Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Where Wildflowers Bloom

Where Wildflowers Bloom (Sisters at Heart - Book 1) by Ann Shorey

Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Genre: Christian Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 328pp
ISBN-13: 978-0800720742
ISBN: 0800720741

(Received for an honest review from Revell)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, ChristianBook, IndieBound

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Excerpt from Where Wildflowers Bloom


How far will she go to follow her dreams?

The Civil War stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg - as well as Royal Baxter, a man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that she and Royal will finally wed. But does he truly love her? Or will another man claim her heart?


Ann Shorey brings readers the first book in a new Christian Fiction series. Where Wildflowers Bloom is the beginning of the Sisters at Heart series which takes place shortly after the end of the Civil War. Shorey's heart felt writing and attention to detail make this book a must read for Christian fiction and inspirational romance readers. Shorey's ability to write character driven, nurturing stories is unparalleled in the genre. She is easily one of my favorite Christian fiction writers.

Ann Shorey is definitely not a new face in Christian fiction, but her books always seem fresh and endearing. Readers will love Shorey's ability to bring her settings and characters to life. In her latest book, Where the Wildflowers Bloom, Shorey introduces readers to the the town of Noble Springs, Missouri and to Faith and Nate Lindberg, two characters that will touch the heart. It is Faith's dream to leave behind all of the bad memories created by the war and to travel with her grandfather, Nate to Oregon to start over. But fate and God have set a different course for her life than she ever would have imagined.

Faith is such a great character. She has seen so much devastation and loss that it's amazing she is still standing. She lost two members of her family before the war and now the war has taken her father, her brother, and the man she planned to marry. That's almost too much to ask one person to survive. I think it was Shorey's plan to show how a person with faith in God, could go through something like this and still look forward to a better future. I was really glad that Shorey left Faith at least one person in her life, her grandfather Nate. The thing that stands out so much about Faith is her gentle and loving spirit. She always came across as very genuine and honest.

I liked the relationship that developed between Rosemary and Faith. Shorey is very good at showing the bonds that people have with each other. In this book the bond between Rosemary and Faith starts with adversity. The women of Noble Springs don't seem to understand Rosemary. She saw the horrors of the war up close and personal as a nurse and the other women seem taken aback by that. I loved the fact that Shorey allows the reader to see the kind of friendships and love that can develop between women. It was a joy to read. As was Faith's relationship with Curt.

Faith planned to marry Royal Baxter before the war. She believed him dead and this only added to her dream of moving on. But when Royal suddenly reappears she is torn between him and the friendship she has developed with another returning solider, Curt Saxon. Curt is a fantastic character. He is going through some really difficult things. He is disfigured from the war and he has PTSD. Flashbacks threaten to ruin his return home, as he begins to fear himself, but with help he begins to turn around. His friendship with Faith is a great catalyst for his recovery. It was amazing to read about their relationship and how it grew. Shorey does a fantastic job of showing the depth and love they share.

Nate Lindberg, Faith's grandfather is an amazing secondary character and probably my favorite of the book. I loved the way he interacted with all of the people of Noble Springs. His mercantile was a focal point of the story, and really reminded me of the great feelings I used to get watching shows like The Waltons and especially Little House on the Prairie. It was just a very wholesome setting and Nate's presence gave it an authentic and believable feel. It's an atmosphere that is unmistakably pure. I really enjoyed all that Nate added to this book.

As you can see the characters are what this book is all about. Shorey uses the characters to drive the story and there are certainly a lot of directions it could have went. The idea's of love and hope and second chances, permeate the story and keep it grounded, while all of these amazing people come to life and leap off the page. Shorey doesn't overwhelm the reader with Bible thumping, she simply plants the seeds and let's the story take the reader where it will. It's quite a journey.

If you are a Christian fiction fan, you've probably heard of Ann Shorey. But if by some off chance you've never seen her writing this is your chance to start at the beginning of a new series, with this remarkable writer. I think it's my favorite of this kind of novel that I've read in a long time. It will definitely pull at your heartstrings and make you think about your own dreams and how they will play out in your life. Our plans are not always His plans... This one really put a smile on my face. Don't miss it!

Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller, from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I'm giving this one a resounding 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Ann Shorey has been a full-time writer for over twenty years. She made her fiction debut with the At Home in Beldon Grove series in January of 2009.

When she's not writing, she teaches classes on historical research, story arc, and other fiction fundamentals at regional conferences. Ann and her husband life in southern Oregon.


Ann Shorey said...

Thank you for the great review! I'm delighted that you enjoyed Where Wildflowers Bloom. :)