Monday, July 22, 2013

About the Book (from Bethany House)

"Emmalyne Knox has always loved Tavin MacLachlan. But when tragedy strikes her family, Emmalyne's father declares she can no longer marry. Despite Tavin's pleas to defy the decision, Emmalyne refuses. In her act of obedience, she gives up the future she'd always dreamed of.

When Emmalyne's father returns to the quarry business years later, Tavin and Emmalyne meet again. And though circumstances have changed in both of their lives, they cannot deny the feelings that still exist. Can Emmalyne find a way to heal the decade-long wound that has fractured the two families...and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of true love?"

Amber's Review

Peterson's attention to detail and her sweet descriptions of the setting and characters can make this a pleasant read, especially for her loyal fans and those interested in a quiet story about changes of heart and a love that lasts through adversity. Her writing is smooth, and I appreciated that about The Quarryman's Bride

However, this was not a favorite of mine out of the books I've read by Peterson or out of the genre in general. The story is so quiet, descriptive of simple things like everyday chores, and a little stilted in dialogue that it tends to drag and lacks the excitement of some of her other premises. The "suspense" element is hardly there to add any tension, and what little there is (pertaining to unions) is hardly explained or dealt with in a satisfactory way. The twist with a character who is suffering from a mental illness or emotional breakdown, if you will, is one that has been explored in this genre of late through stories about insane asylums, but - while adding a different sort of tension and challenge to the characters - is more of a side story that doesn't have much emotional impact despite the sorrow of the situation.

Certain characters did appeal to me, especially Dr. Williams, who was quite thoughtful and gracious. Unfortunately, that contrasted sharply with Tavin's selfishness, and Tavin's character did not win me over. I think it might have helped to have been given more of a glimpse into how much Tavin and Emmalyne loved each other in their childhood and teen years...but, as it was, I just did not understand why they had seen each other as "soul mates," especially given Tavin's reaction to Emmalyne's decision in chapter one. I mean, seriously? Of course, they were young, but the fact that his feeling of being affronted by Emmalyne's choice persisted over the many years they were apart aggravated me. He couldn't seem to look beyond himself to see how others might be feeling or to sacrifice as Emmalyne had been willing to do, and at least a hint of that self-centered attitude remained, in my opinion, throughout the whole book.

As for Emmalyne, it's nice to meet a heroine whose faith is an integral part of her character, and who struggles with how to live out her faith in difficult relationships. However, the story does occasionally get rather "preachy," and the swiftness of big heart-changes does seem to be portrayed more conveniently rather than authentically.

When I was younger, I especially enjoyed Peterson's "Yukon Quest" series, and I recall liking a few of her other books more than this one. If you've never read one of Peterson's books before, I might recommend starting with something other than The Quarryman's Bride. But if you're a big fan of her work, you might enjoy it more than I did. As it was, this one just didn't leave a great impression on me, and it came across as a book lacking passion and an engaging plot.

*With thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

  • The Quarryman's Bride is available on!


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