In all senses of the word, this is a love story. Not a romance. The novel features a young widow who is forced by the community she lives in to pick a new husband. She's being courted by two handsome, elligible bachelors, neither of whom she's interested in. Her attention is instead drawn to her hired hand, Jesse Best, who is known locally as "Simple Jess" because of a brain injury as a result of his birth. In a community where he isn't treated as an equal, Jesse finds himself being viewed as a partner, by a beautiful woman who has seen past his shortcomings, and into his heart.
I really enjoyed this book--a light read, but very engaging.
This was a wonderful, sweet story. I had reread it this winter, lent to a friend and am now letting it go. It was my favorite by this author.
Althea Winsloe is a young widow with a son named Baby-Paisley and a farm with the finest corn bottom on the mountain. Just like the best Jane Austen society, the Ozark community thinks that Althea is in need of a husband. But instead of Regency balls, Morsi's courting is conducted at hog slaughters (described in non-gory detail) and mountain socials. Althea is given until Christmas to pick herself a man, and to everyone's surprise, except the reader's, she chooses Simple Jess, a combination of Forrest Gump, Mr. Universe and a really great golden retriever. Jess Best may not be a smart man, but he sure knows what love is-and sex. Morsi is clever enough to incorporate mountain vocabulary and customs without a lot of twangy dialect.
Another good clean read by Pamela Morsi. Listed as a historical romance it features a widowed mountain woman and her son baby Paisley and sweet and gentle Simple Jess. I've read this twice and guess I'll give it up just for more shelf room. Or maybe if it doesn't go right away that'll be a sign its a keeper for sure.
American historical romance, Jove, 1996
Morsi (Marrying Stone Bk #1) returns to Marrying Stone, Ark., 1906.
Althea Winsloe is a young widow with a son named Baby-Paisley and a farm with the finest corn bottom on the mountain. The Ozark community thinks that Althea is in need of a husband. Courting is conducted at hog slaughters and mountain socials. Althea is given until Christmas to pick herself a man, and to everyone's surprise she chooses Simple Jess.
What a wonderful love story! Set in Marrying Stone, Arkansas, 1906, the mountain people, especially her mother-in-law, have taken it upon themselves to force widowed Althea Winsloe to remarry. Althea doesn't want another husband. She is happy with her young son Baby-Paisley and doesn't see a need to take on another husband, even if she does have the best corn-bottom land on the mountain. Her suitors just want the farm and her late husband's hunting dogs. She decides she will sell the dogs then maybe no one will want to marry her.
Jesse Best, called Simple Jess, is considered feeble-minded, but it was caused from a complicated birth. Just because his thinking is slow doesn't mean he isn't a man. Once he knows something, he doesn't forget it. And he's honest to a fault. He would love to have his own hunting dogs, but he doesn't have enough money. Althea makes a deal with him that he can have the dogs in exchange for helping her on the farm to get ready for winter. That's when things begin to heat up.
Several other interesting characters to make this a wonderful book. Highly recommend.
The last thing widow Althea Winsloe wanted to do was remarry. Unfortunately, her meddlesome mountain neighbors had other plans. So, one autumn night they banded together and gave Althea a shocking ultimatum: She was to find herself a husband by Christmas...or the town would do it for her! Althea knew she had her choice of any single man in Marry Stone, Arkansas. Yet the only one she felt truly comfortable with was Simple Jess. Sweet and gentle, Jess wasn't as smart as your average man. But his tender manner stirred Althea's heart in ways she had never dreamed possible. It would take a miracle to find a husband in Marrying Stone. But sometimes miracles are right under your nose...