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Jul 4, 2012

Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

A stubborn character, will she ever see the light?
Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey
Revell, January 1, 2012
 336 pages paperback 
Review copy provided by the publisher via HNR, thank you!
Review originally posted in Historical Novels Review Magazine, May 2012
Burton Book Review Rating: 3.5 Stars

The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg-- as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.

When Royal Baxter suddenly returns to town, Faith allows herself to hope that her dreams might come true. Does he truly love her? Or could another man claim her heart? Will she find that following her dreams may not mean leaving home after all?

The characters in Where Wildflowers Bloom jump off the page and into the reader's heart. Author Ann Shorey infuses her characters with the virtues and quirks that bring them fully alive as they search for contentment and love.

Faith has little faith in herself, and her aging grandfather. They are both struggling to overcome the losses of the War Between the States, and Faith dreams of the wildflowers of Oregon. Even though Grandpa has the same painful memories of family long gone, he wants to stay in Missouri and have Faith run his mercantile store even though a woman running a business is frowned upon.

The story unfolds as Faith tries to force her wayward dream into reality, but we hope that love blooms between Curt and Faith which would hold Faith in Missouri where she belongs. However, Royal Baxter, a childhood fancy of Faith’s, returns from the war and offers Faith her childish dreams. The author meanders through this love triangle with some mystery and plenty of historical ambiances, along with Faith’s eye rolling moments. Where Faith’s character is stubborn, willful and determined, she is foolish in many of her decisions. Faith’s friend Rosemary is the wise and rational counterpart to Faith, and is shunned for being a nurse during the war. Reading of these two ladies and their struggles was engaging, and I do hope to see these characters in the next installment of the Sisters At Heart series, even if it's just to see if Faith had matured some!

Edit to add that I just learned the next novel in the series, tentatively titled When the Heart Heals, features Faith's friend Rosemary Saxon. Ann Shorey's fiction debut was in 2009 with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series.