Love's First Bloom

Love's First Bloom

by Delia Parr


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Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime. But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist.

Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for. Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780764206719
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/01/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Delia Parr (Mary Lechleidner) is the author of eleven historical novels and the winner of several awards. The mother of three grown children, she is a full-time high school teacher who spends her summer vacations writing and kayaking. She lives in Collingswood, New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt

Love's First Bloom

By Delia Parr

Bethany House Publishers

Copyright © 2010 Delia Parr
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7642-0671-9

Chapter One

March 1838 New York City

Ruth Livingstone had very little time left to change her father's mind.

After a hasty ride through dark, deserted streets, she parted the curtains on the coach window while waiting for Capt. Grant to arrive. Moonlight rested on the Sheller, a packet ship that was lying at anchor in the harbor. She blinked back tears. Unless Ruth could sway her father's decision, the morning tide would carry her far from home, along with Lily, the sleeping toddler now nestled against her father's chest.

She dropped the curtain and swiped at her tears. Even though he had rejected every one of her arguments since rousing her from bed two hours ago and telling her she had to leave, she prayed she still might get him to agree to let her stay home with him.

"Please, Father," she whispered. "When Capt. Grant gets here, tell him your plans have changed so you can take another day or two to find someone else."

Seated directly across from her, Rev. Gersham Livingstone cradled the sleeping child and shook his head. "I don't have another day or two, Ruth."

"But I don't understand why I must go when you have so many supporters who would be better suited—"

"You're the only one I can trust to take Lily away and keep her safe," he insisted, keeping his voice low.

"But what if Capt. Grant questions me? What am I supposed to say if he sees that I'm not this ... this Widow Ruth Malloy that he expects?"

"I told you. Capt. Grant never meets any of the women he helps me to relocate before sailing. At least you get to keep your given name," he added.

Frustrated, Ruth found it hard to be grateful for keeping her first name when she was giving up so much else. "What about the Garners? Surely they'll suspect that I'm not—"

"Elias and Phanaby Garner will accept you without question when you arrive. In turn, they'll introduce you to the community as a distant relative whose period of mourning is over and is in need of a home. I explained all this to you on the way here," he gently chided.

Dropping her gaze, she swallowed hard. According to her father, the Garners did not know that the real name of the woman they were expecting had been Rosalie Peale, the well-known prostitute found murdered some days ago. Or that the child in the reverend's arms was in fact Rosalie Peale's secret daughter.

The very idea they would think Ruth was a former prostitute ... Oh, it both shamed and humiliated her as a woman of faith. Being the daughter of a controversial minister who devoted his life to the fallen angels of the city had never been easy, but Ruth found it terribly ironic that the only way she could support him now was to become one of his reclaimed fallen angels herself.

Desperate to change his mind, Ruth tried another tack, keeping her voice to a whisper to keep from waking the little girl. "The constable can't seriously think you could have killed Rosalie Peale," she argued, unable to fathom that anyone would consider him capable of murder.

"Indeed he shouldn't, but the press has fueled public clamor for an arrest that should have been made days ago."

She snorted. "The reporters who've surrounded our house from dawn to dusk for the past two days are even worse than the scoundrels you allowed inside to interview you. Have they no sense of decency?"

"Decency doesn't sell newspapers," he replied. Her father placed a hand on her shoulder. "Instead of being angry about a situation we can't control, we should be grateful that my lawyer was able to persuade the constable to give me time to put my affairs in order before arresting me."

She placed her hand on top of her father's and blinked back more tears. "But you're innocent! It isn't fair!"

"It's not fair for Lily to bear the stain of her mother's sins, either, but she will—unless we can get her out of the city before anyone finds out about her, especially one of those reporters. Unfortunately," Rev. Livingstone added wistfully, "many people, even people we know well, actually believe everything they read in the newspapers. They don't need to wait for a trial to convict me."

Ruth's heartbeat slowed to a thud that pounded against the wall of her chest. She tried not to think of their several neighbors who had closed their hearts, as well as their doors, to both her and her father in recent days. Even Harrison Steward, her father's closest friend, had abandoned him, refusing any contact.

For several long moments she allowed herself a time of self-pity, until she realized her father would pay a far greater price, even beyond losing the affection of their neighbors or even his dearest friend.

He would pay with his very life.

Her father edged forward in his seat to get closer to her. "The path God chooses for each of us to follow isn't always an easy one, but we all have to decide whether or not we're willing to trust in His wisdom and embrace His will. I can't risk letting the glare of scandal that's already churning in the press to shine upon this innocent child. Can you?" He gently urged the sleeping child into Ruth's arms.

Ruth awkwardly cradled the little girl close for fear she would wake up. "No, I-I can't. I'll go. I'll take care of her," she whispered, then tensed when she heard two soft raps on the coach door.

Her father answered by parting the curtain only long enough to nod and drop the curtain back into place before cupping her cheek. "It's time to go now, Ruth. With God's grace, I'll be exonerated quickly. Then I'll send for you, and we'll make more permanent arrangements for Lily. Until then, God will take care of you both. Trust in Him."

Ruth managed half a smile. As more tears slipped free, she kissed the palm of her father's hand, pressing the memory of this moment deep within her heart. When he turned her hand over and kissed its back, she felt his tears, too.

Quietly, without saying another word, he disembarked. Ruth gathered her courage. Once she stepped out of this coach, she would have to swallow her pride and silently bear the mantle of a sinful past she had not lived.


Excerpted from Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr Copyright © 2010 by Delia Parr. Excerpted by permission of Bethany House 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.

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Love's First Bloom 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
love2readnovels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ruth Livingstone's father (who's a Reverend) was accused of murder and wasn't sure if he would be acquitted. So he gives Ruth a new identity, thrusts a child in her arms and sends her away. He tells her she's the only one he trusts to care for the child and that she must maintain her new identity no matter what. Then she meets Jake Spencer. A handsome man who is recovering from an injury and wanting a quiet place to do it. (or so he leads Ruth to believe). In reality he is trying to win his brothers favor by finding and writing an article for their newspaper on Ruth Livingstone. As they get to know each other they find a great attraction between them. But what about all the lies they've told to each other? Will Jake betray the girl he's come to love for the sake of his career? And can Ruth forgive Jake for his deceit?I really enjoyed Love's First Bloom. I must say the cover is what drew me to want to read the book, it's beautiful. The story was a "easy" paced story. The topic of taking former prostitutes and helping them begin a new life with a family who was willing to take them in was very interesting. You'll find as you're reading along many questions pop up, but the author answers them all and brings everything to a wonderful and satisfying conclusion. I would consider this a light romance with some very touching moments. One line in the book that I really liked a lot was "There are no real coincidences in life for those with faith strong enough to recognize coincidences for what they really are: intricate pieces of the providential design God created for each of our lives." Be sure to read the note at the end about the Seashell. A thank you goes to Bethany House for providing me with this complimentary copy for my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vrry good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book following the Hearts Along the River series. I would recommend it to anyone who likes the above...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JDyan More than 1 year ago
My first thoughts after finishing Love's First Bloom were: "It was cute." And indeed it was but this book did not amaze me. I wasn't up all night trying to finish reading it, like I usually do with a book I love. I found it rather too slow paced for my liking. I mean yes, the story line was good but it took too long to get there. Delia Parr set me ablaze with Hearts Awakening, and yet the fire she set seemed to have burned out leaving Love's First Bloom to fall flat in comparison. However, there were parts which I did enjoy but too few and I waited the rest of the time for something more to happen. I was given a free copy of this book by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LauraFabiani More than 1 year ago
New York City 1838. Ruth Livingstone is sent away in hiding by her father, Reverend Livingstone, while he awaits acquittal from the accusation that he killed a prostitute named Rosalie Peale. Rev Livingstone has spent most of his life helping prostitutes regain their faith and relocating them where they could start anew. Rosalie also had a secret child-Lily, an 18-month old-that no one knows about and Ruth takes her away with her to protect her. The newspapers are having a field day and news of this case spreads far. Ruth is staying with friends of her father in the small town of New Jersey under an assumed name, but she fears she will be discovered by the hungry journalists who are trying to find her whereabouts since it is believed she is hiding evidence that will incriminate her father. Jake Spencer is a journalist who made a mistake years ago and now wants to redeem himself in his brother's eyes, proving he has what it takes to be a good partner to their newspaper. He is sent on an assignment to find Ruth and get the story before the other reporters. Jake finds her immediately and gradually falls for Ruth. Ultimately, he chooses to redeem himself in God's eyes rather than his brother's. Although this is a heartwarming and sweet story, it was slow-going for me. I wasn't too crazy about Jake and there was no spark between him and Ruth. The whole time he was there was to try to get evidence from Ruth, deceiving her into believing he had an injured back and was seeking solitude. This book is filled with characters who proclaim faith in God, yet they are liars and justify this for a good cause. For this reason I had a hard time accepting the preaching in the book (there is much about putting trust and faith in God) when it is clear in the Bible that God does not approve of lying. (Col 3:9, Rev 22:15) I don't have anything against flawed characters, actually they are more realistic, but to relay the message that God rewards lying as a means to do good was not what I expected. If the message is to trust in God, then why should one have to disobey and rely on lying and deception? Throughout the account, I wondered about Ruth. Although she had lived in New York all her life she had been sheltered. She was in her early twenties, yet I wondered what she had done with her life prior to her life in hiding. The book does not say. Had she no friends? No prospects of marriage? She was not involved in her father's work, so what did she do? And since she went missing, were not the authorities looking for her, especially considering the serious case with her father? It was also hard to believe that the other reporters did not find her and Jake did so easily. There were a few plot holes, and I was frustrated and bored with this story at some points. It could have been more exciting, what with her father being accused of murder, and his clandestine activity to help "fallen angels". Ruth spends a lot of time crying, which was understandable under her circumstances, but there was too much of it for me. Although predictable, I was happy with the ending, and Jake's choice was honourable. If you like sweet Christian romances, this one fits the bill, but don't expect anything too exciting.
AAR More than 1 year ago
LOVE'S FIRST BLOOM by Delia Parr is a inspirational historical fiction set in 1838 New York City. It is well written with depth, details and the characters are enchanting,and enduring. It has romance, forgiveness, hope, faith, love,heartache, secrets, tragedy,turbulent times, injustice, web of deception,false identity, and the danger of media coverage. The characters are engaging, timid, learning to trust, and moving along with their lives ever through tragedy. The hero, Jake, is a newspaperman, trying to redeem himself with his brother, knows the true identity of the Widow Malloy and finds himself falling in love with her and her child. The heroine, Ruth, is the daughter of the Rev. Livingstone, who is charged with the death of a prostitute.She is sent away by her father with the young child of the prostitute with a false identity to protect her and the child. She is accepted into a network of believers of Rev. Livingstone's work with prostitutes. There she assumes the identity of the Widow Malloy with her child, Lily. She meets Jake, who is also leading a false identity. He is calming to be a carpenter. He soon becomes attached to Ruth and Lily. He will do want he has to to protect her and her secret. But when the truth comes to light, will she truly believe he loves her or will he betray her?This is a heart felt story of how the newspaper twists things to their own use, to sale more paper. Not really caring who is hurt or why. Along the way Ruth will learn secrets of her father she never knew of him, but she keeps her faith. Will new love survive the betrayal?This is a story to read it is heartwarming to know true love can prevail. This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Bethany House Publishers and My Book Addiction and More.
BillyB More than 1 year ago
Revered Livingstone is suspected of murder, he sends his daughter, along with a young child into hiding. Ruth is now living in a small town in New Jersey under a different name. Tragedy strikes, leaving Ruth and the young child alone in New Jersey. Ruth soon falls in love with Jake Spencer. Will her secrets tear them apart? Love's First Bloom is a sweet, fast-paced novel. You cannot help but feel sorry for the main character Ruth, whose life has completely changed in the blink of an eye. I enjoyed reading the book, and I think you
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Ruth Livingston is the only living daughter of her father Reverend Livingstone, whose mission in life is to help those that society deems unworthy of help. Caught in the turbulent times of 1800's his life's mission is to help those women and young girls that have been caught up in prostitution, however when one of them is murdered suddenly, the city begins to cry out for justice and right now the only person who was with her last was Reverend Livingstone.<br/><br/>Trusting his daughter Ruth with Lily the child of the murdered prostitute, he sends her away under the pretense of being the so-called prostitute in need of help along with her toddler child. She leaves her father behind hoping that he will be found innocent of all charges so she can return once more to her home and leaving her assumed life behind her.<br/><br/>In the latest book, Love's First Bloom, by Delia Parr we find ourselves mixed up in the tragic turn of events in Ruth's life. Will she ever be able to return home or will she find a reason to keep the secret her father has so desperately trusted her with? To find out more, read further below for a first chapter glimpse.<br/><br/>I received this book, compliments of Bethany House Publishers for my honest review and must say, this one doesn't disappoint. It easy rates a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for more great books from Delia Parr.
KarenLange More than 1 year ago
Ruth Livingstone is on a mission, but not one she's chosen. Her father, Reverend Livingstone, is accused of murder in New York City. He sends Ruth to Toms River, New Jersey with a small package. The package is eighteen month old Lily, the prostitute's daughter. Few people know that the child exists; the Reverend wishes to keep her out of harm's way. Ruth is the solution. The Garners take Ruth and Lily in, assuming that Ruth is a reformed prostitute in need of shelter. Ruth hates staying with them under false pretenses, especially ones that cast a shadow on her character. Lily is an unruly child, and it takes every ounce of stamina Ruth has to keep up with her. In addition, Ruth anxiously awaits news of her father's trial, fearing the worst but hoping for the best. Even in 1838, the media has all but convicted the Reverend prior to his trial. Ashton "Jake" Tripp returns to New York City to make amends with his brother Clifford. Prior to their separation, Jake and Clifford worked together at their father's newspaper. Ego and bad judgment placed Jake in a scandalous situation and he fled the city, leaving Clifford to pick up the pieces and salvage the business. In an effort to win his brother's trust and a position at the paper, Jake agrees to locate the daughter of Reverend Livingstone. Local papers report her disappearance and speculate that the Reverend murdered her as well. Ruth and Jake's paths intersect in an interesting manner. Does Jake know who she really is? Ruth is wary of this reporter; can she trust him? How long will she deny her growing feelings for him? Will the good Reverend be acquitted and restore his reputation? Assorted events, interesting twists, and action provide the answers; you must read the book if you want to know what happens! Ms. Parr's characters in previous books were real and engaging, and I expected the same with Love's First Bloom. I was not disappointed. Ms. Parr writes a lovely story that enables the reader to share Ruth's journey. If you like historical fiction of any sort, I think you might like this one.
Jennifer_Bonds More than 1 year ago
Loves First Bloom by Delia Parr Book Review Ruth Livingston is a preacher's daughter that has her life turned upside down when her father is accused of murdering one of the women that he devoted his life to rescuing out of the life of prostitution. He would get these women to families out of town that would help them rebuild their lives and gain stability again. Father Livingston is bound to protect his daughter from the negativity of the case and sends her away one night with a small child to claim as her own. Ruth assumes the role of mother to this child. They are sent to a family and she also takes on the role of one of the very women that her father has saved. This family takes in Ruth and the child not knowing that she actually is the preacher's daughter. Life is very hard to for Ruth to adjust. Not only is she pretending to be a woman of a completely different demeanor of life, she has to learn to take care of this little girl whom the only thing she knows is that she belongs to the woman that was murdered. When news that the preachers daughter is missing, the newspapers start making claims that the preacher may have murdered his own daughter. They send out reporters to find out about Ruth's whereabouts and to see if she actually has evidence that would convict her father that she is hiding. Jake Spencer is one of the guys looking to find Ruth but he's comes into town as someone different also. He pretends to have just had back surgery and is looking for some peace and quiet from the world. Ruth seeks tranquility and peace in a garden that just happens to be where Jake is living. These two do not like each other at all but as the story goes along, things start to change. He is desperately trying to find out the truth about Ruth and she is doing everything in her power to protect her identity. The book has some twists that I never seen coming, which was a nice surprise. I was held in suspense throughout and found myself intrigued in seeing that Ruth and the child were protected. Delia Parr has officially become one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read more from this wonderfully talented writer. Loves First Bloom is one of those books that you don't want to put down once you start reading it. I would give this a good four and a half stars, possibly a five. I am definitely passing this one along to my friends to enjoy also. Loves First Bloom was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers free of charge for review purposes only. The opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced.
SailinRae More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! Ruth was thrown into a situation where she had to lie about who she was, and who the child, that is now called hers, is. Thinking it was only for a short period of time, she went along with it. And she was doing just fine, until Jake Spencer came and took her heart! Now she finds it more difficult to let him believe something she isn't! In the end they both need to decide if Love is worth risking everything...including that love! Delia Parr did a fantastic job with this book! I suggest everyone go out and get a copy!
Yiya More than 1 year ago
Ruth, a minister's daughter, sees her life changing when, without explanation, her father puts her in a carriage, hands her a baby and sends her to live with a family, part of the net supporting his ministry - relocating prostitutes in new areas, so that they can begin a new life after making a decision for Christ, without a tinted reputation. She has always been a good daughter and a godly woman, but now, she is just another prostitute needing a new beginning. Only after getting to hr new house, does she realize that her beloved father was just trying to keep her safe; he is thought to be involved in a woman's death, and is even blamed for her "disappearance." Ruth must go on without him and become a mother to little L; her life is not easy anymore, but she finds strength and hope in her faith. To make things more complicated, and because of the kind of ministry her father had, journalists from all the known papers are sent out to find her. Asher is one of them. He is coming back to business after a two-year hiatus; he needs his reputation back and prove he is worthy of writing for the family paper. He is the first to find Ruth, and decides to impersonate a sick man, ready to help when needed, in order to move her to compassion and have his story. This one of the books I personally classify as good for spending an evening with, and is very easy to read; despite an interesting twist that reveals a secret in Ruth's family, the ending is highly predictable - this is why I decided not to include more information about the book itself in this review. However, it is founded on good Christian principles, like the unconditional love that would accept any one, despite the kind of life or hardships people have gone through. Ruth and Asher learn that true love only flourishes in truth, understanding that "the path chooses for each of us to follow isn't always an easy one, but we all have to decide whether or not we're willing to trust in His wisdom and embrace His will." The way Delia Parr describes their changes is so descriptive that it becomes personal and invites the reader to see people from a different perspective and challenges to not forget that being a Christian is being a server whose life flourishes in obedience to God. A highly recommendable book for anyone who likes romantic novels. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for a review. This has not influenced my opinion on the book nor on the author.
lilredhenJP More than 1 year ago
Ruth Livingston thinks her father will change his mind before he sends her away, with Lily an 18 month old, the daughter of murdered prostitute, Rosalie Peale. Her father, Reverend Livingstone tells her she can keep her given name, but she is to become Ruth Malloy, a young widow, whose husband died in New York City, and now her time of mourning has ended. He was sending her to Elias and Phanaby Garner, who would introduce her as a distant relative. Shortly after her arrival in Toms River New Jersey, word reaches her that her father has been arrested and is being tried for Rosalie's murder. Then she reads in the papers that they are looking for Ruth to see if she has run away with evidence that her father was a murderer. Between hiding from reporters, and caring for a small mischevious child, she is quite stressed, and Phanaby suggests she work in the garden across the river, at an abandoned cabin. But, turns out the cabin is now occupied, by an injured man, Jake Spencer, who tells her she can continue with the flower garden. Her father is acquitted of the murder, and she thinks she can soon go home, but people still say he is guilty, and shortly afterward, her father passes away, and she is left an orphan, with an orphan, who is not her child but she has come to love, to raise. And if she admits she is Ruth Livingstone, someone will take Lily from her, Reporters constantly show up in the area, looking for her story, so she continues to hide. She begins to fall for Jake, but then finds out he is a reporter, and is he just after a story? Or does he really care for her? Delia Parr has written a very compelling story, and I really enjoyed it. I recieved this book from Bethany House to read and review. No other compensation was recieved.
Sneezybee23 More than 1 year ago
When Ruth Livingston's father is accused of murdering a prostitute, she is forced to leave her home and to assume a false identity as Widow Ruth Malloy. Ruth anxiously waits to hear the news of her father's trial and to be restored to him. However, the sudden disappearance of Ruth Livingston gives the newspapers reason to accuse her father of yet another murder. When reporters begin canvasing the small town she is in, Ruth must carefully weigh every move. In tending her small garden, she finds peace - at least until the cranky Jake Spencer moves in. Jake Spencer frustrates her and yet she finds a certain affection for him in her heart. What she does not know is that Jake is a newspaper reporter seeking to restore his professional reputation. As love's first bloom appears, will it be able to survive the secrets that both of them are hiding? Love's First Bloom is a sweet story of a woman who is faced with seemingly impossible challenges and finds solace in her true friends and her flower garden. I enjoyed the characters in this book, but I thought the plot moved a little slow. It is definitely still worth reading. The budding romance and the unanswered questions will keep readers coming back to finish the book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Love's First Bloom by Delia Parr is a historical romance filled with many twists. Ruth Livingstone's father is a pastor in New York, well-known for his work getting prostitutes to turn to Jesus. When he is accused of murdering one of them, he forces Ruth to take the prostitute's secret toddler daughter, Lily, and take on the identity of a woman in his program to protect the child while he is tried for the crime. Ruth moves to New Jersey and lives with a family who takes in former prostitutes trying to make a new life for themselves, but not long after she disappears, the press takes note of her absence and accuses her father of murdering her as well. The hunt is on by all of the major newspapers to find Ruth, including Jake Tripp who wants to redeem himself as a journalist after making a terrible mistake two years ago and nearly destroying the newspaper he owns with his brother, Clifford. Clifford gives Jake an assignment that will give him redemption: find Ruth Livingstone and get the real story behind the prostitute's murder. He moves to the same small New Jersey town Ruth is staying in and takes on a false identity to gain her trust but instead finds himself falling for the young woman who has been forced to live away from her father and pretend to be something she's not. I had a hard time believing that a pastor would do this to his daughter, it just seemed unbelievable to me, but when I swallowed my disbelief, other events continued to be forced by the plot: a unexpected death, a letter from beyond exposing a long-lost child, and the identity of the killer both made me go "what??" Parr's previous book, Heart's Awakening was a beautiful and poignant historical romance. This one had some great characters, but they were at the mercy of a far-fetched plot that did them no favors.
sdslangford More than 1 year ago
I must say that I enjoyed this book from the cover picture to the epilogue that can be found on her web page (not in the book). It would be good for anyone looking for a light, enjoyable and engaging read. It is the second I've read by Delia Parr and I love her writing style! White seashells depicting our lives purified by Christs' sacrifice, using brooms to celebrate July 4th and an annoying pet turkey are a few examples of Mrs. Parr's creativity in her newest book. The story begins as Ruth's father places a baby in her arms with explicit instructions that she must change her identity and board the ship headed to a small community in New Jersey. The two innocent victims of scandal, Ruth and the baby Lily, find refuge in the home of a kind and loving couple living near Toms River. Ruth obediently and tirelessly cares for the child left to her. She awaits news that her father has been found innocent of the ridiculous charges against him as she longingly looks forward to being able to return home. Discouraged and grieving, Ruth begins to seek God while tending an abandoned garden at the banks of the river. There she meets Jake Spencer, a man with many secrets of his own. Ruth begins to wonder if she can trust Jake and if he can help her protect Lily from harm. Jake is actually one of the newspapermen intent upon finding Ruth to mar her good name. Can the two find a way to save Jake's job and still protect Ruth and Lily? This book points out the dangers of media telling all and destroying innocent lives in the process. It is an easy and enjoyable read. Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
AmandaCabot More than 1 year ago
Would you live a lie to protect someone you loved? That's the dilemma Ruth Livingstone faces in Delia Parr's gentle but powerful tale of two people whose love of family tangles them in a web of deception. With beautiful prose and vivid descriptions, Parr brings nineteenth century New Jersey to life at the same time that she creates an unforgettable portrait of two people whose pasts put them on a collision course. This is a story that will linger in your heart long after you've turned the last page.