Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group/Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction, Western
Pages: Paperback, 343pp
(Received for review from Revell Books)
Excerpt from The Dawn of a Dream
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
THE DREAM IS WITHIN HER GRASP - BUT CAN SHE LEAVE HER PAST BEHIND?
Luellen O'Connell is stunned when her husband of just one month tells her he is leaving - and his reason devastates her. Deeply wounded by his betrayal, Luellen decides to follow her dream to become a teacher, a desire she had set aside when she married. But can she truly hide her past? Or will it destroy her ambitions forever?
A moving story of tenacity and perseverance, The Dawn of a Dream will inspire you to discover and follow your own dreams.
Author Ann Shorey takes readers back to Beldon Grove, Illinois in the year 1857, with her latest book in the 'At Home In Beldon Grove' series, The Dawn of a Dream. Shorey's smooth and simplistic style showcases the inspirational spirit of the pioneers. Her message of faith and perseverance rings clear from the pages of this novel. Readers will love Shorey's ability to set the scene and create characters that are believable and enchanting. The Dawn of a Dream is a must read for Christian and historical fiction fans, alike!
Luellen O'Connell has had many dreams in her life. When she elopes with a freight driver one of them seems to be coming true. The dream of a home and a family. She is stunned when on the anniversary of their first month of marriage, Brendan tells her he is leaving to return to other wife. Shocked by his revelation and the betrayal she has suffered, Luellen returns to thoughts from of her youth of becoming a teacher. But teachers are required to be single. Will she be able to hide her secret as she tries to rebuild her life?
Ann Shorey has a knack for telling stories about today's problems through the voice of women from the past. In this book she takes on the issue of betrayal and rebuilding your life when you've been dealt a bad hand. As readers we know from out own experience that sometimes things don't go the way we planned for them to. At that point we have to make a choice, do we continue to live beaten down by our circumstances or do we trust God to help us change them?
Shorey draws on her own faith and experiences to bring readers a character in Luellen O'Connell who faces her problems head on. She doesn't let her past cloud her future. She is tenacious and she is determined to reconnect with a dream. In this case the dream of being a teacher. The author portrays Luellen as a woman who may have made a few mistakes, but learns from them and moves on. She starts over and re-invents herself. She becomes the woman of faith and joy that she has always wanted to be. I think Shorey does a wonderful job of giving readers a character they can identify with and fall in love with. How many of us have had the opportunity to follow our dreams?
This book is certainly inspirational but it is historical as well. I loved the author's descriptions of the early training that teachers went through and all of the rules and regulations they were expected to follow. Shorey does a remarkable job of showing Beldon Grove as a frontier town and what life was like during 1857. I have always thought this would be a wonderful time period to have visited and Shorey really brings it to life for readers.
I would recommend this one to historical fiction fans, Christian fiction or inspirational fiction fans and those who love stories about women of faith and strength. It is a third book in a series, but can easily be read as a stand alone title. It is fast paced and easily read in a weekend or a lazy day at the beach or in front of the fire.
Available April 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Ann Shorey is the author of The Edge of Light and The Promise of Morning. She has also published selections in the 'Cup of Comfort' series and in Chicken Soup for the Grandma's Soul. Shorey lives with her husband, Richard, in Oregon.