From Publishers Weekly
As chaotically patched together as a crazy quilt, this tale of love and Christian faith set in the late 19th century begins effectively, but soon becomes mired in confusing characterizations and scene changes. Fairwyn March, a spinster with a gift for singing and playing the dulcimer, captures the heart of a polished academic, Zebulon Deforest, who arrives at her rural log cabin to research his book about Appalachian music. With promises of love and a college education, Zebulon lures this "rough-cut jewel" from her Smoky Mountains home to become his wife in the gentrified community of Oak Hill, N.C. However, when Fairwyn finds Zebulon and her best friend smooching in the drawing room just as Fairwyn has discovered she is pregnant she flees to California. After surviving a disastrous train wreck (a preposterous plot device), Fairwyn arrives at Mission San Juan Capistrano, where she learns that Welsie True, her childhood mentor known to her only through letters, has recently died. Micheil, a former priest, helps Fairwyn dispel the veil of secrecy that shrouds her past and find the courage to return to Oak Hill. Noble (who also writes as Amanda MacLean) is a prolific author with a knack for descriptive historical details and capable writing, but her characters are difficult to get a handle on, and the novel unfolds much too disjointedly. As the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, we leave Fairwyn waiting for Micheil in a disappointing ending that, unfortunately, lends itself to a sequel.
When I first started the book I wasn't sure I'd like it,but it turned out to be very good.Its a story of a woman who lives in Appalachian Mountains who plays the dulcimer and sings songs of mountain lore.A man comes into her area to research the songs and of course he encourages her to leave with him.the book explores the what ifs....questions we might all entertain. It also explores God's tender love, healing mercies and utter sovereignyt in our lives, no matter how we think we've messed up.