Historical Fiction Book Review: A Love Restored
Publisher's Description"With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She's forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal. Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?"
My ReviewA Love Restored, the debut novel by Kelly Goshorn, is a meaningful piece of historical romantic fiction that I found to be relevant and inspiring. The characters within this book are authentic and vulnerable, possessing a thoughtful believability that makes them truly relatable and memorable. Their struggles, insecurities, fears, and beliefs are genuine and moving. As I read, I developed an empathetic connection to the characters and their desperate search for the truth, the grace, the forgiveness, and the acceptance they needed to overcome the heartaches and trials they had endured.
The significant themes in this story reveal the extent to which condemnation and pride can hinder the soul, while showing the powerful impact acceptance and approval can have in creating a safe space for healing to begin and wholeness to be realized. Superficiality proves to be empty and unfulfilling, but courageous acts and selfless choices bring about true happiness and lasting contentment.
A Love Restored is a story of hope and second chances. It is a story of faith and trust and new beginnings. It is a story that endeavors to reveal where true beauty is to be found, and how it can be properly nurtured. From the first page to the last, this novel was thoughtful, tender, emotionally stirring, and ultimately uplifting. I recommend it wholeheartedly.
My ReflectionForgiveness and reconciliation are powerful themes within this novel. Yet, this book does not diminish the frustrations and uncertainties the characters must endure as they struggle to heal, recover, forgive, and restore. The characters wrestle with their assumptions and their choices. They face consequences from their decisions and actions. As they persevere through trials, they become more tender-hearted, more compassionate, and more gracious towards themselves and others. Their faith grows as they learn to trust that their future is held securely in the hands of an attentive, reliable God.
The historical details and situations presented in this book reflect meaningfully upon the fact that God is the ultimate restorer who can fashion beautiful things out of the broken and damaged moments of our lives. With unconditional love and infinite grace, he softens and heals the painful memories, redeeming them and remaking them into moments that yield purpose and value. I found it very profound and thought-provoking to journey with the characters in this novel as they found the healing, forgiveness, restoration, and acceptance for which their hearts searched and desired.