to love again. The tension between the two is repeated over and over again. At 366 pages, I think that aspect of the novel was spread out too long. A typical 300 pages for this type of novel would have had tighter action.
The book wasn't so compelling that it kept me reading late into the night but it was a pleasant read.
There is no reading group guide. You can read an excerpt of the book at the publisher's product page.
I am participating in a blog tour of this book and to see other reviews, go here.
Regina Jennings and her family live outside of Oklahoma City. This is her first novel. See more at her website: http://www.reginajennings.com/
Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group), 366 pages.
You can buy the book from CBD here.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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