A Love So True
Bethany House Publishers, 2017
Assigned by his father to assess and sell a factory that is part of his business empire, David Kingsman is stationed in the unfamiliar town of Teaville. A series of coincidences continually puts him in the presence of a young lady named Evelyn, and as he gets to know her David begins to grow fond of her, even though he knows it isn’t a good idea to form an attachment when his time in Teaville is temporary. And he is puzzled by her cold, untrusting attitude towards him. She is kind and warm towards everyone else, why does she seem so intensely uncomfortable and aloof around him?
Evelyn Wisely is completely devoted to her work with the orphans and soiled doves of Teaville. Though she longs to have a family of her own, and has even had offers of marriage, she knows that it is impossible for her to marry given the secret her past holds. But despite her best efforts to remain uninterested, she begins to find herself attracted to the handsome, kind, Godly man that David is and wishing for a future she knows can never be. As he strives to break through the barriers she has erected around her heart, how can she make him understand without revealing her painful past?
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My favorite part about this book was the way the author touched on a variety of sensitive topics like divorce, prostitution, and hypocrisy with such graced compasion, but at the same time took a strong stance on how our most important job as Christians is to love others unconditionally. Evelyn and her parents work with orphans, and though those children were somewhat outcast from society at that period of time, people were generally benevolent towards them even if they didn’t take any personal interest.
That benevolence completely disappears when you start talking about helping prostitutes. The way society seemed to view those women in this story, as if they were subhuman and unworthy even though so many were not in that profession by choice, made my heart ache and really highlighted the kindness that the lead characters showed them. Even though this is a historical novel I think the message of love and compassion and taking a personal, self-sacrificial interest in other’s problems still applies, especially in regards to the attention that is finally being given to human trafficking.
Apart from the important themes in this book, I also enjoyed the writing. There was great development of Evelyn, David, and their relationship and a fun cast of supporting characters that were easy to like and care about. The dialogue felt smooth and realistic, which is a big deal for me. Bad dialogue will make me put a book down forever without a second thought. And I loved all the secrets! It seemed like everybody had a secret which was great for keeping me hooked in the story. And I did not expect Evelyn’s secret to be what it was. I was definitely surprised.
Somehow I skipped over the first book in this series, but I am going to go back and read it now to get the background on a couple of characters that also make an appearance in A Love So True. This is my second Melissa Jagears novel (the first was A Bride for Keeps, and she also had a story featured in With This Ring?) and I am looking forward to reading more.