“Embers of Love” is the first novel in the latest trilogy ("Striking a Match" series) by Tracie Peterson. I received this book as a review copy from Bethany House Publishers (Baker Publishing Group).
The story begins in 1885 in Philadelphia as two young women, Deborah and Lizzie, graduate from college and begin their adult lives. Lizzie is engaged to be married to a wealthy future politician, Stuart, but she decides that she does not love him and flees with Deborah to Perkinsville, Texas, which is Deborah’s hometown. Texas is where the adventure really begins.
While Lizzie deals with her former fiancée, a possible new love in the person of Deborah’s brother, and her suffragette mother, Deborah is trying to find her place in the world. She went to college in order to return to Texas and take care of the bookkeeping portion of the logging business that her family owns. However, she finds herself drawn to the medical sciences and to the new doctor in town.
Overall, I think this book is what the Christian historical fiction genre should be. There are several characters involved in intertwining storylines, and the accounts are based on what was going on historically in Texas and in the United States at that time. Although at times this novel got rather “preachy” for my taste (about social issues, not about God), there were interesting points made about the issues of slavery, women’s rights, and the environment. I especially enjoyed reading this story from the perspective of a town that is a “company town.” I had heard of this concept before but didn’t really know what it was. The company that started the town in “Embers of Love” is a lumber mill company, and most everyone in the town works at or for the mill.
This book has many characters in it, but for some reason, it was easier for me to keep these characters straight rather than in the last book I reviewed, “The Thorn.” I also thought that “Embers of Love” wrapped itself up more easily than “The Thorn” did. Although not every story in “Embers of Love” completely played itself out, it ended in a way that did not feel abrupt. I also want to know what else happens to the characters in “Embers of Love” more so than “The Thorn.”
While I enjoyed this book, I feel as if I should warn those of you who might have trouble reading books with a medical storyline. Some scenes in the book are rather graphic, medically speaking, since the book takes place in the 1880’s in a lumber mill town (think accidents with sharp saws/axes with no anesthetic or antibiotics). I majored in science in college and worked in that field for nine years before my baby girl was born. While I didn’t exactly enjoy those scenes, I did appreciate the medical advances that were being discovered at that time in history and the interest the character of Deborah had in the medical arts. Just considered yourself warned. I know my husband would not really want to read some of those paragraphs! :)
I will be interested to read the second and third books in this series when they become available.
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I will give “Embers of Love” ……. 4 Book Worms!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this is accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."