Sunday, March 16, 2008

Courting Emma by Sharlene MacLaren

In Sharlene MacLaren's "Little Hickman Creek" series, she has accomplished what was once thought impossible. I'm LOVING historical fiction:-) Her heroines have grit and spunk, her men are truly men, and the drama...well, this isn't your Mama's historical fiction!

"Courting Emma" is the third book in the series, and so far it is my favorite. Emma Browning runs the town boarding house, inherited from a sweet spinster who took an interest in Emma as a very young girl. Emma has carried on the traditions that Clara Abbott began, and has made a respectable name for herself in Little Hickman.

When the town isn't reminded of her drunkard father, Ezra Browning, that is. Ezra has been an abusive drunk almost from the day Emma was born. And, as Emma's mother died upon Emma's birth, he was all she had. That wasn't much.

Which would explain why Emma has such a determination to take care of herself with no help from anyone else. The only help she has ever accepted is the teaching and training she received from dear Clara.

Reverend Jonathan Atkins grew up chasing Emma around the schoolyard, trying to dip her pigtails in ink. Or at least, to grab her by one long enough to slow her down and to look into her lovely eyes. He has recently taken up residence in her boardinghouse, and an interest in old Ezra.

Can Jon convince Ezra of his need for a Savior, and that his sins can truly and finally be forgiven? What difference could this make for Emma, with her heart as hard as the bottles Ezra drinks from?

And who is this mysterious Grace Giles, writing letters to Emma from Chicago? Will Emma receive the encouragement found in these missives, or reject it soundly, as she has rejected any attempt for help.

I adored Emma and her strength of character and spirit, and recognized that stubborn streak in her that runs deeply through me. Watching her life and the others around her in Little Hickman was so amazing and so rich, that I found myself almost longing to visit there (except for the lack of modern conveniences, I could almost be persuaded to stay!).

"Courting Emma" is the third novel in this incredible series: "Loving Liza Jane" is the first, with "Sarah, My Beloved" as the second. Trust me when I say that you won't want to miss a book! I'm giving "Courting Emma" five out of five bookmarks, with a stamped envelope as a charm.

I'm also praising God for the LARGE PRINT that helped my tired eyes! Thank you, Whitacker House! Love ya for it!

Happy Reading!



SHARLENE said...

Hi, Deena! Well, aren't you just a sweetheart for posting such a lovely review of "Courting Emma"?

I know I enjoyed writing it, and as the author, I THINK, emphasize think, this was my favorite one to write. I just adored Jon Atkins from the very first time he came on the scene back in "Loving Liza Jane". For a preacher man he sure is a charming fellow, don't you think??? Ha!

Again,thanks for your very kind words.

May God bless you day by day!


Nise' said...

Just picked up Loving Liza Jane from the Library. It is on my Spring Reading Thing pile!