Monday, May 8, 2017

Trusting Grace

Recently widowed and charged with the care of her ailing father, Grace Bidwell begins to wonder if her dreams of growing old with a loving husband in a house full of children will ever come true.  Struggling to balance her father's needs with single-handedly running her late husband's farm, Grace decides to place an advertisement for a farm hand.  She soon begins to wonder if single-father to three newly acquired step-children, Robert Frasier, just might be the answer to both of Grace's prayers.  After each has experienced so much loss and disappointment in recent years, will Grace and Robert learn to trust one another with their hearts and ultimate happiness?

Set in 1860s Montana, Maggie Brendan's Trusting Grace had plenty of potential to tell a beautiful story of love and loss against a rugged backdrop, but unfortunately falls short.  Brendan introduces a host of compelling and relatable problems for many of the characters, but each one manages to virtually solve itself without much fanfare, effort, or payoff.  Robert struggles to parent three children he barely knows.  He kind of figures it out.  Grace is jealous and threatened by her father's new love interest.  She gets over it.  There's something shady about the man trying to court Grace.  He ends up in jail.  Again, lots of potential... very little payoff.  The only situation that took any real amount of time or effort to resolve was Grace and Robert's relationship, and even that was barely satisfying.  Rather than solving itself, this plot line simply dragged on for about 50 more pages than it needed to.  It was if Brendan felt the need to create random problems for secondary characters to work through just to prolong the story.  This one was a struggle to finish, I'm afraid.

 I received a free copy from the publisher.  No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.  

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