Monday, October 20, 2014

The Brickmaker's Bride by Judith Miller

Synopsis from the book
In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.
Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.
Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?

My review
This was not one of my favorite books, but it was definitely worth the read. Overall I really like seeing an Irish immigrant overcome society's pregidouses. A man of faith, hard working and doing what is right, who catches a break. It's also nice to see strong women with rich lives hold their own in business and society, who also have great faith, kindness and genuinely help others. 

Laura is repressed as well as Ewan, but in different ways. There are moments of faith interspersed that show strength of character in each. Ewan made a statement - here's part of it: " and bricks both need a slow, steady burn in order to become strong and withstand the test of time..." That to me is what this story is about.  

I was very interested to learn more about brickmaking. There were several things I didn't know about the process. You don't just scrape the clay into a mold, unmold and let it dry.  In addition to being backbreaking, there are a lot of important details and skill involved. 

This was not a quick read for me but sometimes that is exactly what you want.  It is a satisfying historical love story well worth your time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher from Bethany House - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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