Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Love finds You in Golden, New Mexico by Lena Nelson Dooley
I've really enjoyed every Summerside romance I've read so far, and this one is no exception. The "Love Finds You in. . ." series has given me a glimpse of places to which I may never travel, with lovely descriptions of the land and architecture and history of the towns featured.
Golden, New Mexico is a desert mining town, set in 1890 after the initial gold rush. Jeremiah Dennison is a former mine owner turned rancher who looks after an elderly friend and mentor, Philip Smith. Philip's health is failing, and he seeks a caregiver to ease his last days, so he asks Jeremiah to take out an add for a mail order bride for him. But there is more to his motivation than wanting a bride for himself.
Madeline Mercer is a privileged young lady from a wealthy Boston family. When her father died, the Mercer estate is left up in the air when one of his business associates makes a claim to his business and Madeline's hand. Meanwhile, Madeline's charitable heart leads her to help an impoverished young lady about to give birth in a freezing shanty. The girl dies but not before she makes Madeline promise to raise the child. When Mr. Mercer's colleague presses his suit and threatens the baby, Madeline must flee Boston. Enter Philip's mail-order-bride ad.
When Madeline reaches Golden, will it be a golden opportunity for a fresh start, or will she have toughened ore to pick through before she finds the vein? I enjoyed Madeline's determination and pluck as she endeavors to raise a child, navigate a new town, minister to Philip, and hold her finances together, all the while deciphering her confusing feelings for Jeremiah.
I loved the tender portrait of elderly friendship and faith, and the unique personality the author gave to the infant. Characterization is a well-honed skill of Lena Nelson Dooley, and her three-dimensional people really add a depth to the book.
Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico is one of those romances that was so much more than a romance--it is a story of the love of a land, love that surpasses generations, and the forgiveness that makes a love relationship between God and man possible. A beautiful read.