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Her Good Name
     

Her Good Name

4.4 16
by Ruth Axtell
 

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In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron’s son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father’s business empire.

Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of

Overview

In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron’s son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father’s business empire.

Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but “one of those Estradas," Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter  how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.

When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802406279
Publisher:
Moody Publishers
Publication date:
07/24/2012
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
955,052
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

Her Good Name

a novel
By RUTH AXTELL

Moody Publishers

Copyright © 2012 Ruth Axtell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8024-0627-9


Chapter One

HOLLISTON, MAINE, JUNE 1892

Why are you in such deep thought, Brenty?"

Espy Estrada stepped from behind the thick trunk of an elm tree, blocking Warren Brentwood's path.

He jerked to a stop. Embarrassed at being startled, then annoyed at being embarrassed, Warren only managed a stiff nod. "Hello, Espy."

"Hello yourself, Warren." She planted one slim hand on her hip, leaned a shoulder forward. Amusement lit the depths of her thickly lashed eyes, her irises an unusual shade like umber, halfway between amber and brown.

The sunshine dappled her smooth skin through the tall elms shading the road. "What's the matter, cat got your tongue?"

Her lips curved upward as if she knew exactly how distracting her smile was and would use the knowledge to her advantage. Such straight white teeth—for someone who'd grown up in the shanty town in the outlying district of Holliston, Warren would expect her to have lost one or two by now. Against her tawny skin, they shone all the more vividly.

"Where did you come from?"

"I was here all along. You sure seemed lost in thought. What were you thinking about?"

He swallowed, resisting the urge to step back a pace. Lately, their paths seemed to cross often. Since he'd returned to Holliston a few weeks ago, every time he ran into her—or she into him—it struck him forcefully what a young woman she'd become from the little barefoot girl in her faded calico dress sitting in the front row of the one-room schoolhouse they'd once attended.

Instead of replying to her question, he asked his own. "What are you doing on Elm Street?" It certainly wasn't anywhere near her part of town.

If his pointed question ruffled her, she didn't show it. Thrusting out her bottom lip slightly, she focused her large, deep-set eyes at him.

"I have an ap-point-ment here this afternoon." She enunciated the syllables as if to stress the importance of the event.

"Do you?" He couldn't help the surprise in his tone.

She nodded, a saucy look in her eyes. He noted the soft curve of her cheek. It was golden, showing the Portuguese origin on her father's side, unlike the fashionable peaches and cream women of his acquaintance. It complemented her hair, which was gathered in a loose chignon, tendrils curved like glossy serpents against the slim neck. Her straw bonnet had fallen back, held only by the ribbon pulling against her collarbone.

He noticed her outfits hadn't changed much, although what was inside them definitely had. He quickly averted his gaze, disconcerted by the direction of his thoughts.

With an abrupt nod, he made a move as if to walk past her. "If you'll excuse me, Miss Estrada, I was on my way back to the office."

"I love it when you call me Miss Estrada, all stiff and starchy like. Is that the voice you use all day in your office, sitting behind the great big desk at the mill?"

He stared at her, wondering what she meant by her words. Before he could think of a suitable rejoinder, she matched her steps to his, swinging her bare arms on either side of her. He couldn't help a quick glance up the street, to see who was about.

What an incongruous couple they would make, he in his suit—her description of "starchy" came back to him—and she ... he let his eyes stray once more over her silhouette, in a dark blue cotton skirt and gingham blouse with elbow-length sleeves. He glanced downward, surprised she wasn't barefoot, the way she'd run around in summer as a girl. But dusty lace-up boots were visible beneath the hem of her petticoat.

"Aren't you curious where I'm going?"

He picked up his pace to make it clear he had no time or inclination to stand about making small talk. Instead of answering with a decisive "no," and ridding himself of her once and for all, he found himself saying, "Where are you going?"

"The Stocktons."

His eyes widened. George Stockton was a professor at the local high school academy.

"That's right." She clasped her hands behind her. From the scrawny, underfed looking girl of eight or so, she had grown into a tall, willowy woman.

A flush crept up his neck.

"Mrs. Stockton might hire me," she continued.

"I see." Of course, a position as maid.

"What is that supposed to mean, 'I see'?" She mimicked his tone.

Had he really sounded so pompous? The mimicry after the description of "stiff and starchy" rankled.

"I assumed it meant Mrs. Stockton might wish to hire you to help her around the house."

The dancing light disappeared from her eyes and her mouth pouted. He averted his gaze and forced himself to focus on what she was saying.

"I overheard her talking to Mrs. Ellison the other day at Watt's Clothing. She told Mrs. Ellison that Annie had up and left her and she needed a girl to help clean and do the heavier work." Her smile reappeared. "So, I'm going to quit my job at the cannery and go to work for the Stocktons. Mrs. Stockton said I could dust her husband's library."

The professor, a history teacher, had a well-stocked library. Warren had borrowed many a book throughout his high school years. "That should certainly keep you busy."

"Maybe he'll let me read some of his books."

He raised his eyebrows a fraction. "Do you like to read?" Espy had been a few years behind him in grammar school, so he hadn't paid much attention to her. When he'd gone off to the high school academy, his world had no longer overlapped hers.

"I adore reading! But I don't have much of a chance to get my hands on books. That's one of the reasons I'm interested in working at the Stocktons'."

She had been a bright student in grammar school from the little he recalled. He frowned. "Doesn't the cannery pay better?"

"Yes, but pay isn't everything."

The words, coming from her, gave him pause. "I would think the pay you bring home from the cannery would help your mother to a great degree. Don't you have quite a few brothers and sisters still in school?"

He'd never been able to keep track of all the Estradas. There always seemed to be a new one entering school each fall, the younger ones trailing after the older ones.

"Six are in school, Alvaro and Angela are all finished, and the two youngest are still home.

Warren's mind swirled at the list. "How many are you in all?"

She lifted her pert chin. "Eleven."

He tried to think of something to say. "What are the oldest doing these days?"

"Angela's at the cannery. Between us working different shifts, she and Mama and I are able to look after the younger ones. Alvaro's looking for work." Espy glanced sidelong at him. "Maybe he could work at Brentwood sawmills."

He nodded, his interest waning. Most able-bodied young men ended up employed at the mills if they weren't fishermen. "Sure, just tell him to apply."

"I thought maybe you could put in a good word for him, you know, since your dad put you in charge now."

"We'll see." He took out his watch and glanced at it. Father was a stickler for punctuality. "Well, Miss Estrada, I really must be getting along."

"What's your hurry?" She plucked at her bonnet ribbon, drawing his focus to her collarbone. "You always seem to be in such a rush."

His irritation growing, he raised an eyebrow. "Don't you have an appointment? I shouldn't think you'd want to keep Mrs. Stockton waiting."

Espy shrugged. "Mrs. Stockton said to drop by any time this afternoon."

"I, on the other hand, have to be back at the office at one, so if there's nothing in particular you wished to see me about—" he lifted his hat from his head an inch and then set it back down, in the exact gesture he'd seen his father use hundreds of times when he wished to cut short an encounter without appearing rude, and finding the same inflection in his tone as he parroted his father's words "—I shall bid you goodbye—"

Before the words were completely out of his mouth, she smiled. "That's all right; we can walk a few minutes."

"As you wish." The words came out clipped.

As they continued walking, Espy chattered on about the people and goings on of Holliston while he'd been away, so happy to have a few minutes in Warren Brentwood's company.

At the bend in the road before the bridge, Espy stopped and smiled at Warren. "Maybe we'll run into each other again tomorrow."

"Perhaps." With a brief tip of his hat, he left her, his long stride carrying him toward the bridge.

His one-word reply was neither encouraging nor discouraging. She'd have to content herself that he hadn't said no.

She watched Warren a few moments longer, disappearing onto the covered bridge spanning that portion of the river. If anything, Warren Brentwood had grown handsomer than she'd remembered him. She'd always admired him from afar, as a high school star whose athletic achievements matched his scholarly accomplishments, making him the most lauded student in the community.

Of course, she had never gotten as far as high school. Around that time, her dad had been injured, and as the eldest child, Espy had had to go to work at the cannery to help out.

But she'd watched Warren on the ball field and read about him in the Holliston News.

Those years away at college had only broadened his already broad shoulders and deepened the hue of his green eyes. It had certainly added ... she searched her mind for an adequate word and couldn't come up with any. But he seemed more a man than any of the local men his age. Her mother would say, "He's a looker."

Espy knew there was more to Warren Brentwood than good looks. He not only had a good head on his shoulders, but he had a heart. She remembered his kindnesses to younger children in grammar school days. He was a leader; others followed the good example he set. And he was no sissy. He'd beat up any boy who dared tease a girl or bully a younger child.

But each time she had encountered him since his return home, his manner was either excessively reserved or he was rushing off somewhere. Had the time at a fancy private college and a couple of years traveling to all parts of the globe turned him into a replica of his father? She certainly hoped not.

Fiddling with her bonnet ribbon, she wondered how Warren remembered her. A skinny, young girl in pigtails? Well, she planned to make sure Warren Brentwood noticed how much she had changed in the intervening years.

She smoothed down the front of her skirt with a nod of satisfaction. She'd come a long way from that girl. A knot of doubt formed in her stomach. Could Warren see the attractive woman behind the faded work clothes? She was prettier than most girls of her acquaintance. She checked her thoughts. Forgive my vain thoughts, Lord, but I know it's true. I just hope Warren notices. With neither money nor education, her looks were one of her few assets, and she knew she had to use them to advantage while they lasted.

She started, realizing she was still standing gawking down the empty road. If she didn't go to her appointment, she'd never get the job and then could forget about running into Warren Brentwood again.

With a pat to her hair, she turned her attention to the white mansion standing back from the rising swath of bright green, neatly clipped grass. Not a dandelion leaf in sight, she noted, comparing it to her own front yard.

As she approached the picket fence, Espy straightened her apron at the waist and uttered a last minute prayer. You know how badlyIwant it, God. Taking a deep breath, feeling like Scheherazade preparing to tell her story to the king in the tattered copy of The Arabian Nights she'd read in school, she unhitched the latch of the white picket fence.

The gate opened silently. Clicking it shut with trembling fingers, she turned and proceeded up the flagstone path to the front door. Shiny black rectangular shutters were evenly spaced at each of the eight windows of the equally rectangular white clapboard structure. Window boxes spilling over with brightly colored petunias and geraniums were the only nongeometric form, like splashes of paint against a bleached white canvas.

It had once been a sea captain's mansion, built on the bluff overlooking the river. For the last few years it had been occupied by the professor and his wife. Standing before the black door, Espy took a deep breath before grasping the brass knocker. She let it fall with a thud. After a moment, she wondered if she should knock again.

Before she could decide, the door swung open and Mrs. Stockton herself appeared in the shadowy entrance hall. She was a middle-aged woman of medium height and build, with nondescript brown hair pulled back in a careless bun. She smiled at Espy. "There you are. I was expecting you. Come in."

Espy bobbed her head. "Thank you, Mrs. Stockton. I came as soon as I cleared up the dinner dishes at home."

"I understand. Well, come out of that hot sun. It's a scorcher today, isn't it? It's a good thing we live on the river. It never gets too hot inside here with the breeze blowing in through the back porch."

Espy stepped inside, welcoming the coolness. It must have been at least ten degrees lower than the unshaded portions of the street.

She glanced about her, falling in love immediately. There was something so restful and elegant about this old house with its wide, uneven floorboards covered in soft carpets. A bouquet of flowers sat in a shiny copper pitcher in the entry. Not wildflowers like she picked, but a variety of garden flowers.

Espy followed Mrs. Stockton down the hallway bisecting the house, glimpsing a tall case clock with brass pendulum and weights, dark wood cabinets, tables topped by curious ornaments, and gilt-framed paintings on papered walls. She barely had time to note these things before they entered a sunny kitchen at the rear of the house.

"Please, have a seat, Esperanza."

"Espy, please."

"Espy?"

"Everyone calls me that," she said with a smile. "Since I was a girl."

"Very well, Espy it shall be."

Mrs. Stockton's features were mild, her skin pale. She reminded Espy a little of her mother, though clearly this woman wasn't as careworn.

"I am so glad you heard of my need for a girl of all work. This is a large house, too much for me alone. I am not always well, you know. We have a cook and a handyman, but I need a good strong girl to do the daily housework."

Espy smiled, growing more confident. "I'm your girl then."

Mrs. Stockton went on to detail some of her health problems and Espy made sympathetic noises and nodded her head. She'd learned to do that with Mama every time she complained of something. "You just show me what needs doing and you don't have to worry, it'll get done. I've got the energy of two people, my mama always says."

"That is exactly the kind of person I need. Let me take you around and tell you what I would like you to do. You may start today if you will. The downstairs rooms need dusting something awful. I will introduce you to Mr. Stockton. He is home for the summer, you know, with school out. But he spends a good deal of time in his study."

Espy nodded, impressed by a gentleman who would have his own room just to study.

They toured the ground floor rooms of the large house, Espy oohing and aahing at each one, which seemed to please her new employer. Last of all, Mrs. Stockton gave a soft knock on the only closed door.

At the masculine voice bidding them enter, she opened it and ushered Espy in. "Dear, I would like you to meet Espy. She is replacing Annie as our new housemaid. I hope you will let her dust in here this afternoon."

Mr. Stockton looked up from a large slant-top desk. Espy recognized him from church and the academy although she'd never attended the school. It was a private high school in East Holliston. Even though Holliston had boasted its own high school since mid-century, the academy had existed since colonial times, and was where the Brentwoods and other lumber barons sent their sons and daughters to board.

Espy was in awe of Mr. Stockton as a scholar. He and his wife had only lived in Holliston a few years but had quickly gained the community's respect. He was considered an authority on history and his wife was admired for her civic work on various committees and charities.

He rose as soon as the two women entered and held out his hand. "Hello, Miss Esperanza, how do you do?"

He was in his forties, Espy would judge, with short cropped brown hair a shade darker than his wife's, and mutton-chop whiskers and moustache enhancing the strong planes of his face.

Grayish-blue eyes smiled down into hers.

She found herself blushing at the intent way he was looking at her. "Oh, please, it's just Espy. Everyone calls me that."

"Well, then, Espy it is. Welcome to our home. I hope you will find the job rewarding."

"I know I will." Her eyes couldn't help roaming over the books lining the walls. "It looks like a real library in here."

He followed her gaze. "Do you like to read?"

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Her Good Name by RUTH AXTELL Copyright © 2012 by Ruth Axtell. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


RUTH AXTELL has published 13 romances under the name Ruth Axtell Morren with Steeple Hill/Love Inspired Books. She will have a single title regency out in March 2013 for Baker/Revell Books. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish, Czech and Afrikaans. She was a Golden Heart finalist in 1994. Her second published book, Wild Rose, was a Booklist ¿Top Ten Christian Fiction¿ selection in 2005. She is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America). Ruth studied comparative literature at Smith College with a concentration in French and English literature, and spent her junior year in Paris. Since then she has lived in the Netherlands and the Canary Islands. Shortly after college, she committed her life to Christ. Fourteen years later, she committed her writing to Him. Currently, Ruth lives on the down east coast of Maine with her three children and two cats. She enjoys the challenge of vegetable and flower gardening in a cool, foggy climate, long walks, reading and doing historical research for her novels.

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Her Good Name 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
gramsbird More than 1 year ago
Ruth Axtell has created wonderful characters that you will love from the beginning and keep you reading to see how they find their happily ever after.
VickiS777 More than 1 year ago
A solid "clash of culture" story between a Portuguese maid and a wealthy young businessman. Very enjoyable!
SusanVaughan More than 1 year ago
Ruth Axtell's HER GOOD NAME offers the classic romantic conflict of class differences, set in 1892 Maine, with fresh twists and strong characters. Espy Estrada gave up her education to help support her mother and brood of siblings but longs to better herself. Warren Brentwood has returned from college to run his father's lumber business but feels unfulfilled. The two have been childhood friends and are now drawn together by circumstances and emotional connection but neither believes a future is possible. Lies and the resulting censure drive them apart and drive Espy from her hometown. Both Espy and Warren struggle with their faith and with their futures. Rich descriptions of the settings and deft characterizations of secondary characters as well as the protagonists further enrich this emotional and page-turning story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable read.
Shay14 More than 1 year ago
As the back of the book implies, lies and secrets can truly spoil a woman's good name. This story is about a woman who, in the face of disgrace, finds herself and her God. Ruth Axtell does an excellent job telling Espy and Warren's story. Her historical accuracy about how society was during that time period lent the story a deeper air.  I loved Espy's character. She is one of those people who is just genuinely happy, despite the circumstances. I admire that in her, and even when she was faced with difficulties, she kept her head up. Warren lends a new depth to the typical "male heir" character. Throughout the story, you can really see him struggle with what he was "born" to do and what the Lord is calling him to do. The emotions of each character were raw, which made the story more heartfelt. Both characters had to learn to come to know the Lord on a whole new level. Espy struggled to escape the harshness and stigma of society. Yet, when she turned to the Lord for help, she found newness and cleanliness were with her all along. Warren's struggle to overcome what was expected of him and TRULY understand what God had in mind for him was inspiring.  Overall, I loved this book. If you're looking for a deep, heartfelt book about overcoming obstacles to find the grace and love of God, this is it! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Moody Publisher Blogging program in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.*
mattidw More than 1 year ago
Her Good Name by Ruth Axtell was a fun book to read.  The book was a little slow in the beginning but after I was in a few chapters I didn't want to put the book down.  I felt bad for Espy through most of the book because of how people treated her just because where she lived and how she was judged because of the things her father did.  If you love historical fiction you will love this book. FTC: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
BethLove More than 1 year ago
Espy Estrada lives in Holliston Maine at the turn of the 19th century. Born to a low class family Espy desperately desires to further her poor education. She enthusiastically accepts a job as a house maid for a local professor and his wife, she is thrilled with the opportunity to learn from the professor's wealth of knowledge and extensive library but eventually the professor seems to be noticing more than just Espy's aptitude for learning. When rumors begin flying concerning the much respected Mr. Stockton, Espy's reputation is ruined before she even knows what has happened. She is determined that everything will be figured out and her reputation restored but then her own beau Warren, a wealthy and respected young man of society who has eyes only for Espy loses all faith in her she gives up and leaves town without an explanation. Will the truth ever be revealed or will her chances at true love and her good name ever be the same? I thought this book looked boring! Imagine my surprise when I was absolutely hooked about 10 pages into the story!! I would highly recommend this book as a Historical Fiction/ Historical Romance! Usually I'm not really that into romance novels but I have to say Ruth Axtell threw me for a loop on this one! I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review!
GenuineWithdrawal More than 1 year ago
 Her Good Name is a cute romance, but it takes a while. The book takes a long time to get to the point that the summary on the back of the book talks about. It took about two hundred pages to get there and it just dragged out. Also, reading those first two hundred pages made me really uncomfortable because the way Espy's flaws are drawn out makes me feel put on the spot. I nearly decided to skip the parts, because I couldn't stand it. It took me the longest amount of time just to get the courage to keep moving through the book. However, I get embarrassed easily, and any situation the character finds themselves in reflects onto me.      Once you got past that, I felt like the book really wrapped up quickly. I wanted to enjoy the characters transformations, but it kind of just drifted and skipped past those parts. It was like bang and then two month later she has experienced growth. I wanted to experience that growth with them. Also, that drifting and skipping is always super obvious, which leaves you in the dust. Sometimes just above the first paragraph in a new chapter will have a date. You need to watch those to know where things fit along the timeline.       Other than that, I enjoyed the ending. I liked the spiritual aspects of it. It showed the differences in ministries and types of ministers. I wasn't so comfortable with the hypocritical aspects that came with some of the characters in terms of ministry, as I liked to see through rose colored glasses, but it did cast a realistic glow over those parts of the book. 
Moonpie72 More than 1 year ago
Her Good Name is more than just a superbly entertaining novel; it holds spiritual truths that are important to remember.  Social boundaries were heavily drawn even in the late 1800’s when this story takes place.  The wealthy worked hard to keep their group elite and unspotted by those of lesser means.  This is the situation Espy Estrada and Warren Brentwood found themselves in. Espy was a beautiful and intelligent daughter of an American mother and Portuguese fisherman.  She had her 11 siblings lived in poverty.  After an accident her father had developed a serious drinking problem to the point he was rarely at home.  It fell to Espy and her older sister to support the family.  Her dreams for an education had been cut short.   Warren on the other hand came from a wealthy family that had given him the best education possible.  They had his life planned out to take over the family business and marry the girl (of course an aristocrat) of their choice.  He had been taught since he was young that this was his destiny. Although he felt obligated to comply with his parent’s wishes, he was made of a different cloth than his family.  He was kind and compassionate and saw value in people no matter what their station.  Espy had liked him since they attended grammar school together many years ago.  He had just returned to their hometown from college and she finds ways to run into him on a daily basis.  Warren is shocked at the beautiful young woman she has become and the strange affect being near her brings.  They are suddenly thrown together when their pastor asks Warren to start a youth group to bring young people back into the church and proposes Espy be his assistant.  They become very excited about bringing both the wealthy and the working class together not only to learn God’s Word but also to help the poor in the community. Alas, trying to combine the two social groups is like mixing oil and water.  In spite of the difficulties, Espy’s enthusiasm, energy, and positive attitude are encouraging and impressive to Warren.   His family is very upset at him having any type of interaction with her.  He becomes torn between his growing feelings for her and his family’s expectations.   Espy feels she is moving up in the world when Mrs. Stockton, the wife of a respected local high school professor hires her on as housekeeper.  Espy knows Mr. Stockton has a large library and hopes to be able to read some of his books.  Unfortunately the professor has other motives and his wife catches him making inappropriate advances on Espy.  Rather than tell the truth they spread lies  about her and she becomes shunned by the entire town including Warren.  She can stand it no more and moves to a nearby town where she lives with a missionary and his wife.  God begins to work in both their lives in amazing ways. The author beautifully illustrates truths in God’s Word warning us not to judge others by how things appear.  I loved Espy’s strength in facing such condemnation and as she grew spiritually, allowing God to defend her good name.  I admired Warren’s strength in choosing to please God no matter who he might displease, even those closest to him. Two scriptures that this story brought to mind were: No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.  Isaiah 54:17 And of course, A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold. Proverbs 22:1 I was also very impressed that although this was a romance novel, it was written very clean and purely.  An excellent book! "I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of this review."
SweetPea_3 More than 1 year ago
A working class girl in the late 1800s falls for a wealthy lumber baron's son from a higher social class, Warren has newly returned from travelling abroad and is preparing to take over the family lumber business. One Sunday afternoon after church the pastor asks him to start up a young peoples group and suggests that Espy help him. they become good friends until her good name is smeared around town and Warren believes the rumours. Epsy runs off to a nearby town, trying to forget about Warren. He finds she's had an effect on him as well and is unable to forget about her. Class distinction and family duty stand between them. How could anything more happen? I loved how Ruth Axtell wove this enchanting tale, not rushing through but definitely keeping my interest with all the new situations and difficulties that arise. For both characters there is the tension between doing what is expected of you by your family and doing what you feel God is calling you to do. This is especially difficult for Warren. He feels he has no choice but to aqiesse to his family's hopes and plans. Espy, for her part, isn't content to work the rest of her life at the cannery or some other job where her brain isn't an asset. Nor is she going to marry someone with no ambition beyond the small borders of the seedy neighbourhood she lives in. Once Espy leaves town things get very interesting. God is working in mysterious ways and the ending seems organic and entirely possible, but definitely unexpected. There are much deeper ideas woven into this story than in any typical Christian romance. Ruth Axtell is one of my new favourite authors and I will be watching for her next book. I would certainly recommend this book! I received a copy of this book from Moody Publishers for the purpose of an honest review. My opinion is my own. Thank you Moody Publishers.
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bride03 More than 1 year ago
Once again, Ruth Axtell doesn't disappoint! I ordered Her Good Name in advance because Ruth is one of my favorite authors of Christian Romance. The first book I've read of hers was Winter Is Past. After that I was hooked. I haven't read them all yet but I'm getting there. Sort of pacing myself cuz once I've read them all I will be very sad. Anyway, Her Good Name was a wonderful Christian Romance. One thing I can always count on in Ruth's stories is that it's a learning experience. And her stories always feel so real to me - like I'm right there in the same room listening to the conversation. Everything flows so nicely. At first I didn't care for the hero but as the story took shape, and his life experiences were revealed, I began to understand and like him much better. I loved Espy from the beginning. She seems so sure of herself in some areas but naive and inexperienced in others. They both grew up and matured throughout the story and came together beautifully in the end. I give this story 4 stars because if I give every book 5 stars then I leave no room for improvement on those special books like Winter Is Past!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The description isn't clear, but you only get 31 of 352 pages. Get the full book