Author Serena Miller has written a beautiful romantic tale set at a time when our country was trying to heal form it's greatest division, the Civil War. "The Measure of Katie Calloway" is filled with healing, hope and some wonderfully strong character's.
The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.
With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cookstove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.
This story is deep. There are prevailing theme's of forgiveness and healing. Ms. Miller handles the very difficult topic of domestic violence with a deft and grace filled pen. Katie's character arc is spun gracefully like a silken thread, incredibly strong and stunningly beautiful. I was pulled into her gentle heart from page one and couldn't wait to see where the author was going to go with the story. Enter one handsome and well respected hero, Robert Foster, who is dealing with his own tragedies, and you have a story filled with inspiration and hope.
The lumber camp acts as a third character in this novel. The historical aspects are fascinating. I was intrigued by the setting and the secondary character's just made me smile. Their camaraderie and intense work ethic make my heart sing. I wanted to be there working with them, singing, laughing. Ms. Miller made it seem very real. This is a quick read and I would love to see a sequel just to see what happens to a few of the lumberjacks. Job well done Ms. Miller!
Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Labels: On My Bookshelf