Everett Cline is a farmer in need of a helpmate on his farm. After being passed over by the woman he was planning on marrying, he attempts to find a wife by sending away for mail-orders brides three different times. When one woman never arrives and the other two choose other men to marry after arriving, Everett vows never to attempt another mail order bride. However, a neighbor has different ideas and sends away for a bride without Everett’s knowledge or permission. After Julia arrives on the train, will she be able to forget her past and grow close to Everett?
I am always intrigued when I am reading an author’s first novel. Jagears first offering is nicely written, with interesting characters, and a believable plot line. Everett and Julia are filled with doubts and uncertainties about themselves, but are caring and kind people. Everett is a God-fearing man, and wants Julia to accept that God loves her, but Julia is still feeling the effects of her earthly father’s rejection and has difficulty accepting the unconditional love of her Heavenly Father. The novel is like a dance between the two of them, but is interesting to read.
I think in these types of historical fiction books, it is fairly predictable that the main characters will eventually end up together. The interesting part is the journey of them discovering their love for each other. Although this journey is a little slow to start up, it makes up for it by the end. I enjoyed the messages that Jagears wove in through the story – for example, don’t let fear hold you back, and outward beauty is less important than what is found on the inside.
Overall, I enjoyed this book very much. It didn’t grab my attention right from the start, but it captured my attention by the end. If you are a fan of historical fiction, and are interested in trying out a new author, give this book a try.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
- A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears – 3 stars (out of 5) (stephaniesbookreviews.wordpress.com)