About the Book:
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts
Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.
Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.
A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.
This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.
Family roots are important, especially to Sloane. Abandoned at birth, she longs to know her birth family and their history. Compare that with Garrett, contemplating selling his grandmother's historic family farm house, and you have a potential romance with plenty of fireworks.
Wen has done a good job of weaving two stories into an interesting combination of eras, contemporary and pioneer. And she has included many twists and turns in the two narratives as they become intertwined. The joy and pain of discovering one's family history would make for an interesting reading group discussion.
There are additional issues in the novel, such as caring for aging relatives, especially with Alzheimer's. Another one is planning every aspect of life and not allowing for serendipitous blessings from God. And the big issue of feeling like your always someone's plan B.
This novel is a good debut effort from Wen. It is entertaining with engaging characters. I enjoyed it and will be looking for more from her.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, released from Kregel Publications on February 2, 2021.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through I Read With Audra. My comments are an honest and independent review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by I Read With Audra.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)