Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?

Lots of historical details, flawed but loveable characters and a "will they or won't they" plot line make for a great read.

Focusing on a few characters who have come from Ireland, who of course face the struggles of prejudice as newcomers from another country right after the Civil War, when the United States are still struggling with the after effects - including the death of Laura's father - of the war, we get to see the difficulties of traveling far from home to make a new start.

And those here in the States are making a new start too. Can everyone work together and further a lasting and enduring company?


Many thanks to Bethany House for my copy of this book.

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