The Fashion Designer, #2 The Pattern Artist by Nancy Moser

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: The Fashion Designer
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 1st, 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
ISBN1683226011 (ISBN13: 9781683226017)
Series
Also available in ebook format

The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City

Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offer to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.

Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.

Personal and financial setbacks threaten to keep the business from ever selling a single dress and test old relationships and new romances. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

MY REVIEW:

As The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser starts, changes in society were great or were imminent. Women were tired of sitting at home, unable to do more than silently support their men. They wanted the right to be included in the working force, and also the right to vote. They wanted a new sense of purpose.

In this sequel to the Pattern Artist, Annie and Sean are now married, and Annie, Maude, and Edna have a big purpose-to start a fashion company for the average working woman… or so they think…

I enjoyed seeing how humans planned, but God Himself came to the rescue time after time. I liked that when one person would get discouraged, another would pick up the mantle of encourager. It was interesting to see how one person of faith and vision could influence so many others. Annie succeeded because she trusted in God and she well understood her mission. “We’re offering our customers more than just a dress,” Annie said. “We’re offering them the chance to embrace their choice to be a modern woman.”

At times the book had a “Grace Livingston Hill” feel to it, as there were so many singles starting out who rather quickly found God’s choice of partner. I would have preferred a few less main circle characters and storylines, and a little more fleshing out of the forerunners.

Bottom line: while this was not one of the fastest books I’ve read, it was great for gaining insight into the mindset of the American woman in the early 1900’s. I recommend this book. It can stand alone.

I gratefully received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way influenced my opinions. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of thirty inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories.

Her latest historical novel is “The Pattern Artist” about Macy’s and the Butterick Pattern Company in 1911 New York City. It was a finalist for a Romantic Times award. Its sequel is “The Fashion Designer”.

Other recent titles include the Downton Abbey-inspired Manor House Series: “Love of the Summerfields”, “Bride of the Summerfields”, and “Rise of the Summerfields.”

Her historical bio-novels allow real women-of-history to share their life stories: “Just Jane” (Jane Austen), “Mozart’s Sister” (Nannerl Mozart), “Washington’s Lady” (Martha Washington) and “How Do I Love Thee?” (Elizabeth Barrett Browning.)

“An Unlikely Suitor” was named to Booklist’s Top 100 Romance Novels of the last decade.

Nancy’s time-travel novel, “Time Lottery”, won a Christy Award, and “Washington’s Lady” was a finalist.

Her contemporary books are known for their big-casts and intricate plotting. Some titles are “The Invitation”, “John 3: 16”, “Crossroads”, “Solemnly Swear”, “The Sister Circle”, “The Seat Beside Me”, and “The Good Nearby”.

Nancy and her husband live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She knits voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique–humans included.

Website: www.nancymoser.com

 

 

The (A) Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter

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About the Book:

Title: The Christmas Prayer

Paperback, 176 pages
Expected publication: September 1st, 2018 by Shiloh Run Press
ISBN
1683226577 (ISBN13: 9781683226574)

Beloved, bestselling author of Amish fiction, Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a journey in 1850 along the California Trail.

Only the brave—or foolhardy—would attempt a cross-country journey late in the season. Three wagons meet up in Independence, Missouri, in April 1850, and their owners decide to keep forging ahead despite many setbacks and delays. December finds them in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when a sudden snowstorm traps them, obscuring the trail.

Cynthia Cooper is traveling with her mother and the man she has promised to marry. But as Christmas is upon them and they are hunkered down in a small cabin, she is forced to reevaluate her reasons for planning to marry fellow-traveler Walter Prentice. When a widowed father heading to a California ranch and a gold prospector both show an interest in Cynthia, she weighs her dreams for marriage alongside her responsibility to care for her mother. Can love win over her timid heart?

MY REVIEW:

This historical romance, The Christmas Prayer by Wanda Brunstetter, is a very promising plot that fell short for me. I have read several of Brunstetter’s Amish books and really liked them. I have read at least one other historical romance she wrote that I thought was a true winner. This one, I believe, just was too short (it is a novella) and space ran out before the narrative could conclude smoothly. I think, had this book been a novel, things would have happened at what I would consider a good speed and it could have been a great book.

I felt for poor Cynthia stuck on the westward trail in 1850 with a much older, unkind, uncaring fiancé. Especially when there were two highly eligible other young men in their little wagon train. The children, Amelia and Alan, had very integral roles.

The portrayal of the characters was interesting, but at the end, I wanted to see more fleshing out. I realized many were more two-dimensional than I would have liked.

The journey was interesting, but it seemed to reach a climax, then abruptly loose ends were tied up and the novella ended. I felt like I was riding a horse at a good canter, but then the horse suddenly came to an abrupt stop at the edge of a bluff, and I got thrown.

Two songs characterized this book for me: in one spot, Keith Green’s early 80’s hit, “So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?!”; and “You Can’t Hurry Love(You Just Gotta Wait).”

Quotable: “When our hope is lost, that’s when we need to rely fully on Him, for with God, all things are possible.”

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, for which I am solely responsible. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

About the Author:

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Wanda Brunstetter

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda’s stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at www.wandabrunstetter.com.

The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham

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About the Book:

Title: The Hope of Azure Springs

Genre: Historical Fiction

Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 3rd, 2018 by Revell
ISBN
0800734734 (ISBN13: 9780800734732)

MY REVIEW:

Where will Em decide her best future lies, in The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham?

Fordham brings to life the story of a “prince” and “princesses,” beauty and ugliness, and the ugly reality of lonely children who travel the orphan train west to very uncertain futures.

I loved Abigail and Abraham Howell and the generosity and love they show to Em in her hour of need. I also appreciate the fact that one of their children is NOT walking in their ways. How true to life that can really be.

I also loved that the heroine is not beautiful by most people’s description of beautiful. Beauty comes from the inside out. This is one discussion my husband and I have repeatedly with our young, single twenty-somethings. Can Caleb, the sheriff, ever start seeing with eyes of the soul?

Sometimes we think the little things we do for others don’t matter. Not so. Em discovers this when Abigail lends her a clean nightgown. “…it was not just a nightdress, it was kindness.”

A few other quotables:

“Where does a caged animal go when it is freed?”

“How will you ever truly live if you are too afraid to be where you need to be?”

Definitely, a book to read to experience the varied lives of orphan train children. I gratefully received a copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinions. I was not required to leave a positive review.

 

About the Author:

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Rachel Fordham

Website

Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children’s bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.