The folks at Bethany House recently sent me two books to review: A Bride for Keeps by Melissa Jagears and The Miner’s Lady by Traci Petersen. Both were good reads, which I define as easy, light and wholesome.
A Bride for Keeps intrigued me because the author also lives in a small Kansas town, and the book is set in Kansas. It is the story of a young woman who comes to Kansas as a mail order bride to escape a somewhat muddy past and a man she doesn’t want to marry. Of course, she falls in love with the man she’s paired with (who didn’t know she was coming) and they presumably live happily ever after.
The book was the author’s first, and, while an enjoyable read, I would have liked more character development in the beginning. For example, much of the book focused on the main characters’ pasts but kept too much mystery about them to help me warm up to them as a reader.
The Miner’s Lady is the last book in the author’s trilogy set in Minnesota. I liked the setting, a late-1800s mining town, since such settings are uncommon for many Christian books.
The book revolved around two Italian mining families that brought an old-world feud to the mining village. Between a son of one family and daughter of another falling in love, mine collapses and a murdering saloon owner, the story has enough complexity to be interesting and keep me turning pages without being so complex that it is hard to follow.
Petersen is a master at weaving many strong characters together in a believable, emotional story that somehow isn’t bogged down in a lot of fluff. The story’s flow and characters reminded me of real life–just normal people with complex lives that God ties together into story.
I definitely recommend this book, and, if you live in northwest Kansas, you’ll find an extensive selection of this author’s books at the Colby library.