Paperback: 432 pages
Finding himself the man of the family, London dancing master Alec Valcourt moves his mother and sister to remote Devonshire, hoping to start over. But he is stunned to learn the village matriarch has prohibited all dancing, for reasons buried deep in her past.
Alec finds an unlikely ally in the matriarch’s daughter. Though he’s initially wary of Julia Midwinter’s reckless flirtation, he comes to realize her bold exterior disguises a vulnerable soul–and hidden sorrows of her own.
Julia is quickly attracted to the handsome dancing master–a man her mother would never approve of–but she cannot imagine why Mr. Valcourt would leave London, or why he evades questions about his past. With Alec’s help, can Julia uncover old secrets and restore life to her somber village…and to her mother’s tattered heart?
The first book I ever read from Julie Klassen was, “The Apothecary’s Daughter”. I fell in love with the characters and loved the way in which she wrote Christian fiction with Regency romance combined. So, I was quite excited to learn she had a new book out, which actually was released for publication on January 7, 2014.
The premise was a bit familiar, as I had flashbacks of the movie, Footloose (the original). I kept picturing Kevin Bacon as Alec and Julia as Lori Singer. The preacher is Julia’s mother (Amelia Midwinter), of course.
Back to the story: Alec is back with his mother and trying to establish his business. The problem: he is a dance instructor in a town that forbids dancing. With a few clients, he begins teaching dancing, as well as fencing, in a town that is skeptical of him and his intentions.
Julie Klassen is a perfectionist when it comes to detail. She describes the small town so vividly and the characters are so well developed, that it easy to fall in love with Alec and seem a little put off by the childish ways of Julia. Julia is used to being the center of attention and having many suitors, however she is challenged by Alec, who refuses to become just another suitor and ruin any chances of helping his family financially.
This is a slow, simmer read. It takes time for the story to develop, as the characters slowly reveal themselves to the reader, but it is a book worth reading. If you love Regency romance, Christian fiction, or both, then you will love this story. In true fashion to Julie Klassen’s writing, Christianity isn’t pored through every page. Rather, lessons are taught, and God’s grace is shown, through the trials the characters face.
*This book was provided by Bethany House, through TLC Book Tours and NetGalley.
About Julie Klassen
Julie Klassen loves all things Jane–Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She has won the Christy Award: Historical Romance for The Silent Governess (2010) and The Girl in the Gatehouse (2011) which also won the 2010 Midwest Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Connect with Julie:
Julie Klassen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 6th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, January 7th: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, January 8th: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, January 9th: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Thursday, January 9th: Worthy 2 Read
Monday, January 13th: Let Them Read Books – review
Tuesday, January 14th: Let Them Read Books – interview/giveaway
Wednesday, January 15th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, January 16th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, January 20th: Lavish Bookshelf
Tuesday, January 21st: Melina’s Book Reviews
Wednesday, January 22nd: Broken Teepee
Thursday, January 23rd: Bookfoolery
Monday, January 27th: WV Stitcher
Tuesday, January 28th: Deb’s Book Bag
Wednesday, January 29th: The Overweight Bookshelf
Thursday, January 30th: Mom in Love with Fiction
- Interview with Author Marybeth Haydon (inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: B&H Books; Original edition (February 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433671700
“I collect words. I keep them in a box in my mind. I’d like to keep them in a real box, something pretty, maybe a shoe box covered with flowered wrapping paper. Whenever I wanted, I’d open the box and pick up the papers, reading and feeling the words all at once. Then I could hide the box. But the words are safer in my mind. There, he can’t take them.”
Ten-year old Kaylee Wren doesn’t speak. Not since her drug-addled mother walked away, leaving her in a remote cabin nestled in the towering redwoods-in the care of a man who is as dangerous as he is evil. With silence her only refuge, Kaylee collects words she might never speak from the only memento her mother left behind: a dictionary.
Sierra Dawn is thirty-four, an artist, and alone. She has allowed the shame of her past to silence her present hopes and chooses to bury her pain by trying to control her circumstances. But on the twelfth anniversary of her daughter’s death, Sierra’s control begins to crumble as the God of her childhood woos her back to Himself.
Brought together by Divine design, Kaylee and Sierra will discover together the healing mercy of the Word-Jesus Christ.
I purchased this book last year and I finally decided to read it a couple of weeks ago. It’s a book that truly drew me in from the very first page. Sierra is a woman, who is a recovery drug addict, and has not yet forgiven herself for the consequences of her choices. While she struggles to find peace and truly give herself to God, she meets a little girl Kaylee. Kaylee is a special little girl and my heart ached for her as I read her story. Ginny Yttrup truly does a remarkable job in describing the emotions and thoughts of a little girl, who is absolutely broken. Kaylee is the little girl, who could easily have slipped through the system, since she is non-verbal and at times, seems unresponsive. However, God brings Kaylee and Sierra together through a series of events, and shows them His love and grace.
Words is a book that will pull at your heart, have you cry for the pain and suffering Kaylee experiences, and rejoice when she not only finds her voice, but finds a family and self-acceptance. I absolutely loved this book and Ginny Ytrrup truly leaves no stone uncovered as she brings to light abuse, addiction, foster/adoption, and new beginnings.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a great Christian fiction book, works as a family therapist or social worker with abused and neglected children, and addictions. It’s a fantastic read and deserves to be on everyone’s TBR list!
Follow Ginny on Facebook.
Follow Ginny on Twitter.
Read Ginny’s Blog.
- Best fiction list for 2011 – in my opinion anyway… (michellesutton.wordpress.com)
- A series of pictures of Ginny on the move… (chickentales.wordpress.com)
- THE KITCHEN DAUGHTER by Jael McHenry….review… (mybookaddictionreviews.wordpress.com)
- Book Review: THE WINTER QUEEN by Boris Akunin (nessamorris.com)
- Books Read in 2011 (lissaslongyarn.com)
- Books Read in 2011 (lissaslongyarn.wordpress.com)
- Ginny joins the party…she laid an egg (chickentales.wordpress.com)
- ALL THE PLEASURES OF THE SEASON by Lecia Cornwall…review…. (mybookaddictionreviews.wordpress.com)
- Perfect Picture Book Friday: WILD ABOUT BOOKS by Judy Sierra (nessamorris.com)
- A Way of Truth and Life (everydayawe.com)
- His Love Is A Gift (gibsongirl247.wordpress.com)
Margaret Macy flees London, disguised as a housemaid, to avoid marriage to a dishonorable man. If she can remain unwed until her next birthday, she will receive an inheritance, and with it, sweet independence. But she never planned on actually working as a servant. And certainly not at Fairbourne Hall—the home of two former suitors. As she fumbles through the first real work of her life, Margaret struggles to keep her identity secret. When a trap is set to force her from hiding, will love or danger find her first?
About The Author:
I first read a book from Julie when The Apothecary’s Daughter was free at Barnes and Noble for Nook readers. I immediately fell in love with Julie Klassen’s writing and felt she captured Jane Austen’s essence of writing, as she introduced her readers to great characters and took me back in time as I snuggled up to one of her books. I was one of the readers that pre-ordered this book, The Maid of Fairbourne Hall, and was so excited to not only receive an autograph, tea, and some tea cookies, but receive the book automatically on my Nook the day of it’s release.
I absolutely loved this book and felt the storyline was so unique and the storyline moved along at a very good pace. I was quite sad when I finished the book as I fell in love with the characters and was left wanting more. There are so many twists in the plot, which kept me guessing until the very end.
Margaret is the main character, who is faced with the very difficult task of leaving the comfort of her home to being on the streets of London. She eventually is given a job as a housemaid, where she learns rather quickly the hard work that it entrails and the challenges each house servant is faced with. It helps not only to give her a greater appreciation of those who work for her, but also gives her a chance to know the men of Fairbourne Hall, in a way she would not have otherwise.
There are quite a lot of valuable lessons throughout, excitement, and overall a story that will not only have you fall in love with Margaret, Helen, and Nathaniel, but Julie Klassen, too. My suggestion to you: read this book and then read all her other books! She has quickly become one of my favorite authors of all time and is my Jane Austen of today !:)
- The Maid of Fairborne Hall by Julie Klassen (brandyreneebruce.wordpress.com)
- Mrs Jennings’ Hat (janeaustenshousemuseumblog.com)
- Welcome to my Jane Austen blog (elinorandemma.wordpress.com)
- Week 7- Key Passage Post 2- Kings of England, Jane Austen’s The History of England (austenuvu.wordpress.com)
- Announcing My New Blog – Elinor and Emma (ejsbookshelf.wordpress.com)
- BoatGirl’s #CBR4 Review #13: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (cannonballread4.wordpress.com)
- Jane Austen is back in the frame (independent.co.uk)
- REVIEW: A Memoir of Jane Austen – J.E Austen-Leigh (kiwigirlskiwiblog.wordpress.com)
- Top 20 Jane Austen-inspired Books of 2011 (austenprose.com)
- Praising Juliet Stevenson (beverlyfarr.wordpress.com)
- Death comes to Pemberley – book review (khanya.wordpress.com)
- Free Kindle Books for Saturday Afternoon, February 18 (ireaderreview.com)
- Review: Good In A Crisis by Margaret Overton (bookdout.wordpress.com)
- Margaret Atwood’s Knit Great Auk (craftzine.com)
A Quick Reference:
- Target Audience: Adults
- Pace of Book: Steady pace throughout
- Writing: Easy to read
- Profanity: None
- Sexual Content: None
- Violence: None
- Christian Element: Absolutely
- My Rating: A great cupcake with sprinkles on top, 4/5
This book is a little gem. I love the writing and flow of the storyline and thought the characters were developed very well. I connected with Wren and her love for reading and working at the library…as that is a personal dream of mine too! The relationship between her ex-husband and herself fell a little flat for me, however the relationship between her and Paul seemed to go at a very steady pace and was realistic. I love Wren’s 90 year old aunt, Ruth! She is very perceptive, shares what she needs to, and has her own little secret too. Centered around the celebration of Ruth’s 90 birthday, Wren confronts her past so that she can fully embrace her future. There were some little loose ends for me at the end of the book regarding Wren’s sibling relationships, however it is a book that I enjoyed!
- Sanctuary is wherever I lie my head (or in this case, Sleepy Nap Time) (notesfromthefunnyfarm.wordpress.com)
- Book & Kindle Giveaway: Sheila Walsh’s “Gabby God’s Little Angel” and “Angel FB party” on October 4th (onedesertrose.wordpress.com)
- Gabby God’s Little Angel (icubook.wordpress.com)
- Women of Faith Weekend (lesliewiggins.com)
- Women of Faith: Book Giveaway @booksneeze (thewritelife2.wordpress.com)
- Praise and Coffee Guest Post: Because The Details Will Never Spare Her (thewritelife2.wordpress.com)
What, what, what??? I just saw this incredible book for FREE!!! So, of course, I have to share it with you! This is a great read, especially as we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I was given this book from the publisher to provide a review, which will be posted this month. In the meantime, check it out for yourself and let me know how you like it. After all, free is always best!
- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 612 KB
- ISBN#: 13: 978-1-4267-0769-8
- Print Length: 336 pages
- Publisher: Abingdon Press Fiction (August 26, 2011)
- Genre: Christian Fiction/Inspiration
If he had only answered that last phone call from the World Trade Center . . .
Minutes before two jumbo jets changed U.S. history, New York police officer Austin Finley ignored the call from his brother, who’d been bugging him for days. Trying to live with his one regret causes hatred and bitterness to consume Austin, and when counselor Mercy Samara recommends desk duty, Austin resigns. Haunted by her own memories of 9/11, Mercy takes a job as a school counselor in Baltimore. When Austin, now an EMT, responds to an emergency at Mercy’s school, both are stunned and wary.
Finally their common—and painful—memories turn suspicion into friendship, then romance.
But hard questions linger: Can they truly move beyond their past harsh judgments and harsh words? Will their past finally bring them closer or—as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 draws near—drive them farther apart?
- Today’s FREE eBooks for Download (September 7) (randomizeme.wordpress.com)
- 9/11 Ten Years On – The Health Effects On Rescue Workers (medicalnewstoday.com)
Afghan-American novelist Hosseini follows up his bestselling The Kite Runner with another searing epic of Afghanistan in turmoil. The story covers three decades of anti-Soviet jihad, civil war and Taliban tyranny through the lives of two women. Mariam is the scorned illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, forced at age 15 into marrying the 40-year-old Rasheed, who grows increasingly brutal as she fails to produce a child. Eighteen later, Rasheed takes another wife, 14-year-old Laila, a smart and spirited girl whose only other options, after her parents are killed by rocket fire, are prostitution or starvation. Against a backdrop of unending war, Mariam and Laila become allies in an asymmetrical battle with Rasheed, whose violent misogyny—”There was no cursing, no screaming, no pleading, no surprised yelps, only the systematic business of beating and being beaten”—is endorsed by custom and law. Hosseini gives a forceful but nuanced portrait of a patriarchal despotism where women are agonizingly dependent on fathers, husbands and especially sons, the bearing of male children being their sole path to social status. His tale is a powerful, harrowing depiction of Afghanistan, but also a lyrical evocation of the lives and enduring hopes of its resilient characters.
This was an incredible storyline that spans over a 30 year period. Because the people are so devout in the name of Allah, it is not seen as inhumane for children to marry 40 year old men, be in polygamous marriages, where women are required to wear a chadri, cannot walk the streets without a male companion, and do not have the same rights as men. This story covers the consequences of living under Sharia law and how violent people can become. Miriam and Laila, two women who are married to the same man, become close friends and sisters as they learn to depend on one another. Despite the tragedies going on throughout their country, hope is never lost and friends ban together to help each other. This is a beautiful story of friendship and new beginnings, although tragic too. Khaled Houssini has an eloquence in his writing that displays the sweetness and love in families, while also bravely describing the inhumane and fearful way many of the people live. This is a book that I HIGHLY recommend!
Marah is a young girl in love with her childhood friend, Jesse. When she is forced to marry an older man, she must abandon her dreams of happiness. At the mercy of men who are often only interested in using her, Marah must fight for survival. Will she ever meet a man who can save her?
The story of the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well is one of hope, redemption, and a life changed in an instant through a remarkable encounter. Jesus told her “everything she’d ever done,” but we are left to wonder at the circumstances that led her life on such a tragic path to begin with. Now from the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor comes the full story of the woman at the well.
This well-researched portrayal of a woman’s life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor’s rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman who desperately seeks to rise above the difficult circumstances of her life.
I LOVED this story!! For those of you who are Christian, this story truly brings to life the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. I admired Marah’s commitment to her faith, to her parents, and to herself-always aiming to be a Godly woman. I couldn’t understand the reason why in the Bible there are people who had plural marriages. However, reading this story and learning why (to avoid women being forced to prostitution) and the Jewish law of marrying family of husband when husband dies was interesting. How blessed I am to know that Jesus redeemed me and I am not under man’s law, but God’s. I HIGHLY recommend this book! I did receive this book for free on Barnes and Noble….check it out!
- Children of the divide, redemption, and kite running: A Review of Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner (jenmonje.wordpress.com)
- AP Correspondent Kimberly Dozier to Moderate Khaled Hosseini Panel Discussion (prweb.com)
- Laila Ibrahim Group : Afghanistan (kiva.org)
- Laila : Jordan (kiva.org)
- The Kite Runner – Review (kingtyrone.wordpress.com)