A Promise to Love

Title:  A Promise to Love
Author:  Serena B. Miller                                                                                                               
Pages:  329
Year:  2012
Publisher:   Revell
                A Promise to Love is a story in the fictional historical romance genre set in Michigan in the year 1871.  The author uses vivid details to bring the characters and scenery to life.  The emotions felt by the characters make them come alive in the reader’s mind.  Several of the characters’ histories and events that take place in the story are factual events or based on factual accounts.
                Joshua Hunter is a farmer, trying to make ends meet by farming the thin top soil with wheat and other crops while waiting for his cherry trees to mature.  Then, he will concentrate on the cherry trees as his main source of income and eventually hopes to expand to other fruits in his orchard.  Then, suddenly his wife of 13 years dies.  She leaves him with five children ranging in age from 12 years old to 3 months old.  His in-laws take the baby to help him out and he depends on his 12-year-old daughter to shoulder the workload of a grown woman while he works the fields.  Rumors begin to spread that Joshua has killed his wife and an inquest is called.  His in-laws are fanning the flames and want custody of his children.  The inquest finds Joshua not guilty and that if he can provide a stable home environment via a wife, he can keep custody of his children.  He is not looking to be remarried so soon after his wife has died, but he can’t lose his children as they are all he has left.  He makes a decision that will change his life and the lives of his children.  He continues to fight with his in-laws to regain custody of his son as they refuse to talk to him or let him in the house to even visit his son.  Will he ever get his son back?  He discovers that his former wife was not the woman he thought she was.  She was very troubled.  Can he ever love another woman?
                Ingrid Larsen has traveled to Michigan all the way from Holland to meet her twin brother, Lars.  They have plans to buy land next to each other and begin their new lives side-by-side.  However, her brother never shows up to meet her.  What has happened to him?  In order to survive, she answers an ad in the newspaper for a servant.  At the hands of her new employer, she is dressed in rags, fed very little, and punished for the smallest infraction.  Her employer throws her out and she finds shelter with an old woman who has befriended her in the past.  The big news in town is the inquest so Ingrid and Hazel attend.  Ingrid sees the four little girls that attend the trial and knows her heart is big enough to love them as her own.  What can she do about it?  Ingrid soon finds herself cooking and cleaning nonstop in the caring of five children and Joshua’s aging mother.  She has gotten more than she bargained for and doesn’t think she can manage.  She falls to her knees in prayer.  God gives her the answer to do every task as if she were doing it for Him.  As Ingrid follows this path, she gains the love of the children and Joshua’s mother.  What about Joshua?  Will he ever love her the way she loves him?
                This story was very easy to get involved in and to read.  The storytelling flowed so well.  The reader sees the blessings and joy that come from submitting to God’s will.  No matter how difficult it may be, He will give the strength to accomplish all things.  Love endures all things.
                My rating is 3.5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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