4 Teachers Find More Than They Bargained for in Their Contracts Something Old, Something New by Kathleen L. Maher New York, 1840s Her father’s sudden death makes Gilda Jacobs the new schoolmaster, but to teach Christian curriculum she partners with fire-and-brimstone revivalist Joshua Blake, who learns a lesson in love. Love in Any Language by Susanne Dietze Kansas, 1870 Mary Clarence teaches English to the children of Swedish immigrants, but when her favorite students’ widowed father, Kristofer Nilsson, is accused of robbery, she’s determined to clear his name. In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1894 Desperate for work, Margaret Hadley dresses as a young man to secure a dray driver’s position. When soldiers at the fort threaten her, Mackinac Island’s newest teacher, Jesse Huntington, intervenes. A Song in the Night by Rita Gerlach Virginia, 1904 Karin Wiles longs to share the uplifting power of music with children. But when she seeks to improve a poorly run school and include orphans, Nathaniel Archer delivers harsh words of opposition from the school board.
|Publisher:||Barbour Publishing, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of a dozen new and upcoming historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can visit her online at www.susannedietze.com and subscribe to her newsletters at http://eepurl.com/bieza5.
RITA GERLACH lives in central Maryland with her husband and two sons. She is a best-selling author of eight inspirational historical novels including the Daughters of the Potomac series of which Romantic Times Book Review Magazine said, "Creating characters with intense realism and compassion is one of Gerlach’s gifts."
ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over a dozen Christian historical romances. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
Read an Excerpt
Cortlandt, Westchester County, New York September 1840
Hadassah, hurry, it's almost sundown."
Gilda turned from the stairwell, cupping her hand in front of the taper as she moved so the flame wouldn't sputter out. Keeping one ear attuned for her younger sister's response from the upper floor, she set her focus on her other sibling.
"Hannah, do you want to be late for Papa's kaddish?"
It had been a month since Papa had died, but after this first year of loss ended, only four Yizkor dates on the Hebrew calendar provided for mourning. Would it be enough to memorialize Eliezer Jacobs — to light his candle and commemorate a life that had shaped her entire world? Papa deserved more than that. He deserved a lifetime with Gilda following his sterling example.
She passed the looking glass hanging in the dining room and instinctively faced it, but a white sheet met her gaze rather than her appearance. Of course, mourning customs. The looking glasses were all covered. Every one of them. She was certain hers would have been a disheveled reflection anyway, running around and making all the preparations for Mama and giving no thought to vanity on this day. At least, not much thought.
Mama sat, as she had for weeks since Papa's passing, in her rocking chair by the hearth. The rockers made a rhythmic sound over the polished wood floor as she rocked slowly, enshrouded both in silence and by her black shawl.
Gilda set her candle in its holder next to the Yahrzeit mourning candle on the lampstand and approached Mama softly. "Would you like to conduct the minyan, Mama, or should I?"
Deep brown eyes shuttered, and a long sigh escaped her mother's petite frame. "You say it, Gilda. I have no breath to recite."
Gilda fixed the shawl that slipped from Mama's shoulders and nodded assurance. "I'll do it."
The click of hardware and tread of boots announced a guest entering the front door. It had been a parade of late, as the community continued to come and pay respects for Papa. Both Hebrew and Gentile, many throughout the county admired him. A sigh similar to Mama's threatened to pull from Gilda's chest, but she cleared her throat and attended to her mitzvoth, her sacred duties.
Her youngest sister, Hadassah, joined Hannah on a settee near Mama, and Gilda brought another chair from the dining room to accommodate the arrivals, as not one, but several gentlemen stepped in and removed their hats — and their shoes. Her pitcher and bowl, set by the door, was employed by each in turn.
"G'mar chatima tovah" Gilda said to Rabbi Rothstein, who led several men with familiar bearded faces into their parlor. The sun dipped low on the horizon, and following its sloping path toward the start of Yom Kippur at sundown, her eyes burned. Her eyes never ceased to burn these days.
She blinked away the hot tears and steeled herself with the strength her family needed from her. Poor Papa. He hadn't a son to say his kaddish. She would have to do.
"Shalom, Miss Jacobs."
"Shalom aleichem, Mister —"
She looked up from her woolgathering to meet a piercingly blue gaze. This man she'd never met before. Startling and yet heartwarming that a stranger to her thought enough of her Papa to come. His tailored waistcoat of slate blue fit his trim figure, accentuating a narrow waist and broad shoulders. He could not have been much older than her own age of twenty-one, mayhap a year older. This man was not of great height, apparent once he removed his top hat, nor did he have the rough hands of a laborer. He was neither neighbor, schoolmate, or synagogue congregant. Was he a business associate of Papa's?
Surely she would have remembered this man. She swallowed.
With his blond hair and bright blue eyes, she couldn't mistake him for anything but a Gentile. Yet he seemed to know her customs. She was at a disadvantage, not knowing his name. And worse, not knowing what her appearance presented.
"Mr. Blake," the handsome young man replied with a courtly bow.
She lowered her eyes and nodded a solemn, wordless response, hoping her blushing cheeks did not betray her unbidden thoughts.
The procession of guests took their chairs. Gilda followed them in, giving one more assessment of her preparations. With adequate seating in place, she approached to light the Yahrzeit candle.
Rabbi Rothstein stepped to her side and patted her arm. "Allow me, my dear." His kindly eyes shone with affection behind his spectacles, and she could have wept with relief at the small mercy.
Gilda made way and took the last available seat — a footstool, low to the ground, in keeping with mourning customs.
Words — comforting, familiar words, in soothing and predictable cadence — tumbled in the rabbi's accented voice for long moments while she struggled to keep her focus, as all that Papa had left unaccomplished stretched before her. He'd left a small savings for his widow and children. At fifty-five, he was still young and vital. Until the sudden end. There should have been plenty of time to rebuild his investments after paying for Uncle Mortimer's passage. Fine expense that turned out to be. He had never arrived. So, as it was, there was little to live on for four hungry mouths.
Fortunately, Papa had left detailed lesson plans for the school, a syllabus with which Gilda was intimately familiar. She would be ready as head schoolmistress instead of as Papa's assistant, when the month of Shloshim ended, to resume where Papa had left off. The position would help make ends meet and give Mama some peace of mind, though women teachers were paid only a fraction of men's wages.
The kaddish ended sooner than she realized in her state of distraction, and friends and neighbors were already paying respects to Mama, Hadassah, and Hannah. Gilda needed to rejoin her family. She gathered her black taffeta skirts and eased through the rows of chairs to the front near the hearth.
Pieter Van Brugh, a prominent merchant from one of the oldest families in the county, took Mama's hand in a gesture of sympathy. "Eliezer was a brilliant man and will be greatly missed, Mrs. Jacobs. I don't know how we will do without him at the common school this year."
"My Gilda knows exactly what is required. Her father prepared her well."
"Yes, yes, she has been a faithful assistant to your husband. Very faithful indeed." His smile included Gilda, and he stepped to the side to make way for the next in line, the mayor.
"My dear Mrs. Jacobs. You know how fond we all were of your husband, so I hope you don't take this the wrong way. But managing unruly pupils requires a man's strength and stature. Gilda is barely out of school herself."
Gilda fixed her face to match the smile of the politician. "You are quite right, Mayor Roelantsen, in stating that I've grown up with these boys all my life. The experience has given me a unique ability. I can handily whip any boy who dares to challenge me."
Hadassah and Hannah chortled behind their gloved hands. Mama appeared as though she might swoon.
"Now, Miss Jacobs, with all due respect ..."
They would not take the position from her. Gilda squared her stance. "It is true. Brute strength can accomplish certain things. An ox can plow a straight furrow, sir, but it takes intelligent direction to plot its course."
A few of the elders from synagogue chuckled, and Rabbi Rothstein patted the mayor on the back. "The young lady has a point, Cornelius."
Mayor Roelantsen waved off the gesture. "Miss Jacobs, Mrs. Jacobs, I'd like you to meet my nephew. I've brought him with me today so you could become acquainted. It is my hope that, with his oratory experience and study under the esteemed Reverend Charles Grandison Finney, he might be useful to our school."
The handsome blond man with the piercing blue eyes stepped alongside the mayor. "This is Joshua Blake, my wife's brother's son. I believe our common school will benefit greatly by the unique qualifications he brings."
Gilda's heart had dropped into her stomach, and she clutched Mama's hand discreetly behind the folds of their skirts. Her mother's grip was equally firm, communicating solidarity. This man would take away her ability to provide for her family? Not if she had any say.
* * *
A bit flummoxed at his uncle's timing, Josh grinned sheepishly. This family grieved their patriarch, not a month gone. And here his uncle had announced that Josh had come as the deceased's replacement. More to the point, to take the position out from under the feet of the man's daughter like the tapestry rug on which she stood. And what dainty little stockinged feet they were. He shook himself from the distracting thought and met her gaze. The spritely and quick-witted Miss Jacobs skewered him with her dark eyes rimmed in gold. And what beautiful eyes they were. He swallowed, not accustomed to being at a loss for words.
Josh folded his hands behind his back and lowered his head in deference. His uncle was a determined man but not the most sensitive to others' feelings. What the community needed was not an ambitious politician, but a minister. If teaching gave Josh a segue into their trust, he would gladly be their shepherd.
"I am afraid Mr. Jacobs leaves impossible shoes to fill, Uncle. If I can be of some small comfort or assistance, it would be an honor to help bring healing to a bereft community."
The atmosphere, and Miss Jacobs's posture, tangibly shifted.
Uncle Cornelius cleared his throat. "I propose Miss Jacobs start on a trial basis as headmistress, with my nephew as assistant teacher. If she will make amendments to the curriculum to include Christian instruction in moral character, if she can succeed in improving attendance among the farmers and lumberjack camps and all the while maintain discipline, she may retain the position. If, however, she fails on any of these points, I propose my nephew be appointed headmaster."
The rabbi waved at the air. "Can this wait for another time? Consider the grieving —"
"I agree to those terms!" Miss Jacobs's voice rose high but not shrill above the gentlemen's negotiation.
A half grin spread from one corner of Josh's mouth as Miss Jacobs shook Uncle Cornelius's hand. The young lady certainly had what her people called chutzpah.
"In fact, if Mr. Blake can begin Monday, I see no reason to delay. Our students mustn't wait any longer." She folded her arms over her chest and gave a tilt of her pert little chin that spoke a challenge equal to a man removing his gauntlet and striking him. Josh closed his mouth, which had dropped agape, and offered a bow to Miss Gilda Jacobs, interim headmistress.
"I look forward to the challen — that is, the opportunity."
Her gold-rimmed brown eyes glittered, her gaze unwavering. Josh drew a deep breath and expelled it slowly. The mission with which his mentor, Charles Finney, had commissioned him would go a lot smoother if he held the community's trust. He could build that from the platform of schoolteacher. And no matter how compelling Miss Jacobs's reason for needing this job, he mustn't let it stop the work of the Gospel. He must not let her drive him out.CHAPTER 2
A brisk breeze blew in from the Hudson on Josh's early morning walk, and he drew in the earthy scents of river and pine. With the sunrise the town sawmill commenced its industry along his route to the schoolhouse, its workmen in muslin shirts, busy feeding logs into the jaws of iron-toothed blades. The workers exchanged rough words with one another in the talk of the common class — the sort of people among whom he had grown up. Salty. Mayhap they too could become the salt of the earth. God had reached even the likes of him, after all — a man of unfortunate breeding and cast away as a newborn upon the mercy of his aunt and uncle.
It was a pleasantly appointed town in which he found himself. So much opportunity to teach. Uncle Cornelius had extended the invitation a few years ago for Josh to come and live with him after Josh had concluded his formal schooling. Schooling for which the pious Dutch reformer had ungrudgingly paid. Without his uncle's intervention, only God knew where he would be. He would not disappoint the man.
Whistling a hymn, Josh continued along the tree-lined lane. A whitewashed picket fence framed the schoolyard just ahead, and already pupils congregated at the steps leading up to the building. A girl of perhaps six years, wearing a pinafore and cotton dress, met him at the gate and flashed him a gap-toothed smile.
Josh tipped his top hat. "Good day, miss."
"This is my first day of school. Are you my new teacher?"
"Indeed, I am one of your new instructors. I am Mr. Blake."
"I'm Aggie Willard."
Several of the others gathered round, most a few years Aggie's senior. A boy in tailored britches and suspenders appraised him with head tilted back.
"You're shorter than Headmaster Jacobs."
An older girl corralled the boy in the crook of her arm. "Mind your manners, Steven. Pa will tan your hide for impertinence."
Josh bit back a chuckle but kept his expression temperate. "It's true I am shorter than some. Comparison is a tricky thing. I'm taller than you, for instance."
The boy folded his arms across his chest and frowned. "That's 'cuz you're all growed up."
"Grown up," his sister corrected him.
"You have a solid grasp on your grammar, Miss ...," Josh said.
"Miss Elizabeth Beckwith. Thank you, Mr. Blake. I sometimes help with the younger children."
"I'll keep that in mind."
A clacking sound drew Josh's attention away. Swaggering up the path and drumming a stick against the picket fence slats as he went, a ruddy-faced and sturdy-framed adolescent made his arrival known.
Elizabeth Beckwith cut her eyes at the boy. "That's Oliver Simms."
Josh nodded, her huff inviting him to draw conclusions. Her brother pulled out of her grip and ran to meet the approaching boy, who was roughly twice his size.
"Hi, Oliver. I caught a butterfly this morning. Got him in my lunch bucket. Wanna see him?"
Oliver paused, gave Josh a once-over from head to toe, and took Steven's pail. He lifted the book off its opening, and orange-and-black wings fluttered up into the air, gone.
"Hey! You let my butterfly loose!"
Oliver shoved him aside like a weed blocking his path. "No, I didn't. You're the one who let me see it."
Elizabeth stomped her foot. "You're such a bully, Oliver Simms!"
Josh stepped up and patted the girl's shoulder as he strode toward the boys. "I'll handle this."
"Mr. Simms? I'm Mr. Blake."
Josh's grin broadened. "So I'm the new teacher. One of them, anyway. I'm here to help us all start the new year together on the right foot."
"More than one teacher?" The boy's nose wrinkled, and his plump cheeks grew darker red.
"Miss Jacobs can't manage without her father?" A few of the boys congregating at the steps laughed.
"There will be none of that." Josh turned and faced them all. "Your first lesson is to learn the Golden Rule: 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' "
"You sound more like a preacher than a teacher."
"And do you know what that rule means, Mr. Simms? It means that if you want to be treated fairly, you have to be fair to others."
Oliver smirked. "You mean, I should get his stupid butterfly back?" "That would be a good start." Josh snagged his thumbs on his belt.
Aggie tugged on his cutaway overcoat. "Are we going inside, Mr. Blake?"
"Uh, the keys I believe are with Miss Jacobs. She should be along momentarily."
"Can I sit next to you?"
Josh peered down the avenue for any sign of the headmistress. He withdrew his pocket watch, and the face showed five minutes past the hour. He excused himself and slipped past Aggie. What could be keeping Miss Jacobs?
A trio in dark skirts and shirtwaists sashayed up the road. One taller, two shorter. If they were Miss Jacobs and her sisters, he would not have guessed they'd arrive on foot. Hadn't she a carriage at her disposal? Her home was nearly two miles away.
"Boys, I want you to line up on the left, and girls on the right."
The children picked up their slates and primers, lunch pails and belongings, and formed two lines. Miss Jacobs would arrive to see that he had everything in order.
The girls stood serenely like Greek statues with the autumn sun falling on the folds of their skirts. The boys were a bit fidgety, but Josh supposed that was to be expected. Steven Beckwith stood behind a couple of quiet brothers, Oliver at the tail end.
Conversation drifted to Josh while he waited for Miss Jacobs and her two sisters near the gate of the schoolyard.
"Look, Stevie, it's your butterfly."
A loud thump sounded, like a book dropped from a height.
A growling, angry cry ripped from the younger boy. "You! You killed it! Aagggh!"
Josh swung around to the sight of boys fighting, Steven on top, punching and yelling, Oliver on his back trying to knock him off.
"Break it up!" He covered the distance and pulled both boys to their feet by their shirt collars and suspenders. "Enough!"
The older boy shifted his weight, knocking Josh off balance, and he lost his grip on them. Oliver commenced to pummel Steven.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Lessons on Love"
Copyright © 2019 Susanne Dietze.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
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.
Table of Contents
Something Old, Something New,
Love in Any Language,
In Desperate Straits,
A Song in the Night,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lessons on Love is a collection of four novellas from Barbour Publishing with the themes each being centered on school teachers during the time period of the mid-19th century and early 20th century. I love these collections as they are easy to read one story at a time and when they are written by authors you love, it's a great book! The stories each have a schoolteacher as one of the main characters and yet each one is different--a Jewish gal taking on the classroom after her father dies, a young woman who teaches English to Swedish immigrants, a young man who desperately needs a job to care for his mother and sisters, and a young music teacher who loses her job. Readers are treated to background information that adds such great interest to the stories--Jewish customs, Pen and Ink Alphabet books, the fact that most women teachers were not allowed to date or be married, Percheron horses and Mackinac Island, and a disastrous fire in Baltimore. The vibrant characters are realistic and relatable with their flaws as well as their strengths being portrayed. Each author has their own seemingly effortless style of writing that draws the reader into her story. Stories of forgiveness, family, faith and a little romance as well! I was given a complimentary copy of the book and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
Lessons of Love By Susanne Dietze, Rita Gerlach, Kathleen L. Maher, Carrie Fancett Pagels These novellas were well written and made a wonderful collection that was easy and fun to read. I appreciated each of the story’s as they were all unique. I think that I enjoyed, “In Desperate Straits” the most. Each of the women overcame their challenges with their faith stronger. “Evil lurked in the heart of man that only God’s love and grace could ever overcome.” I was provided with a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. For more book reviews visit my blog: https://simplyannehere.wordpress.com
Four historical romance novellas that has it all. Three has women school teachers with problems and one has a man school teacher that helps a woman with problems. I enjoy strong characters that are not scared to pursue their dreams. Sometimes they travel a good piece away from home and some stay at home but wants to make a difference in people’s lives. I think they have to be especially brave to dress like a man as the heroine in the “In Desperate Straits” story just to find a job. I love reading the stories that are set at Mackinac Island because I read Mrs Pagels other books set there. I would love to go one day. Each book had its own differences that stand out. I recommend this collection that has a little mystery, romance, a spiritual thread and intrigue. I think you will enjoy the stories and appreciate the research that goes into historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from one of the authors and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.
This well written collection of novellas takes place between the late 1800's and 1904. Each story is unique and brings its own circumstances regarding teaching. The rules for women teachers during this time period were very strict. Not only could a woman not marry and keep her position. In many cases she could not even talk to a man, unless it was a doctor and she was sick. The man must be a close relative, father, brother or such. They could also talk to their clergy. No one else. They didn't want them to be temped into having a relationship and therefore marry. They were losing too many well trained teachers. I enjoyed each of these novellas. I enjoy this type of collection, it is a good way to try out a new author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
This was such a good book. It's 440 pages so I thought it would take some time for me to read, but the stories were so engaging that I couldn't put it down. It was really a great read. There are four stories written by some very talented authors. The four stories cover four different time periods, 1840, 1870, 1894, and 1904. So you get a little different perspective of those years in the different stories about school teachers and their responsibilities and rules, etc. Having been an immigrant myself, the story of the Swede's called "Love in any Language" really hit home as I remember learning the English language and then trying to help my mom to understand, which took much longer. It is a challenge. I loved "In Desperate Straits", the title being a cute play on words, and how Maggie dresses as a man to work the job that is a job that would otherwise go to one of her brothers. Such a great story by a very talented writer. The book was so nice to read. I can only say I am glad not to have been a teacher back in the day. The rules! I received an ARC copy from one of the authors. All thoughts are my own.
What a great Barbour Collection by four go to authors, as they each bring their own style. The four novellas share about schoolteachers in the time period from 1840 to 1904. Times were different and women teaches could not marry or spend time with a male that wasn’t related. I enjoyed the historical aspect and learning what rules they had to follow. Something Old, Something New by Kathleen L Maher: I especially liked the glossy of Hebrew and Yiddish terms. A well crafted story that had me engaged from the beginning. Love In Any Language by Susanne Dietze: I enjoyed the strength of character that Mary possesses and how she helps others. I also liked the mystery aspect of who was committing the robberies. Well done in such a short amount of time. In Desperate Straits by Carrie Fancett Pagels: is well written and creative in that the teacher is male and the female poses as a male dray driver on Mackinac Island. You will be transported into the time and place during hard times for both families. The romance is spot on and you won’t want it to end. A Song In The Night by Rita Gerlach: captures your heart and draws you in. I loved the concept of a music teacher and the difficulties Karien faces with grit and determination. This is a well rounded book with each story interesting and enjoyable. The cover is so pretty and will be on my keeper shelf. I received a complimentary copy from the author.
I loved the common theme of teaching, yet all of the stories are so different. I loved them! Having read stories from each of these authors before, I knew I was in for a treat! Each story was so unique! This is a book that I will definitely be reading again! I definitely recommend it! I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
I really enjoyed this collection! It resonated with me as I had great and great-great aunts that were teachers in this time period. This is a collection of stories about strong women who do what they must to provide for themselves and their families. "Something Old, Something New" is a mixing of cultures. After working as her father's assistant, Gilda fights to take his place as the schoolmaster. The Mayor has other ideas. I enjoyed how the Jewish and Christian cultures were blended in the end. "Love in Any Language" is another blending of cultures and deals with some prejudice against Swedish immigrants as they were not allowed to attend school unless they could speak English. I really liked how Mary steps up and starts a little English school in her parent's home for those students. I loved how and why Kristopher made a Dala horse for Mary. "In Desperate Straits" may have been my favorite of the four stories. Summer on Macinac Island! I loved how Maggie disguises herself as a young man to keep the job that usually goes to one of her brothers as they are unable to work this year. Of course, she is found out but those people keep her secret and even help her keep her job. She is a very skilled dray driver. Jesse and his family permanently moved to their summer home on the island where he continues to look for work. I loved it when Jesse says; "Because I'm a teacher and I've learned some lessons on love." "A Song in the Night" Karien and her friend Liza lose their jobs when the academy they teach at abruptly closes. Then lose everything in the Baltimore Fire. This story set in 1904, really shows some of the ridiculous rules that female teachers had to abide by. I liked how Karien pushes for change when she applies for a new position. *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. A review was not required. The opinion expressed is entirely my own. *I later received a paperback copy as a gift from a sweet friend.
These four historical christian romances are very well written and hold your attention. Each story is set in a different time period and deals with a different problem, but each one has a strong willed woman that knows what she wants. This book was a joy to read and I recommend it to anyone who likes christian historical romances. Thank you Barbour Publishing via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
I loved these four stories! My grandmother was a teacher in the late 1800's and the first one I knew! My sister, aunt, niece were all schoolteachers. I only taught in Sunday School and in my working career. Having that background I appreciated all that the teachers in these stories experienced. Lessons on Love was realistic to me, so real that that came to life as I read. Sorrow, romance, emptiness, challenges, foreign language barriers, unemployment, depression, no work for women, strict rules are only some of the lessons in this fine book. I would love to read more stories like these. All four are so good, it is difficult to pick a favorite. I received an advance reader copy from the author. Opinions are my own. A review was not required.
A quality collection of new novellas! Set from 1840 to 1904 they have a common thread of teaching, but are all quite unique. Three women and one man endeavor to help support their families by teaching and reach out to help others in their communities, finding a special relationship on the way. The women in these entertaining stories were no wilting flowers, for sure. They all showed a lot of determined 'backbone' to earn a living and use their talents to help others. The men they paired up with were also good characters, willing to go the extra mile to help them achieve their goals, overcoming prejudice, unfair accusations, and other hardships along the way. I enjoyed all of them and appreciated the research that went into each one to make it feel more authentic. I especially liked the pair in Susanne Dietze's story who had a language barrier to overcome as well. The mystery in that story made it quite intriguing too. It was fun to see characters from Carrie Fancett Pagels' other books pop in on her Mackinac Island story also. "Everyone was broken...Everyone sinned and was a sheep in need of a Shepherd." The spiritual theme of forgiveness and extending grace to people was a strong one in some tales, plus learning to trust in God. Recommend to readers who enjoy historical Christian romances. 4.5 stars (An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.)
I loved each and every one of these stories!! The authors that wrote them well, I just love them. Each story has a charm of it's own and each woman had a teaching style all her own. Did you know that back in those days teachers were not allowed to marry? If they did, she would have to quit and the school board would hire someone else. When I went to visit the Little House museum site in Kansas they had a list of rules that the teacher had to follow. I didn't mean to but I had to laugh at some of them simply because they were ridiculous! These authors have done such a nice job and in such short novellas too. Two of the stories I enjoyed most was In Desperate Straights and Something New and Something Old. I liked Carrie's story because it takes place on Mackinac Island my most favorite place in the whole world. Kathleen's I loved because it was about Gilda and what all she endured while supporting her family. She's my kind of heroine. I like the others too. A song in the Night I liked because it had music in it. You see, music is a big part of my life as well. I play in an orchestra something that my mother passed on to me and I passed on to my son. Music has a way of relaxing me as well as reading. It is the coolest part of education. I think the one I disliked was Love in any language. Part of the reason is just how people that didn't speak English shouldn't be denied an education. English is hard enough to learn as it is without someone making it harder. Education should be for everyone! Mary certainly had her work cut out for her. I admired Mary. Mary is spunky and knows how to get the job done! Family is the keyword and in many places if you don't have family working anywhere then chances are it will be hard to find a job. Yes, I know it is unfair. In today's world it's still pretty much like that especially in small towns. It was a pleasant way to spend the weekend while your husband is at work and your son has his earbuds in all weekend. Yep, peace and quiet just how I like an afternoon to spend with my books. I highly recommend this book. I was sorry to see it end. I give this book 5 stars! My thanks to Netgalley. All opinions are my own and NO compensations were recieved
What a lovely way to spend a few hours, losing yourself in the woes and triumphs of yesteryear. Something Old, Something New - Kathleen L. Maher 1840 - New York Finding herself as the sole provider for the family, Gilda is sure that she will continue teaching the children in the school her father started. However, the school board feels that a female cannot deal with the discipline in the classroom. Will she lose her position and thus her livelihood to the young man they bring in or will he teach her something she never knew? Love in Any Language - Susanne Dietze 1870 - Kansas Mary Clarence has been replaced by a less than desirable male schoolteacher who discriminates against the new students from Sweden. Realizing that the lack of English is one of the problems, she beings to teach these children in her parents home. The process of teaching always brings learning with it. For Mary, it is a lesson in trusting that the Lord has her best in mind. In Desperate Straits - Carrie Fancett Pagels 1893 - Michigan If you have visited Mackinac Island, you have seen the gorgeous Percheron horses that pull the drays and carriages around the island. Having a contract with the island, and no healthy brother to be a driver, Maggie Hadley finds herself impersonating a young male to be a dray driver, since females are not allowed. Jesse Huntington, having lost his father and all their wealth comes to be the teacher at the island school - only problem - he has met Maggie before she became Mickey. Will he keep her secret? A Song in the Night - Rita Gerlach Maryland - 1904 The world as she knows it is crashing around her. Karien Wiles, an accomplished pianist and music teacher, must suddenly make decisions that will affect not only her life, but also the life of her widowed mother. Will leaving Baltimore for Refuge, Virginia bring the teaching challenge she is looking for and become a place for her mother to start over? I thoroughly enjoyed all four of these novellas. It really is hard to imagine living in a world when a woman was not allowed to do what she was good at, just because she wasn’t a man. I have to wonder how well many of us would have done in those circumstances. This ARC was received through Barbour Publishing and NetGalley. The five star rating was not solicited. All impressions and opinions are my own.