I really liked this book! It was fun and kept moving along. I was always curious to see what the characters were going to do next! I've already read the next book in the series and am waiting for future ones as well!
Good book, easy read. Sophie is a great character- a strong, smart woman- who has raised four girls on her own. I just wish that her strength had not been marginalized by the repeated message to "obey." While wives are supposed to obey their husbands, there is nothing wrong with husbands and wives having mutual respect for one another and working together. Sophie and Clay working together would have made this story, and their marriage, even stronger.
Historical fiction is my favorite Christian fiction genre I believe. It is how I got started reading Christian fiction, one problem with it, is that some how I seem to have started with the best and often have a hard time finding anything that really meets the par. Things are great and enjoyable, but not quite as exciting as those first Liz Curtis Higgs or Tracie Peterson and even Francine Rivers' Redeeming Love. Well, boy is that not the case with Mary Connealy! Welcome to my favorites' shelf! (Literally I do have a favorites' shelf, if my mom didn't have half my books from it, I'd post a picture). (Ugh, it was a library book... I'll have to get a copy to put on my favorites' shelf....)
Petticoat Ranch is everything that a good historical fiction should be, and I'm glad to have read it. I'm a southern gal through and through, and I'd like to think myself a Southern Belle. I'm really invested in my genealogy, and I have my family tracked for years to the late sixteen century in the Carolinas, and Virginia, and then later Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and Texas. I guess one way to put it, is to say that I'm completely biased. I love the bumper sticker that says "North 1 South 0 Half Time". Not that I'm saying "yay to slavery", but I know the stories, and have read journals of my own family members and have seen how cruel some of the North was against them. Not saying the South were angels, but I'm partial to my rebels, as they are my own blood. With that said... It's often hard for me to ever feel much for a story with Norther ties and empathy.
Not at all the case with this book. I so feel for the characters, they are completely real to me, and I'm fully on their side! This book was incredible. I cannot count the times that I giggled, or rolled my eyes. I have no recollection of how many times I scoffed or said, "MEN!". I am quite unsure of how many times I snickered and had a little evil laugh, feeling I'm sure the emotions of Sophie and her girls. In all cases, it was plenty, and I definitely was smiling through out this novel. That is, when I wasn't scowling and wanting revenge for my own self. The sermons were perfect and powerful, and so true to how God works. The reactions of the characters was real, and the men were not overly flowery, but were such "men". (A problem often found with women authors, but not so with this book in my opinion. With that said, usually male authors have problems with their female characters in my mind too.)
Sophie is such a strong woman, struggling to keep it all together, and I just love her personality. The girls are fabulous, and I really giggle and evil giggle with Beth loving what she's up to. I really cannot praise this story enough, now that I think about it. So many different personalities are captured within the different characters, and the main two commandments of Love from Jesus Christ reverberate through the pages. Even the most stubborn of a person can see a little insight into themselves through these pages.
This book made me smile a lot and even laugh out loud a few times. It was that good! I've never read Mary Connealy before but I just love her writng. Her characters are so enjoyable! Sophie is so quick-witted and clever. Don't let me get started on her girls! They were priceless! Clay had been a big bad Texas Ranger but the screams and giggles of these little girls were almost more than he could handle but he came around. The title of this book fit perfectly. I honestly enjoyed every page of this book! I can't wait to read more books by Mrs. Connealy.
The next book, Calico Canyon, is about the widower with five young sons, Daniel Reeves and the very proper schoolmarm, Miss Grace Calhoun who we met in Petticoat Ranch. Can't Wait!
I love reading this book! I swapped for it because I kept getting it from the library and decided it just made sense to keep it on my shelf so I can read it whenever I want! Very fun and memorable characters. :)
Ive never read a book by Mary Connealy before, and after slogging through this western romance, I probably wont read another.
The book begins by introducing us to Sophie, a widow with four daughters. She hides out in a small run-down shack to avoid the man who killed her husband, Cliff. When another man rides past her shack and over a cliff (!) she and her daughters rescue him. Turns out, hes Clay, Cliffs identical twin brother. Theres a thing called willing suspension of disbelief. It doesnt work her. In the span of 48 hours, Clay who fell off a cliff and survived rides into town. Why isnt he bedridden with broken bones or a concussion? And how, in the span of only a few days, can Sophie give up her independence for a marriage of convenience to Clay? Clay buys back the family ranch in order to move Sophie and her daughters there, but then the vigilantes who killed Cliff return.
The characters are flawed and unlikable. The daughters are capable when under Sophies direction but otherwise are whiny and simpleminded. Clay is very naïve when it comes to marriage and dealing with women. Considering that hes well-traveled, it seems strange that he doesnt understand the first thing about women. Sophie vacillates from being dependent on Clays kindness and strength to being independent and wanting to take care of her daughters alone. The Christianity in this book isnt subtle, and Ive read other books that do a much better job at showing (rather than telling) the message that Connealy seems to be trying to get across. For fans of this author only.