My latest “relaxation” read has been To Win Her Heart by Karen Witemeyer. It seemed like a great choice: the heroine is a librarian (yes, I’ve always been a bookworm…I used to like to play librarian!), and it’s set in my home state of Texas!
The story, set in 1880s small-town Texas, follows Levi, a blacksmith looking for a fresh start after serving prison time for an unintentional crime, and Eden, the only daughter of the town founder, who runs the local lending library. Levi doesn’t fit Eden’s preconceived notions about a blacksmith at all, and Levi is afraid for anyone to discover his past, feeling that they won’t understand. The twist, of course, is what happens when Eden does discover the truth.
This is an enjoyable, sweet story. Levi and Eden’s relationship blossoms in a very unique way. Levi, although well educated, has a speech impediment that embarrasses him. As a result, their friendship and courtship develops through books and letters, which I think really adds interest to the storyline. A subplot involving a young saloon dishwasher and a quarry worker offers even further opportunity to develop the main themes. The main and supporting characters are all well-developed and likable, although I did want to knock Levi and Eden’s heads together on a couple of occasions!
Besides addressing the danger of superficial judgments and stereotypes, themes of forgiveness and acceptance are beautifully woven through the story. Ms. Witemeyer skillfully uses both humor and poignancy to create an entertaining, delightful tale of redemption and love.
This was a wonderful read and I look forward to reading more by Karen Witemeyer in the future!
Thanks so much to Bethany House Publishers for the review copy!