Love’s Story By Dianne Christner
Published By Barbour Publishing/Barbour Books October 01, 2016
Genres: Christian, Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Rediscover this classic romance from bestselling author Dianne Christner. Take the journey with Meredith Mears from New York City to a primitive town in the redwood forests of northern California. As a female journalist for McClures Magazine in 1899, Meredith has something to prove with her big story on forest conservation. But when her research leads her to logger Thatcher Talbot—a man with something to hide—will she be forced to choose between her story and her heart? Also included is a bonus historical romance from author Kristin Billerbeck.
This re-release of Dianne Christner’s wonderful adventure to the Redwood forests of California was a true pleasure to read. The adventure begins in the first sentence and doesn’t stop until the last word – twisting and turning through the difficult paths of trust and the healing power of God’s love.
Meredith Storm Mears is a reporter for McClure magazine – one of few women in America who has attained that position. She recently read several articles by John Muir and heard him speak on the new idea of forest conservancy – an idea that is relatively unheard of in the woods of the West. Meredith requests the opportunity to travel to California to research the logging camps and those who run them. Shocked to learn the life expectancy of a newly employed logger is about 7 years, Meredith is further determined to tell people in the East of the men who “are out to tame the untamable by raw muscle power and tough determination”. Her quest will lead her straight into the path of Thatcher Talbot, a man determined to lose himself in his new work as a Redwood logger at Buckner’s Stand. Meredith is not sure why Thatcher is so against her writing stories about the logging camps but she quickly sends a telegram to her boss to find out what Thatcher is hiding. Thatcher has come to California in search of honest work that doesn’t profit from others loss – a search that is in direct opposition to his father’s way of doing business. His father’s demands had become so burdensome and against his Christian values that Thatcher seeks to find solace in fair pay for a job well done. These reasons and others will be what will both bring Meredith and Thatcher together and, if they aren’t careful, could tear them apart. Ms. Christner’s characters were so wonderfully human it was great fun to read of their (mis) adventures and sparring dialogue. I loved that both Meredith and Thatcher held such strong faith and convictions in spite of coming from difficult families. Ms. Christner allowed each of them to be tested in their faith and the growth each experienced was a good reminder to me – do I seek to do things to please myself and others or do I seek to serve God in my efforts. In Meredith, Ms. Christner also tackled the difficult task of one’s placing complete trust in God so that one can then trust those around them. I appreciated the fact that Ms. Christner chronicled the entirety of Meredith’s journey to trust both God and Thatcher – it gave an authenticity to the concepts being presented and kept the story from being shallow and unremarkable. And Ms. Christner’s secondary characters Jonah Shaw, Amelia Cooper and Beatrice Bloomfield provide excellent conversations with the main characters that create further depth to Meredith and Thatcher as well as provide some funny side stories. I was also pleased to see that Ms. Christner included references to John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the conservation/preservation ideas that they espoused. I recently visited Muir Woods, home of the Pinchot Redwood, and it was neat to read this story that took place close to the areas I had toured. What a joy to see that the somewhat unpopular ideas of a few men led to the preservation of a species of tree that would most certainly be extinct given how completely logging companies stripped the land. I will be certain to recommend this book to others and will also be looking for more of Ms. Christner’s works in the near future.
There was a bonus story included by Kristin Billerbeck entitled “Strong as the Redwood”. I already own this book and am happy to write that it is one I have read multiple times. This story is well placed with “Love’s Story” as Ms. Billerbeck gives another perspective of life in the logging camp – one of a young school teacher. There are many challenges for Rachel Phillips as she begins her quest to teach the children of Searsville but none so great as town gossip. And this gossip is what will bring her and Chase Dylan together to fight for themselves and their friends. Combating the jealous and self-righteous matrons of Searsville will not be an easy task but one that will give Rachel the chance to test her faith in God for providence and support. Ms. Billerbeck has composed an excellent story and I truly enjoyed revisiting this book again.
This E-book was provided to me at no cost by Barbour Publishing/Barbour Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.