This book actually makes a difference. There are spiritual lessons to be learned in reading the book, but Melissa Jagears wanted something else to come to mind as well. She included in her story the birth of a child with a rare disease that would be fatal at the time the book takes place. Even though this is not an important part of the story, it still plays a part to the movement of the story line. In reading the afterword of the book, I found this link and a couple of others to highlight a disease most people have never heard of, but causes untold suffering.
Eliza has gone to Salt Flat, Kansas, as a mail order bride, but she's a week early. On the way, the last leg of the journey, she and the other passengers are robbed by a group of masked gunmen. In an effort to try to conceal her money, she sat on it, but the gunman taking things from people close to her found it, and to make an example of her by pistol whipping her and cutting her face. When the train gets to Salt Flat, Will Stanton is the one who stitches her face. Will is the one who co-owns the store that Eliza was hoping to come and help run with her soon to be husband, Axel. Will can't help but fall in love with Eliza and Eliza can't help but fall in love with Will, but to Eliza, she must follow through with her wedding to Axel because a promise is a promise. But the wedding is where Eliza's life falls apart, and the rest of the story goes on.
Melissa has used humor, pathos, angst, and feelings appropriately in this book, and she's told a thoroughly entertaining story. Will is a character who knows he's been called to be a doctor, his bedside manner is incredible in that he not only brings healing for the body, he brings healing for the soul. The only problem is that he has not been to medical school, nor does he have a license. The one thing standing in the way of him getting into medical school is money. Eliza has always wanted to open a store based on the Woolworth model of the five and dime, but no one ever had the belief in her ability to run a store.
Eliza had the ability to see people as more than their exterior looks, she can see them as individuals with wants and needs, but most of all, deserving compassion. What she had to learn was that sometimes (almost always) it's better to put others' needs first and put her selfish side away.
One of the most important things I got out of this book is how our self-talk impacts what we do in life, and how it can impact how we interact with others.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a dime's worth of candy from the five and dime store.
Bethany House provided the galley for me to read and provide an honest review. No remuneration was offered or received for my thoughts.