I just finished reading this book, and have to disagree with some of the other reviewers. This book is not explicit at all - it is a somewhat religious based novel with a romance theme, but not a traditional arch plot.
The families in the book are very rich, all the secondary characters are lush and well drawn. You feel you know the orphan kid, the frowning matron, the jealous young lady, the uncle - a whole small town. You want to root for the heroine in her search for a husband, even when it looks futile in such a closed community with her list of candidates.
I'd recommend this book to teens or older readers, although it may appeal more to older readers with the eye on history and the multiple viewpoints of the older folks in the book observing Essie and her actions/outcomes.
Looking forward to more books from this author!
I am very much so looking forward to the sequel of this book! Sometimes there are topics that people who have experience certain things are hurting terribly to tell someone to get opinions and help in a way, but the policies of society closes their mouths and keeps them alone in thought. Essie is a girl that is getting to a spinster age and wants nothing to do with it and seeks out herself a husband. Not only is she becoming an old maid at age 30, but she like hats, and gasp rides a bicycle (This is 1894 in Texas). Her first goal for a husband ends up getting baffled, but not before she moves onto desiring a drifter cowboy. This is where confusion and emotions play apart. I would really recommend this book for every girl and woman to read. Even men really. Sometimes you want something so badly that you are willing to break rules to get it, and do not even realize that the rules that you are breaking will take it completely from your grasp as well as effect the rest of your life. Who would imagine that something private you take part in effects everyone you know and love. The basic tells of this story is not of a spinster who looks and searches for her one true love, although that does happen. It is about a woman who wants to be loved so much, and doesn't realize that she already is. Jesus Christ is the one man who will love all no matter what they do, and the hard part in many peoples lives is how we can overlook that fact and get our lives to a ruining stand point before we realize we do not have to go searching just accept.
I recommend this book for anyone. But especially for those who knew me when I was age 16 and 17. This story will explain a lot to them and perhaps render some understanding into what fools we humans can be, but how we can grow and seek the right kind of love.
I've read Deeanne's previous two books and loved them, I felt this book was a bit of a disappointment. I'd have to say it was well-written and the character development was strong, but there was something about the book from the very beginning that failed to draw me into the heroine's plot. There were occasional can't-put-it-down moments, but not the whole book like Gist's previous books.
I do think that this book was a *bit* more explicit than other Christian novels. You still need your imagination to know exactly what is happening, but not much of one. However, I don't think the plot (and the "lesson" of the book) would have advanced as well without some of this.
Overall, it was a decent book to read when there wasn't much else to do. I expect that the next novel out by Deeanne Gist will be very good and that this was more of a blip...
I enjoyed this book very much - the herione, Essie, is someone I could relate to and I rooted for her throughout the entire book. There were good lessons in this book about forgiveness, not only of others but of yourself, and being true to yourself - even when it means that you may not be able to achieve a long cherished dream. Highly recommended.
This was my first book by this author but won't be the last. I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I found it hard to put down as I wanted to find out whom she would eventually marry. It had kind of a surprise ending. I would recommend this book.