Author: Tamera Alexander
Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Historic, Inspirational
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: March 25th 2014
Paperback: 471 pages
Plain, practical Eleanor Braddock knows she will never marry, but with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America–and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path–building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor.
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes/ AS work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground–and a love neither of them expects. But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.
This book is amazing and inspirational. Eleanor is plain in looks but beautiful in heart. She worked in a surgical tent during the war and listened to a man’s dying whisper. Since then she has been carrying the soldiers words and handkerchief, and tries to find his widow. After the war and impoverished, Eleanor moves to her aunt’s home and sends her ailing father to an institute. Then we have Marcus. An Archduke of Austria, except that no one knows that he is royalty. In Nashville he is an architect and a gardener. He wants to spend his life building beautiful buildings and trying to find a potato that is not rotted. When Eleanor and Marcus meet their lives change for the better. They are absolutely amazing characters that has so much heartache and pain in their lives, but they do not let that stop them from doing great things. They befriend each other and many other people and help to change others lives for the better.
I feel that many women could understand and connect with Eleanor because she is very unsure with herself. But she does not let that stop her from doing what she wants to do. As time moves on she starts to wonder what God has in store for her. Slowly she begins to understand her role in this life and maybe hopefully find love with those all around. Love of life, love of hope, and love of friendship and family.
It did take overly long to get to the true depth of the story but once you get there you will not regret it. So although you might want to put the book down and stop, Don’t! Keep on reading and I do not think you will regret it. I hope this book will inspire you as much as it has inspired me.
Many THANKS to Bethany House for giving me this book to read in exchange of an honest review. I really enjoyed reading this story about Eleanor!