Saturday, March 27, 2010
Title: Abbie Ann
Author: Sharlene MacLaren
Abbie Ann Kane, the youngest of Jacob Kane's three daughters, is a busy woman. Between running the Whatnot, the family's general store, being active in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and assisting the elderly citizens of Sandy Shores, Michigan, she has little time for frivolous matters. And those include matters of the heart. When the recently divorced Noah Carson comes to town with son Toby in tow to pursue a shipbuilding business, Abbie Ann tries to keep her distance-especially when his flagrant ex-wife shows up. But God has other plans in mind
I have been not-so-patiently awaiting the arrival of this book ever since finishing book 2 in The Daughters of Jacob Kane Series. :o) Let me just get my praise for the cover out of the way. Isn't it gorgeous? All the covers in the series have been just phenomenal. The model really exemplifies the character and the boat and scenery are really beautiful.
Now for the book itself ~ I love how the author draws characters that live and breathe. I'm a character person. It doesn't matter how good your plot idea is, if the people in it aren't interesting and you don't care about them it just won't be a good story. You don't have to worry about that with this story. Jacob Kane's daughter's have all been strong, sassy and wonderfully three dimensional. Abbie Ann is no different.
She can't cook, doesn't think marriage is in her future and is bent on closing down all those dens of iniquity otherwise known as saloons. Since that pretty much makes her anti everything your normal woman is expected to be, she is sure to ruffle more than a few feathers. One of them is the man who she's been courting for nine months and the other is a mystery man who has threatened to harm her if she doesn't stop her "meddling."
Noah Carson comes into town hoping for a fresh start. He was a very successful ship builder until his wife and business partner cheated on him with each other and wanted the company instead of their child. So Noah lost everything but Toby and is working in the window business for his uncle. His wagon is run off the road and into Jacob's display window. Nobody is hurt, but Noah and Abbie Ann are drawn together in a way that neither welcome.
Noah doesn't trust women and wants to keep to himself. Abbie Ann is drawn in by both Noah and his son, but doesn't believe in divorce and knows Noah isn't a committed Christian. Throw in Abbie's beau who dislikes all her causes, refuses to help her and tries to force her to stop now ~ and an unexpected offer for Noah, a couple surprise visitors ... and there is plenty to keep this story hopping.
I liked the way both Noah and Abbie weren't perfect. Noah regretted not being a better dad and realized how carried away he got when building a ship and how that meant he wasn't giving his son his best. He even was willing to accept his part of the blame in his marital problems. He didn't suddenly become better either. It was realistic. I could see him as a real person.
Abbie was the same way. She felt more comfortable out doing her charity work than doing cooking and domestics. She worried that she wouldn't make a good wife because of it. She is stubborn but dedicated to the people and causes she feels are important. It can take quite a lot to change her mind once she's made it up, which can be unfortunate if she's come to a wrong conclusion.
The romance was bittersweet and filled with pitfalls they both had to navigate. I think the dedication they showed towards each other (in different ways and times) is part of why this was such a powerful love story. You watched as they grew individually over the course of the story - as people who were better able to understand and love each other. It was a masterful job by a terrific author.
This is one of those books I can see myself reading again. As the last daughter, I imagine it's the end of the series. I'm sad to see them go. This has been a wonderful family to read about and I thank Sharlene for sharing them with us.
Posted by Margaret Metz at 12:55 AM