Title: A Place in His Heart (The Southold Chronicles Book #1)
Author: Rebecca DeMarino
My rating is 5 stars.
The story is set in the mid 1600’s, first in London, then to the new land eventually called America. In that era, arranged marriages were common place. Mary is the youngest daughter of a widower who is attempting to arrange a marriage he feels would benefit her in the long run. The eldest sister, Elizabeth, is already married with children and often helps their father understand the heart of a woman due to the fact that the mother is deceased.
Earlier in the year a local baker with two small sons also became a widower and considered marrying again mainly for the benefit of his sons. Soon, it is arranged that Mary will marry Barney and begin a new life together, one that would eventually see them crossing the ocean due to religious persecution by the Church of England.
Throughout the book I was captivated by the sometimes tense interactions between Barney and Mary as each had expectations or desires that were unmet. Barney saw Mary as a strong and compassionate woman yet it took him years to understand the deepest cry of her heart. I loved how Godly counsel was given to the couple; they worked through the hardest times of marriage, especially when they found themselves in the wilderness far from friends and family.
For months Mary hears not a word from her family in England nor do they hear from Mary. We take for granted the speed with which we can communicate and contact our friends and loved ones today. The work to survive and thrive in that era was from sun up to sundown and it took all of the family members to pool their work load for daily living and for the winter months.
I loved the 12_day celebration of Christmas mentioned in the novel and how Barney along with others wanted the church to rid them of all the pomp and cling solely to the Word of God. Reading historical novels such as this should remind us of how blessed we are and how much we still need to work together for a community to thrive in all seasons of life. I cannot wait for the sequel, which I will be reading next, then share with you what the author offers her audience in To Capture Her Heart released July 2015.
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