Beyond the Ashes is a continuation of The Golden Gate Chronicles; and while it will make sense as a stand alone book, I highly recommend that you read the first in the series before this one. It makes this one more enjoyable. I actually liked this one better than Out of the Ruins: The Golden Gate Chronicles – Book 1. There are so many heart wrenching things that happen in the first one due to her sister’s illness and the fire. This story is after the fire during the rebuilding of San Francisco in 1906.
Ruby, the heroine, has lost her first husband and is weary of her life in her hometown. She goes to San Francisco to help her brother, who she thought was lonely, but it turns out he withheld the information of his engagement and is quite the opposite of lonely. Ruby has times when she wants to scurry back home as quick as she can, but things prevent her leaving. Soon she has learned how to drive an automobile, faced the sad plight of the Chinese girls, helped those in the refugee camps, fallen in love, faced the threat of a diphtheria plague, and restored her fellowship with God.
As soon as I started reading I knew that Delia Parr had stuck to her normal style for The Midwife’s Tale (At Home in Trinity Book #1) and it would not be a cliche story. Her stories seem more like a biography and more true to what would actually happen than a cute guy/girl meet etc. etc.
The heroine is the midwife Martha Cade and the story starts right in the middle of a birth. The author obviously researched historical midwifery. Reading about what they did was interesting. Then the author pulled in the conflict between doctors and midwifes and made it even more interesting. Overall, the heroine is strong in her faith and moral in her conduct even when it isn’t easy. Her good reputation in the community helps her overcome the scandal of her daughter running away.
This is the first Carla Laureano book I’ve read, but not the first she’s written. London Tides is the second of the MacDonald trilogy. I could tell that there was a previous story since the people continue as supporting characters in this book, but London Tides works as a stand alone book.
The heroine, Grace Brennan, is a complex character that has been through a lot of tragedy in her life. Some of it was because of her own choice to be a war photographer, but no matter why, she has had a rough life and has a lot to deal with. Her physical location and job has changed, and she needs to deal with that emotionally and intellectually as she deals with figuring out what she wants to do and accepting what she can and can’t do. She seems to fight it every step of the way, but because of wanting to be with the hero she tries for a little bit. The change doesn’t stick because she is doing it to please him and hasn’t made her own decisions about her life.
I’m still not sure what to think about The Wood’s Edge: A Novel (The Pathfinders). I did finish it. The book spans about 20 years and when I realized that it is setting the stage for a longer series I appreciated it more. It is well written and obvious that the author did a lot of research.
From the first page the reader is plunged into the drama of life in the American Colonies during the French and Indian War. It is a difficult time period in many ways due to the fighting, the Indians way of life changing, the feelings turning against English rule, and just the basic things that need to be done in order to survive. On top of all that add the terrible act of switching a dead child for a live one and you end up with quite a dramatic reading. Definite drama.
I’d forgotten how good of a writer Tamera Alexander is. I think, sometimes, the thickness of the book makes me pick up another. I need to stop that! Whenever I do read one of her books I really enjoy them. They are usually a bit more serious, more dramatic, thought provoking, and heart rending.
To Win Her Favor (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) is written during the late 1800’s in Tennessee during the turbulent time period shortly after the Civil War when the South was suffering in many ways. I knew that the freed slaves had problems and were often hurt in terrible ways; I did not remember that there was so much hate against the Irish.