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Sofia' Secret #3

Title:  Sofia’s Secret (River of Hope Book #3)
Author:  Sharlene MacLaren                                                                                                          
Pages:  432
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Whitaker House
                One of the joys of reading as many books as I do is the discovery that no two books are exactly the same.  The books can contain similar themes, settings, climax and more; yet what makes each book unique is the author’s writing style or point of view.  Whatever makes up the differences in books, I can highly recommend what to me is a new author, Sharlene MacLaren.  In the trilogy entitled River of Hope Series, which is set in Wabash, Indiana, in the 1800’s, a tapestry is woven that captures the heart of the reader.
In this third installment, Sofia is a young woman attempting to care for herself and her brother after their parents are tragically killed in a train accident.  Sofia has born the burden of working the third shift for a cleaning agency, leaving her younger brother at home to sleep.  Tragedy has ripped Sofia’s life apart in so many ways, and she trusts no one until life’s circumstances begin to force the walls around her heart to break.
Andy is Sofia’s younger brother who has a stuttering problem.  At this time, most people believe there isn’t anything they can do to help him.  However, Dr. Trent has a colleague who wrote his thesis on stammering and asks for a copy to be sent to him as he just wants to help Andy conquer his stuttering problem.  Over time, Andy develops a deep affection and friendship with the doctor.  While Andy may seem unable to know what has been occurring, Sofia is about to realize Andy knows more than she thinks he does.
Dr. Trent turns down a high position at a hospital in a city in order to take over his grandfather’s small town practice.  He buys his grandfather’s house and continues to practice medicine, his lifelong dream.  What he didn’t plan on happening is what makes the story take off.  Not only that, but the personalities of both Dr. Trent and Sofia make for anything but an easy way of communicating their hearts, burdens, and thoughts including revealing to the doctor what Sofia hasn’t told anyone else.
One particular aspect of this writer’s work of fiction that I appreciated was the different scripture verses that began each chapter.  Second, what makes for easy reading is the chapters are so long as to make it hard to find a stopping place if need be.  Readers will enjoy the character interactions and the various themes that come together for a wonderful story.  The author writes with a heart of faith to show that anyone in any situation can be redeemed through Christ.  While some of the issues in the book may not be everyday topics, the Lord is an everyday Person we can talk to as well as about.
My rating is 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 .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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