By Miralee Ferrell
David C. Cook, 2013
Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl.
In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don't get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn't easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming.
Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.
Blowing on Dandelions, set in Baker City, Oregon in 1880, is the first book in Miralee Ferrell's Love Blossoms in Oregon series. Like other books I've read of Miralee's, this story deals with life/family issues - namely, long-running conflict between a mother and daughter. Both narrative and plot are strong, and we are introduced to some very interesting characters.
Katherine is a character I sympathized with and admired from the beginning - a daughter who felt unwanted, unable to measure up to her domineering mother's expectations. "Always her memory returned to those times when the dandelion fluff had carried her away to a place where mothers were loving and kind, and little girls didn't need to be afraid of cutting words or sharp voices." The quiet, rugged strength of Micah Jacobs is exactly what Katherine needs, and while the mother/daughter conflict takes center stage, their romance is sweet and enjoyable.
"Mama's favors always came with a price."
Miralee very effectively uses the vehicle of a boardinghouse to place an unusual assortment of characters in close vicinity, and even more conflict is introduced with the arrival of guest Wilma Roberts, who I grew to love. Wilma is an imposing and proud woman, yet she senses that Katherine's mother is lonely and determines to become her friend. And then there's the mysterious Jeffery Tucker, who I suspect we will see much more of.
Katherine's mother, Frances, is an extremely abrasive character who made me even more thankful than I already am for the wonderful mother I was blessed with. Anyone who has experienced family conflict can relate to this story and be inspired by the hope that it offers. I like the slow, but steady spiritual growth that several characters experience.
One of the best things about a series is getting to continue on with certain characters, and I look forward to what Miralee has in store for us in Wishing on Buttercups, which releases on February 1, 2014. Recommended to those who enjoy historical romance and relationship drama. Rating of 5 stars, based on the criteria on my sidebar.
From the AfterWords section at the end . . .
"Not many things in life are easy, but I truly believe there is no relationship too hard or any heart too wounded for God to mend. But, yes, it does come to a matter of free will. God won't force anyone to change or conform to His image.
"If we commit to pray for the person who has caused us pain, we can be assured that God will do His part and speak to their heart. So don't ever think that prayer can't work for your relationship or problem, even if you don't see results quickly or tangibly. God speaks to the heart. He is a God of miracles, and He is more than enough."
Miralee Ferrell heads the local chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers serving the Portland, Or-Vancouver, Wa area. Miralee is a published author in both women's contemporary fiction and historical romance. She's married and has two children, loves to garden, read, ride horses and sail with her husband.
Visit Miralee's website to learn more.