Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wild Rose by Ruth Axtell Morren

Wild Rose by Ruth Axtell Morren

Historical Inspirational Romance

Wild Rose is a love story between a poor young woman and a former sea captain. Geneva lives on the edge of the town of Haven’s End, dresses in men’s clothing, and works hard to support herself by fishing and selling garden vegetables. Captain Caleb Phelps has been wrongfully accused of a serious offense in his hometown of Boston, so he moves to Haven’s End to begin a new life.

The two forge a friendship based on gardening advice and reading lessons – and eventually they grow closer together. However, will her past and his prevent them from having a future together?

One of the strengths of this book is the strong sense of place that permeates its pages. Through the lovely descriptions and dialogue of the locals, the reader really gets a feel for this quaint seaside village in Maine. Another strength of the novel is the characterization. None of the characters seem unrealistic; rather, they are just like people in real life: multifaceted and complex, and thoroughly engaging. Geneva was particularly wonderful. I felt so sad for her; her feeling on the outskirts of society, her abandonment issues, all of these are universal feelings. I longed to see her come into her own and be comfortable in her own skin.

The spiritual aspects of the novel are well-done, also. Sometimes in inspirational fiction, the reader feels hit over the head with the message of salvation. Not so here. I particularly liked the characters of the minister and his wife. Loving and kind, nonjudgmental, and engaging.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It took me awhile to get into it, but once I was, I was hooked.

Wild Rose was a Booklist Top Ten Christian Novel for 2005.

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