A treat for fans of historical romance and of Christian women’s fiction, Blowing on Dandelions makes a great start for Miralee Ferrell’s Love Blossoms in Oregon series.
Book Description (From Publisher, David C Cook’s Web site):
Do Dandelion Wishes Actually Come True?
Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.
I’m getting a late start on reading the Love Blossoms in Oregon series, having only just now finished reading the first book, a year after its publication. But with Book 2 (Wishing on Buttercups) released this past February, a complementary novella (Forget Me Not) released in March, and Book 3 (Dreaming on Daisies) coming in October, this seemed as good a time as any to start reading the series. I’m glad that I did because Blowing on Dandelions made for a very enjoyable read, and I look forward to the chance to learn more about some familiar characters in other books in this series.
The author does a great job balancing the need to stay true to the time period (1880s Oregon) with telling a tale that appeals to present day readers. We get interesting historical details in a way that doesn’t take us out of the story. In fact, the story feels almost timeless, perhaps because of its focus on relationships and the emotions, both good and bad, accompanying them.
Besides fulfilling the expectations of a good romance (lots of obstacles, both internal and external, on the way to a satisfying happily ever after ending) this book also delves deeply into relationships beyond that between the hero and heroine. And it does so from LOTS of different viewpoints, for a multi-faceted look at those relationships. Viewpoint characters include not just Katherine Galloway (heroine) and Micah Jacobs (hero), but also the heroine’s mother, daughter, and some of the boarding house guests. While using more than a few viewpoints can risk putting distance between a reader and a story, I think in this case it adds depth to the story, sheds light on some significant misunderstandings between characters, and allows some of the less sympathetic characters to be viewed with more understanding.
Relationships dealt with in this book include those between a mother and daughter (Katherine and her domineering mother, as well as Katherine and her young daughters), between friends (relationships within Katherine’s quilting group, as well as between her mother and another strong-willed woman determined to befriend her), and … oh yeah … between a man and a woman who are each dealing with the deaths of their respective spouses and falling in love again.
It’s a complex tapestry of relationships, this author weaves, and she does a beautiful job of it. With her experience as an accredited counselor and minister to women it’s no wonder she’s able to show both helpful and challenging relationships in such a believable and realistic light. As I read and got to know the characters and their relationships better, I was drawn more and more into the story, and was pleased by the changes that took place as time went on.
Recommended reading for fans of historical romance and women’s fiction, but particularly for anyone who might be dealing with difficult family relationships, because this book takes a very hopeful look at just that kind of relationship.
Thank you to the publisher, David C Cook, for providing me with an electronic copy through NetGalley for review purposes. Opinions expressed are my own.