All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe

by Josi S. Kilpack

Paperback(First Edition)

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Overview

All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe by Josi S. Kilpack


When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet's sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.

Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed-being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman's life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband's heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.

Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.

Can their love endure, especially after "I do"? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629723419
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Series: Proper Romance Historical Series
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 264,315
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author


Josi S. Kilpack is the author of twenty-five novels, including A Culinary Mystery series and several titles in A Proper Romance series and A Historical Proper Romance series. Her novel A Heart Revealed was a 2015 Publishers Weekly Best Romance Book of the Year. She and her husband, Lee, are the parents to four children.

Read an Excerpt


"I want to marry Calvin. I want to be his partner, and I want to be a mother," Hattie said.

"And waste your gifts-I know," Catharine said.

Hattie turned around to face her sister, struck by the caustic reply despite having braced herself for it. "Do you truly believe that becoming a wife and mother puts to waste what God has given me? Have we not taught any number of young women to embrace their God-given roles?"

"Because a husband and children are all they have to look toward for security," Catharine said.

"Are you certain that you are not simply envious that I am to have those roles after all?"
Catharine's neck turned red, and her jaw tightened. "I envy nothing you have, Hattie, except for the working of your mind. I am disappointed that you are giving up your writing, your potential, and your influence for what any other woman without such intellect and education could do in your place."

"I am not giving up any of those things! Mr. Stowe is proud of what I have accomplished already and promises to help me meet my potential, not hinder my progression."

Catharine was shaking her head before Hattie finished. "There is boundless irony in such a promise," she said, raising a hand to massage her temple. "The very things so attractive to him will be lost, mark my words."

"They will not."

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All That Makes Life Bright: The Life and Love of Harriet Beecher Stowe 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Old_Tome More than 1 year ago
This is the third book I've read written by Josi S. Kilpack that brings readers real romances of historical, well-known authors. After reading each one, I've looked forward to the next. The constraints of writing about real people with well-documented histories make it so these books don't read like a typical historical romance, but they aren't meant to. Instead, they are a glimpse into the past and the struggles and experiences that molded creative minds--a peek behind the curtain of greatness. I admit that it took me a little longer to read All that Makes Life Bright than most of the stories I read, but books that make me think and re-evaluate my priorities, cultures, and beliefs generally do. Well-written and thought-provoking, this book is well worth the time. So many thoughts occurred to me while I read. How grateful I am to have modern conveniences that give me time to pursue writing and reading while I take care of my family and home--appliances and grocery stores that allow me to even read and review. I am blessed to live at a time where I have a voice as a married woman--and that I've never had to know any differently. And to live at a time when we've come so far in overcoming slavery in our nation made me proud to read about the author behind a book that helped affect that change. It was interesting to me not to read about the why Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote what she did (though I loved that as well), but the how it came to pass. Just as applicable today was the discussion between Hattie and her father about what is important work and what is frivolous, as well as the difference between pride and gifts and how to use them. In addition, I appreciated the wisdom Katherine shared with Hattie about finding balance, and there being a time and season. In all, another great book by Josi S. Kilpack.
quibecca More than 1 year ago
ACTUALLY 6 STARS!!! I have so much love for the Proper Romance books, and this one is no exception. Kilpack's writing makes me want to weep....in a good way. She just grabs you right from the beginning, and brings you into the world of the books she writes. The writing is beautiful. The historical setting is awesome. I just don't think I can say enough good things about this book. I like that Kilpack has taken on writing about Historical Figures in a few of her novels, it just brings them to life for me. This book especially. I am embarrassed to admit this, but I didn't know anything about Harriet Beecher Stowe. I have heard of her books, but I guess I just never connected the author to the person. Does that make sense? This book brought this amazing character right to my front room, while she lived her life in my head. Harriet, is a talented and intellectual woman. When she starts dating Calvin, he admits that her intellect is what endeared her to him. Harriet found herself moving on to the world of being a wife. She thought this would just make everything in her life just "that much" better. Harriet's sister Catherine did not see it that way. She thought Harriet was wasting her life getting married just to be "ruled" by a man. Catherine believed teaching and writing were what Harriet's true calling in life. I could never have lived in these times when women seem to just be door mats. I appreciated the fact that when Harriet first got married she didn't fall under the "typical" wife during that time. Although she found herself struggling to meet the "requirements" of being a wife, and now, after only being married a few short months, a new mom. As I journeyed with Harriet and her struggles, and triumphs I felt as though I was living her life. That is how good Kilpack's writing is for me. I felt her pain as she struggled to fulfill her duties to be a wife, writer, artist, and mother. I felt her triumphs. I felt her sadness. Harriet and Calvin's marriage is not an easy one, but it is one that is worth reading about. I have to admit at the beginning I really disliked Calvin, but as the book goes on, I came to realize what a really wonderful man he was. It just took him some time to figure it out as well. If you like historical romances with historical figures :)....you will love this book. Kilpack is an amazing writer. Her stories play out as movies while I read them. I yell, cry, and walk away with frustration at times, because that is how "real" her characters become to me. Such a great book. Source: I was given this book as part of a blog tour. I was not compensated in any way for this review. These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm one of those readers out there that knew very little about Harriet Beecher Stowe.  I knew she was an early American author, but that was it.  So I began this book with no expectations, other than I expect good things from author Josi S. Kilpack. This book is one of Shadow Mountain's A Proper Romance, and I was delighted to be allowed to receive an ARC. One of the things I enjoyed about this fictional account of Harriet's early married life as that she was very real. All those feelings of inadequacy, of being overwhelmed with domestic duties, of being a wife, of motherhood--all those are real.  As well as the very real need to write, and to create. When Harriet marries widower Calvin Stowe, she embarks on a new chapter in her life. Both of them have to find the intricate balance on this path of life.   And Harriet could not have made the difference she did had her role been different, and this book does a wonderful job on showing the wisdom God has in who he calls to the task. As a side note, at the end of the book, Ms. Kilpack shares info on what parts were real, and which were fictionalized.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I knew nothing about Harriet Beecher Stowe before I read this book, although the name was familiar. It was fascinating to learn about who the real woman was- most known for authoring Uncle Tom's Cabin, while also enjoying a fictionalized account of a portion of her early married life. (In the afterword the author tells chapter by chapter what is based off research, accounts, and letters, which I appreciated). I had many feelings while reading this book! The author does a skillful job of showing the perspective of both Harriet and her new husband Calvin, and making the reader sympathetic to both sides. It made me remember the first year of my marriage and the transition from being centered on one's self to being required to care for another's desires as well. Harriet's circumstance is more extreme of course, with the role of a wife still strongly traditional, not being raised to keep house but rather pursue intellectual edification, and becoming pregnant quickly and giving birth. Although they love each other, Harriet and Calvin are opposite in nature and the frustrations that build ebb and flow until a breaking point is reached (which was surprisingly emotional for me and I had to wipe away a few tears). I loved Harriet's strong desire to keep a hold of herself and continue what she and many viewed as her God-given talent and purpose of writing, especially to persuade her readers to a new opinion or viewpoint. Her struggles with keeping a balance in her life are all too real, and the pressure from several people whose opinion she values add to her burden. It shows how important it is for a couple to take each other into consideration and be compassionate while still feeling heard and respected. Sometimes it seems impossible, but as Harriet and Calvin each turn to God in prayer their hearts are softened and the answers that they seek begin to come, along with the blessing of peace. I loved that this story was based on a real woman who had a major influence on our country's history, and it showed that she like so many struggled with, learned to manage, and found joy in the balance of self and home. (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)