GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Prism Book Group
RELEASE DATE: June 29, 2018
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to Society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earns him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect he craves. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality. When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
“We’re all a mess, son. That’s why we need a Savior.”
Oh Ruth Ann, I know you. I’ve felt the way you’ve felt. I’ve cried for the same reasons. In fact, I cried with you a couple of times as I read your story. For all women everywhere who have struggled with their weight their whole lives, this is our heroine. ♥
I’ve been looking forward to this story for a long time now, and it did not disappoint! Ruth Ann is, as I’ve just mentioned, a very relatable heroine. She’s layered and enjoyable and a little sassy to boot 🙂 Her feistiness and bravery had me loving her right from the start, especially as she withstood criticism and danger in her determination to continue teaching at the Freedman’s School. And oh how I wanted to reach in the pages and hug her close when careless words and reminders about her weight settled deeply in her heart. You see, someone said similar things to me and I still hear it like a broken record (or an Mp3 on repeat, for you younger folks) several years later – isn’t it sad how we do that to ourselves?
And just as Ruthie isn’t a ‘typical’ heroine, neither is Benjamin a typical hero. He is – wait for it – flawed. I know, I know. Go ahead and clutch your pearls in horror, my fellow book boyfriend collectors. He messes up pretty badly with Ruthie. And yes, I wanted to purse whomp him. Yet, at the same time, it’s obvious how much he loves Ruthie (once he gets his heart straightened out a bit) and his swoonilicious kisses will have you searching for the nearest freezer to read from! Ben’s awareness of his profound failure and his desire to let God transform him into a man worthy of Ruthie also gives the author opportunity to tuck a sweet and tender message of restoration into their story.
Bottom Line: Kelly Goshorn has a place on my go-to authors shelf after this riveting debut novel with a timely and important glimpse at a pivotal time in our nation’s history. Ben and Ruthie’s romance is not without its teeth-jolting bumps in the road, but the wisdom we can all glean from their struggles has the potential to be life changing. The characters in A Love Restored are multi-dimensional and authentic, and Ruthie especially captured my heart. Her story is, in many ways, my own story. She is my kind of heroine, and what she taught me about trust – even after being deeply wounded – is priceless.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4.5 stars / Love it!
KissingBook Level: 4 / Keep those fans and fainting couches handy!
Kelly Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi. Her debut novel, A Love Restored, released June 29th from Pelican Book Group.
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What about you? What interests you most about this book?
Oh my goodness gracious, I HAVE to read this book! Thank you for your review and for calling it to my attention. It is already on my TBR list.
I, too, can so relate and know that I can gain bits of wisdom to use in my life just from what I’ve read here. Now, I just can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.
I hope you get to read it soon, Kay! It really spoke to me 🙂
Hi Kay, Thank you for your kind words about ALR. I hope you enjoy it!
I loved this book! I too relate to Ruthie. I still hear words spoken to me decades ago.
I admired her feistiness too. I did not like her almost-fiance’ at all. He was a first-class, controlling jerk.
Benjamin was flawed but I liked that he knew it and how he tried to improve.
Thank you, Andrea, for stopping by. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed ALR! Thanks for your encouragement and support.
I had the honor of reading a super early copy of this rich novel and felt the same way about Ruthie…and Benjamin. 😉 Kelly, you’ve done an absolutely AMAZING job spinning this tale that is all too personal to many–MANY–of us. Congratulations!!
Such a good book! Love your review of it and excited to read more from Kelly Goshorn! 🙂
Thank you, Angela! You’ve been with me from the beginning and its fair to say I never would have finished without your brainstorming, critiquing, handholding and encouragement. <3
Hi Mikal, the struggle is so real for so many of us whether its body image, finances, identity or something entirely different. Taking our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture is a lifelong, but rewarding journey, growing us closer to our Father in whose eyes we see perfect love.
Hi Carrie, Thank you for taking time to read and review ALR and for sharing your thoughts with your readers. I appreciate you!
My pleasure <3
Love this review! This was such a good read and I do love the message of restoration within.
Hi Toni, thanks so much. I’m so glad that you enjoyed ALR!
I always love reading good debuts, so this is obviously one to place on my “radar”. Thanks, Carrie!
Thank you, Rebecca!
Sounds like a great debut novel! Like 99% of women I struggle with body image issues and weight is a big part of that, I look forward to Ruth Ann’s story.
It’s such a great story!
This sounds wonderful! Thanks for the review and introduction to a new author!
But of course!
Exceptional review, Carrie! I’m adding it to my Goodreads shelf! 🙂