Laura Frantz writes the most amazing books, but this one in my opinion tops them all! Every time I read one of Ms. Frantz’s books I learn so much about the time in history. Not just new facts but she matches the emotions and thoughts of those during that era. Talk about a great history lesson that is super entertaining!
It is 1755 during colonial America in the colony of Virginia.
Esmee Shaw and Captain Henri Lennox were deeply in love and destined for the altar that is until a lover’s spat caused them to part ways, 10 years ago!!! Fast forward 10 years later and she is 28 years old, an old maid for sure in those times! She has settled into the life of caring for her deceased mother’s chocolate shop and her father. She longs for more but what? She won’t admit it but Henri still holds her heart.
Much to her confusion and surprise, Captain Lennox returns home after all these years at sea. He has no doubt his love for Esmee has never died and wants to restore their relationship. With love, nothing is ever simple. Because of his bravery and expertise as a sea captain, the government asks him to complete a dangerous and secret mission. His commitment to the sea was the cause of their parting in the beginning. Can he turn his back on his country for love?
There is so much more to this book. It was unique in that when you thought the story was ending, it surprises you with new, different, and exciting developments! I loved this!
I immediately became immersed not only in their love story but also in the complicated and trying lives the colonists lived. Reading about politics, rules of society, daily life, handling illness, survival and those less fortunate during this era made this more than a novel, it became an experience. What resonated most with me was the characters strong faith and reliance on God. Very inspirational! I would so like to see a sequel to this book. It was an honor to read and review it before publication!
The U.S. was in the grip of the great depression. December 1932, two families were still reeling the devastating loss of loved ones the year before. Julia and Samuel Wortham and their 3 children felt very blessed. A sweet elderly woman named Emma Graham had brought them into her home. Just a few days before Christmas, 1931 Emma and Wila Hammond tragically died. Wila left 10 motherless children. George, their alcoholic father was so filled with grief he disappeared and tried to take his life. One year later at the same time both families are still in heavy in grief. George goes missing again and everyone fears the worst. All 10 children appear or the Wortham’s doorstep. Three of the children are ill. As Christmas quickly approaches, Julia courageously works to nurse the sick, feed the brood, and entertain 13 children, trying to keep their minds off their father and the anniversary of their mother’s death. With no money she directs their focus on the true meaning of Christmas. Please don’t be put off by the sadness. This book is a beautiful story of the simple times and joys of life. Though most were in poverty, the church and community pulled together to share what they had. Your heart will be warmed and inspired. The children had no toys but Julia had paper, crayons, glue and scissors. With these small things she helped the children create a paper nativity that became their daily center of attention. Her strong faith in the Lord brought hope. Meager supplies became cookies, fruit bread and meals. With the patience of Job, Julia loved, comforted, and consoled each one although she herself struggled. Her creativity out of scraps and odds and ends provided gifts for all the children. Such a difference in the expensive presents expected now. It all centers on God’s miraculous provision at all times. This is a beautiful Christmas story. A keeper and a 5 star book! You want to read it, trust me! The story that leads up to this one is Emma’s Gift by the same author. Another great book!