Sunday, May 22, 2011

Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love Book Review


Book Description:
Unless she can trust God's love to cast out her fears, Ada may lose the heart of a good man.

Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady’s companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.

Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada's friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt’s primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.
With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.

Set in the post-Civil War South, Beyond All Measure is a touching story of learning to forgive and love. After Ada loses her father and aunt in a tragic accident and her fiancĂ© abandons her without explanation, she accepts a position in Hickory Ridge, TN as a companion to elderly Lillian. Everything goes wrong from the moment she arrives. She discovers she wasn’t given the complete job description which angers and frustrates her. She has no money and no choice but to continue in the position. In the months to follow, she fights to follow her own dreams for financial independence along with caring for the loving but troublesome Lillian. To compound her problems, she begins to fall in love with Wyatt, Lillian’s nephew. 

Wyatt’s one dream is to fulfill his obligation of providing for his aunt and return to the ranch he loves in Texas. Scarred by memories of his time in the war, he fights his growing attraction for the Yankee he hired to care for his aunt. When he discovers Ada lied to him and misled him, there doesn’t seem any way these two can reconcile their differences.

It will take a great deal of faith in God and acceptance of His healing love to mend the hearts of Wyatt and Ada. A near drowning, a death, an abduction, and a fire all help to show them that God is not just what they need, He is Beyond All Measure.

Dorothy Love is the author of the Hickory Ridge series,  historical novels set in the beautiful Smoky Mountains region of  her native Tennessee.  Her well-researched, heartwarming stories of small town Southern life, faith, friends, and family reflect the emotions, concerns, and values of women everywhere.
Growing up in McNairy County, Tennessee, Doro attended  Bethel Springs Presbyterian Church and  the local grade school where she spent every spare moment writing stories to share with her classmates. As a college student in Texas majoring in teaching and English literature,  she co-edited her university newspaper. After earning a masters degree and a Ph.D, she authored dozens of magazine articles before breaking into book publishing with a number of award-winning novels for preteens and young adults. The Hickory Ridge series (Thomas Nelson Fiction)  marks her adult fiction debut.

When she isn’t busy writing or researching her next book, Doro loves hiking and hanging out with her husband Ron and their two golden retrievers, Major and Jake. Lifelong avid travelers, the Loves have explored the cities and the back country of New Zealand, photographed the Cuna Indians of the San Blas Islands, traversed the Panama Canal, explored Bermuda on motor scooters, and combed the best beaches in Hawaii and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

For more than twenty years they have collected antique maps depicting their many ports of call, chiefly those  maps by 19th century mapmaker and engraver John Rapkin. Published by John Tallis of London, Rapkin’s maps in the 1851 edition of Tallis’ Illustrated Atlas are among the most visually appealing of the Victorian age.    The Loves make  their home in the Texas hill country.

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