July 18, 2013

Book Review: Dandelions on the Wind

From the author of The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series (which I LOVE!) comes a new series of novellas called The Quilted Heart. The first book in the series is Dandelions on the Wind--my latest selection I was fortunate to be able to review.
 "Tattered relationships and broken hearts, like a quilt, can be pieced together by God’s love." 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Water Brook Press as part of their book review bloggers program through Blogging for Books. All opinions expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.

I picked Dandelions on the Wind because I am familiar with Mona Hodgson's work from her previous series (The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek) which I love (I'm eager to read book #3 and #4!!!). I hoped that this book would have the same level of appeal.

I was captured in the first few sentences:
"Nevermind that four months had passed since General Lee's surrender. Maren never walked the apple orchard or the wheat field without careful watch for bushwackers and jayhawkers."
This book is set in St. Charles, Missouri in 1865 shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War. The plot follows Maren Jensen a young woman from Denmark who came to America to wed--only to find herself rejected because of her failing vision. She has since found a home with a widow and her grand-daughter as the little girl's nanny. The widow's daughter had died in childbirth and her son-in-law ran away to war overwhelmed by his grief. The story begins four years later. One day, without warning, the son-in-law named Rutherford Wainwright aka. Woolly returns home from the war (after not having communicated at all since he left) in hopes of a second-chance with his daughter and to help on the family farm. What follows is a sweet story of forgiveness, grace and second-chances at love. 

It's an easy read with beautiful vivid vocabulary. I think it enhances the plot since the lead character is facing a life of utter blindness. So the vivid descriptions reminded me of what a seeing person would use to describe the world around them to someone blind. Like in the book series Little House on the Prairie when Mary goes blind and Laura describes everything to her.

Because it is a novella, Dandelions on the Wind is just about 100 pages long, so there isn't time to have a deep plot or a lot of characters--however, the author allowed enough character development in the handful we meet, for the reader to understand them.

It really is just a very sweet story--perfect for someone wanting a good wholesome short story to enjoy. I wish it had been longer, but now I will just have to seek out the next two books in the series Bending Toward the Sun and Ripples Along the Shorein hope of seeing the characters again.

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