Pride goes before the fall . . . but what comes after?
Darbury, England, 1814
Amelia Barrett, heiress to an ancestral estate nestled in the English moors, defies family expectations and promises to raise her dying friend’s infant baby. She'll risk everything to keep her word—even to the point of proposing to the child’s father, Graham, a sea captain she’s never met.
Tragedy strikes when the child vanishes with little more than a sketchy ransom note hinting to her whereabouts. Fear for the child’s safety drives Amelia and Graham to test the boundaries of their love for this infant.
Amelia’s detailed plans would normally see her through any trial, but now, desperate and shaken, she examines her soul and must face her one weakness: pride.
Graham’s strength and self-control have served him well and earned him much respect, but chasing perfection has kept him a prisoner of his own discipline.
Both must learn to accept God’s sovereignty and relinquish control so they can grasp the future He has for planned for them.
Sometimes we can feel trapped by circumstances of our modern lives: money problems, bad relationships, lack of choices… My imagination sometimes glorifies the lives of the 19th century British women – the huge homes, servants, beautiful clothing, and the deference they receive from family members. Amelia in this novel has all those things, but she lacks control over her life because her uncle and her station in society bind her to meet certain expectations. I enjoyed how she flouted those conventions. She made a promise, and she intends to keep it…no matter what her uncle and aunt tell her.
I can’t say that the story is a riveting read. It’s “comfortable” like the scenes with baby Lucy, Amelia, and Mrs. Donne reading psalms. “Nothing compared to the serenity of cradling a sleeping infant.” Some of the situations are easily predictable, but I still enjoyed reading the dialogue between Amelia and the odious Edward, between Amelia and stalwart Graham who puts duty to his ship and men above his own family. The fact that her uncle’s business plans were his guide to Amelia’s marriage plans annoyed me. I was as outraged as Amelia when uncle and Edward fire her father’s trusted financial manager and adviser, Mr. Carrington. I was happy to read that “No-name” was finally christened, signaling Graham’s decision to 100% bring Amelia and his home back into his life. I appreciated the wisdom of Stephen Sulter’s counsel for Graham about being a good, responsible person who sometimes makes mistakes and takes them too much to heart with a terrible feeling of guilt. It’s so important to accept God’s forgiveness and then forgive yourself.
The novel is sometimes too “comfortable” and predictable…but it is an enjoyable read with good characters.
Three and a Half Stars
*Reviewed by Colleen*
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