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Posted August 15, 2013
I recently had the opportunity to read Longing for Home, Sarah M. Eden's newest book. It was so good! I wasn't familiar with Sarah Eden's books before this, but I am so excited to head to the library and read some of her other books. She has written a ton! And this one does not disappoint.
What I love about this book is that it doesn't just jump into the love story. You really get to know the characters and their situations first before their feelings start to develop. And I really like that. I especially love all the Irish history because my ancestry is Irish and it's super interesting to me to see what happened during the potato famine. That will definitely tug at your heart a bit. But I think it's necessary to learn more about Katie and what makes her who she is. I also like that she allows you to see the different character's thoughts and points of view rather it just being from Katie's view the whole time. It's mostly her, but you get a glimpse of the men as well which I found interesting.
I am so excited there's a sequel coming out in the Spring of 2014! I love that the story will continue.
Review originally posted on We Like to Learn as We Go
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Posted July 22, 2014
Posted January 21, 2014
I don't even know where to start. This book is so good. I love the characters, the setting, the story line, everything! I hope that I don't spoil anything for anyone in my review.
First the characters....There are so many great characters in this book. I will say just a few things about the ones I love the most.
Katie Macauley - She is such a beautiful creature. She is such a good person, but cannot see herself as one. She is humble, and funny..but so obviously broken about her past. She is plagued with the disappointment her horrible father put on her as a child. (Needless to say her dad is not one of my favorite people! I am glad he isn't in the book too much because regardless of circumstances a child should never feel as though they are a burden)! She is such a loving, kind, hard working and best of all kind of snarky. She is fabulous. I love her quick whit. I love her willingness to stand up to adversity and prejudice.
Tavish O'Connor - My heart melts at just the mention of his name. Eden does a fantastic job of making him such a lovable character. He is funny, kind, hard working, and (in my head) extremely handsome. He is such a gentleman. Makes me wish more men were like him. Why can't men be like they were in the old days...hehehe! Of course everything is better in a book. I love the banter between Tavish and Katie. It is so fantastic, and so funny. I love how he never gives up on Katie, and does all he can to make her feel welcome in their little town.
Joseph Archer - I don't quite know what to say other than he is an amazing man. I almost didn't like him at the beginning, but boy did he redeem himself. He was quick to judge Katie at first because she was Irish, but soon found out how wonderful she was. I love that he gives up the "corporate" life for farming. He does what he loves. He is a kind, patient, and a peace keeping man. He does all he can in a town that is divided to be as neutral as possible. He is a great father, and just an all around good guy.
Ian & Biddy O'Connor - I love this couple. They are so funny. So sweet. Biddy is such a funny character, and I love the relationship she has with Ian. I love the friendship she shows to Katie, and willingness to help her whenever she can.
There are more, but I could go on and on and on. Eden is such an amazing writer. My heart aches for Katie as she struggles to make up for what she think she did when she was just a child. I couldn't imagine being sent away and not thought of again. In the beginning I was really rooting for Joseph and Katie, but in all honesty I cannot imagine her being with anyone but Tavish now. He so obviously loves, and adores her. Is obvious that Joseph does as well. I just wish he would have been strong enough to tell her how he felt in the beginning.
The hatred that is in this book between the Irish and the "Reds" is so sad. I do not understand prejudice. I cannot understand how people can hate each other because of race, or ANYTHING...It's just so not the way it should be. Even though I cannot grasp the idea of such prejudice Eden does an amazing job of writing about it. I could "feel" the tension in this book. It made me feel tense. Even when it wasn't about the feud I could feel the underline tension everyone in the town had. I love it when a book causes me to feel such emotions.
I cannot even tell you how fabulous Katie is when she goes to church and puts the preacher in his place. I smiled from ear to ear. She doesn't take anything from anyone. I just love her.
I am quite anxious for the second book. I don't know if I am a little biased towards this book because I had the amazing opportunity to meet Sarah M. Eden at a book signing a while back, and she is such a genuine person. You could tell she loved what she does, and that she is kind. I think her passion for writing comes through in her books.
I loved everything about this book. It was sweet, funny, full of such emotion. Love, tension, humor. Just an all around good read.
Posted August 23, 2013
Posted August 17, 2013
From the first sentence, I was intrigued by the main character, Katie, and the situation she found herself in. The progression of the story felt natural, the main characters complex and interesting. I loved that I was quickly immersed in Katie's new world, discovering the West along with her and learning about Katie's past with her friends. The fact that this was not your typical western/pioneer setting I found refreshing, and I appreciated the glimpse into the history of Irish immigration in the United States--something new to me. The best aspect of the book for me--the witty conversations and playful teasing between the love interests. That chemistry, of course, is the most important part of any romance.
If I had to come up with any cons to this book, it is that I don't feel there is a true wrap-up in the end. I didn't realize it wasn't going to be a stand-alone book, so I was slightly disappointed by the ending. I realize now that there is a sequel, which I am sure will tie up those loose ends, but I feel the resolution to this book could have been tighter and still left room for the planned sequel.
Overall, Longing for Home is an enjoyable read with engaging characters and lively banter. It's a nice balance of romance and history, fluff and fact, wit and emotion. The author has a comfortable style that makes the art of writing appear deceivingly easy. I will certainly look for more of Sarah M. Eden's books...and I guess I'll have to make sure to read Longing for Home's sequel next year.
Posted August 15, 2013
Katie Macauley has need for money, and she's taken a job out West in the United States. Things are far different from her native Ireland, but she knows she can make it. Things get even more complicated once she gets there. There is a feud going on between the Irish and everyone else around. Her perspective employer doesn't want to keep his word on her job because she's Irish. He also has kids which was not in Katie's job description. There is also the matter of one persistent and sometimes annoying (yet handsome) Irish boy. This may all prove to be more than Katie can handle as she fights her past to secure a future.
I enjoyed this book. Katie was a spunky character who was still a bit haunted by past events. She had some depth and an interesting personality. Katie is torn between two men-her employer Joseph Archer and the young Irish lad who keeps coming to her rescue Tavish O'Connor. I didn't really get why she was torn, because I know who I would have picked (and she did) early on. Choose the obvious choice Katie! In any case, that for me was really just secondary to the real story of the book, the horrible prejudice against the Irish in the area.
As we revisit the past we can see things that were awful, and this type of thing is one of them. Worried that the Irish were taking over "their land," the other local townsfolk treat them horribly. The Irish are at something of a disadvantage as in Ireland many of them were also very poor and lacked the ability to better themselves. Coming to the US they hoped for a better chance at life. The other people in town don't want to give them a chance though. Katie becomes the symbol of the feud, being employed by a non-Irish man (and getting his attention) all while being very Irish herself. This hatred really just continued to grow for a long time, and honestly doesn't quite get resolved in the end. I like that. Overall I found this book to be fun in parts and frightening in others, and I think that history buffs, romance lovers, and fans of the Irish will all enjoy this book.
Book provided for review.
Posted August 12, 2013
Longing For Home is a well-written and satisfying story with endearing characters and a fascinating glimpse of Irish culture in the Old West at a time when prejudice against them prevailed throughout most of the country.
I thoroughly enjoyed Longing For Home and consider it well worth the wait. It is a deeper, more involved story than Sarah’s other books, proving that she has taken her talent for storytelling to an even higher level. The characters are dimensional and real, with histories full of struggle, survival, love, and loss. They are so well-developed I feel as if they are MY family and friends.
The dialogue is wonderful. I could “hear” Katie’s brogue simply because of the words and phrases she uses with very little, if any, phonetical spelling. I appreciate that more than I can say. The use of traditional Irish phrases is enchanting and adds a wonderful lilt to Katie’s voice in my mind. Tavish and Joseph are remarkable, hard-working men with very different personalities and situations yet with the same capacity for love and desire for peace in the community. I love them both and hope that I will get to read more about them in the future.
Experiencing the story through the point-of-view of all three main characters not only gave me a better understanding of their thoughts and motivations, it also made me care about them even more and kept me guessing about how events would unfold. I truly didn’t know how things would turn out for Katie, or even how I wanted them to turn out because I was as torn about what to do as she was. I was unsure about Katie at first, but her growth throughout her experiences in Hope Springs felt natural and I was glad to see how far she had come by the end.
Longing For Home is a must for fans of Sarah M. Eden. Readers who appreciate clean romance and quality writing will want to add this book to the top of their reading lists. Though I don’t often rate books in my reviews, I don’t hesitate to give Longing For Home an appreciative and enthusiastic five stars.
Review originally published on LDS Women's Book Review.
Posted August 9, 2013
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Sarah Eden's books!
I have read EVERY ONE of them!
I LOVE her strong female characters!
I LOVE the sweet and tender romance she includes!
I LOVE reading about the "proper way" in which one had to conduct oneself during that time.
I LOVE how positive her books are!
I just LOVE her writings!
In the past she has always had the setting be during the 1800's in England
In this book it is still 1800's, but the setting is in Wyoming, USA
A time of struggle.
A time of poverty.
A time of feuding.
Katie Maculey has traveled from Ireland to Wyoming in answer to a housekeeping job post.
She has been working and saving since she was 8-years-old in hopes of returning to her Irish roots.
When she arrives in the small Wyoming town of Hope Springs she finds herself in the middle of an ongoing feud between the Irish and the American frontiersmen.
Katie finds herself in not only a love triangle between two wonderful men, but also caught between her hopes of returning home OR staying and being the HOPE of the Irish people.
Sarah has included some "book club worthy" questions at the end of the book!
An AMAZING story that will enthrall everyone who reads it!
Posted August 8, 2013
Longing for Home is quite different from Sarah M. Eden's other stories. The Wyoming Territory and its hard working residents differ vastly from the settings and characters in Eden's Regency novels. The pace is slower, and at nearly 400 pages, it's also quite a bit longer than her other books. However, it is a touching story and has a unique love-triangle (both men involved are wonderful, and I really didn't know who she was going to pick for most of the story, or who I wanted her to pick).
The historical information included about the struggles in Ireland was eye opening, and the depiction of the hatred of the Irish immigrants was heart-wrenching. I really enjoyed the aspects of Irish culture that Eden included in this story. The ceili sounded like such a fun event.
Although I was happy with Katie's choice at the end of Longing for Home, there were several loose ends and I really wanted more. Happily, I just saw an announcement that there will be a sequel in the Spring of 2014!
If you love clean historical romance novels, don't miss Sarah M. Eden's books!
Posted August 6, 2013
Katie Macaulay arrives in New Hope Springs, WY. She is late arriving to take a job as a housekeeper, and worst of all....she is Irish. This will not do, and her new employer tells her he cannot hire her. Joseph Archer, want no part of the feud in the town between the red road and the Irish.
The story is set in 1870 Wyoming, after the Civil War, but hatred abounds. I know that I have heard in the East Coast Cities, that the Irish were looked down on, and told not to apply for jobs, but didn't realize it was in the Western US also???
Katie is a twenty-six year old woman with a lot of baggage. She feels responsible for her sister's death. She was eight when it happened, and her father hasn't spoken to her since that day. I realize that was a different time, back during the famine that hit Ireland, but, I did have a problem with the guilt that was thrown on a child.
There are two men in the story who hope to win Katie's heart, will she be open enough to accept one? Or will she have to go back to Ireland, to help heal her wounds? I found myself routing for one of the fellows, and then the other.
Katie also has helped the Irish community in this story, but if she leaves will the Irish be driven out of the area, loosing all they have once again?
Such injustice, and the book ends with questions unanswered. I can't wait for the next book in this series, of course, we all want peace and harmony, but will that happen in the future?
Get ready for a great read, and you won't be disappointed!
I received this book through Net Galley, and was not required to give a positive review.
Posted July 23, 2013
This book is in the Proper Romance genre by Shadow Mountain. There are 2 other books in this set at this time, Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson and Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson. The books are unrelated in story, but they are clean romance.
I love this book. The struggles of immigrants is an interesting topic to take on in a romance. I like having that as a conflict as well as any inter-personal issues. I like learning more about the Irish culture as well.
There are a lot of layers to the main character and Sarah M. Eden reveals them slowly. And, the main character opens herself up to different people in the book so not all of them have the whole picture of this new woman in town. It is interesting to get to know this woman and who she is becoming in this new environment with new friends.
The romance in this story is somewhat predictable in parts, but then Sarah M. Eden adds a twist. This book ends somewhat in the middle of a larger tale and will have another book to continue the story and the romance. I look forward to reading more about this cast of characters.
Warnings: Violence and bullying between different cultures, nothing graphic.
I would let my 15 year old read this story.
Posted March 7, 2014
No text was provided for this review.