When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?
Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.
As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.
Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?
I really enjoyed this story and read it quickly. The writing was good and the style easy to follow, yet rich with language that evoked emotion. The prologue alone was enough to choke me up. Then the story launched into various dramatic situations that made me think about a few Little House on the Prairie episodes. Daniel was a sweetheart, but he had some maturing to do. I couldn't help pitying Mary's situation and how much responsibility she had, but at the same time I could see how much she needed her family to help fill that gap in her life that couldn't seem to ever be filled.
The spiritual and emotional ARC was well done for a number of characters including Mary's younger sister. I liked seeing her growth and also watching Daniel mature into a young man that could be trusted. The situation with Mary's dad was sad, but there was a lot of truth in what he said about our days being numbered. It's easy to forget that we won't all live to a ripe old age, but there is nothing we can do about that. Anyway, I liked watching this couple slowly rebuild their relationship, and witnessing Mary learning to trust Daniel again. It was a heartwarming story with a sweet ending. The best part was it never bored me but kept me reading. These days I am easily bored, so that's a clear sign that this novel is a good book.