Review (Christian Fiction): Beyond All Measure (A Hickory Ridge Romance, Book 1) by Dorothy Love

Beyond All Measure (A Hickory Ridge Romance, Book 1)
by Dorothy Love
Copyright 2011
Thomas Nelson Publishers
314 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59554-900-6
Fiction/Christian/Historical

From the publisher:
Unless she can trust God's love to cast out her fears, Ada may lose the heart of a good man.

Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady’s companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.

Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada's friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt’s primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.

With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.


My Review:
The years following the American Civil War were a tumultuous period, especially for the South. Author Dorothy Love has managed to capture the unrest, the struggle to rebuild lives as well as issues of prejudice and racism all the while weaving in a sweet romance. Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, meets Boston, Massachusetts, in this inspiring story of finding ones faith in troubling times and perfect love.

The first thing that came to mind when reading this story was in spite of how different 1871 was compared to today's world some things never change. The spirit of community and the everybody knows everbody's business is something that will never change and in that aspect this book was very authentic. One thing irked me near the end of the story and that was the punishment or lack there of of one of the characters. Without giving too much away she nearly assaulted a main character but no charges were ever pressed. The character who did not press charges struck me as one who would have wanted justice and to protect others, not leave a person who was a danger to society run free.

The romance also left a bit to be desired. I felt Ada and Wyatt were always arguing (no, not the romantic tension kind of clashing, just flat out not getting along) and all of a sudden Wyatt was proposing. It seemed a bit forced. I must say however, that I'm really looking forward to what happens next for some of the characters especially the orphan girl, Sophie and Carrie, the widow. I can't help but hope for Sophie to grow up and find her own love and for Carrie to finally move past her grief. The little peeks into their lives in Beyond All Measure have definitely whetted my appetite for more. For a first inspirational Ms. Love has definitely done well and I'm sure will do nothing but improve with her sophomore novel, Beauty for Ashes.


To learn more about the author visit:

*I received my complimentary review copy from the publisher through Booksneeze.*

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Comments

  1. Hmmm...interesting. It's been awhile since I last read a Civil War novel, I but might try to find this one soon since it's partially set in TN.

    ReplyDelete
  2. aww, sounds like the romance was a little disappointing!

    ReplyDelete

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