Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review (+ Tour GIVEAWAY): No Small Storm by Anne Mateer

About the Book

Title: No Small Storm  
Author: Anne Matteer  
Genre: Historical/Historical Romance 
Release Date: August, 2017

September 1815, Providence, Rhode Island 

Thirty-year-old Remembrance “Mem” Wilkins loves her solitary life running the farm and orchard she inherited from her father and has no plans to give up her independence. Especially not for the likes of Mr. Graham Lott. But when Mem is unable to harvest the apples on her own, she accepts the help of the man she despises. 

Fresh off a boat from Ireland with his four-year-old son in tow, Simon Brennan secures a building in which to ply his trade as a cobbler. Still healing from the grief of his wife’s death a year earlier, he determines to focus only on providing a good life for his son. But when he intervenes in an argument on behalf of the intriguing Miss Wilkins, sister-in-law of the tavern owner who befriends him, he suddenly finds himself crossways with his landlord, Mr. Lott, and relieved of his lease and most of his money. 

With no means of support, Simon takes a job helping Mem with her harvest, relieving her of the need of Lott’s help. But their growing attraction to each other makes them both uneasy. Mem gladly escapes to town when her sister begins labor, and Simon, believing it best to distance himself from Mem, takes his son and leaves. 

But neither anticipates the worst gale New England has ever seen—or that the storm will threaten all they hold dear.


My Thoughts

Anne Mateer is a new author to me and I enjoyed not only her writing style, but the time period in which this story is set, as Christian fiction doesn’t reflect nearly enough early American settings as I’d like. No Small Storm is a well-crafted story with appealing lead characters and good character depth for a novella. I’m glad it begins the Coast-to-Coast Brides series because I’m eager to read more.

Her Father God, who cared for the lowliest of sparrows,
knew exactly what she’d needed. And when.
If only He hadn’t sent that help wrapped
in such fine packaging, both inside and out.

Remembrance (Mem) and Simon are easily relatable characters. Mem, working hard to harvest the family apple orchard that she inherited, is a delightful blend of strength, determination, and insecurities – realizing that many suitors are only interested in her possessions. Simon has the leading man traits that I admire – integrity, tender, protective – and I cared for him immediately. And I can guarantee that his four-year-old son will steal your heart!

I loved the historical detail, especially that Mateer drew inspiration from an actual hurricane that hit Providence in 1815. Experiencing it through the character’s eyes is so much different than with today’s technological advances. Be sure to read Anne’s interesting guest post below for lots more detail.

Spiritual elements are subtle but very much present, as both Simon and Mem rekindle a faith that had become less important in their lives and learn what it means to surrender. These words from Anne’s post beautifully capture what we find in No Small Storm … Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires.

I thoroughly enjoyed No Small Storm and want to read more by Anne Mateer soon.


I was provided a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Anne Mateer has loved reading and writing stories since childhood. She is the author of 4 historical novels, 1 historical novella, and a few contemporary short stories. 

Anne and her husband of 30 years, Jeff, love to visit their grown children and tour historical sites. They are currently living an empty nest adventure in Austin, TX.

Guest Post from Anne Mateer

I’m always up for a good historical story. It’s what I enjoy reading. It’s what I enjoy writing. But I find that my pleasure in any historical fiction increases exponentially when the story at hand is based on at least a kernel of historical fact. All four of my full-length novels share this trait. So it stood to reason that when turning my mind to a historical novella I would seek the same grounding in truth I’ve sought before.

So what historical fact inspired No Small Storm? It was a combination of them, actually. Which I think always makes for the best tales!

I like an overarching historical event to help frame a story. Things like war or economic crisis or natural disaster. Situations in the historical record which required courage or resilience or sacrifice from the people who lived through them. When I stumbled upon the Great Gale of 1815, which hit Providence, Rhode Island particularly hard, I knew it could provide obstacles for my characters to overcome.

As I began to read about this event—a hurricane before such storms were commonly called hurricanes—I happened upon some first hand accounts of that day. Fascinating remembrances about a storm arriving without much preamble, then departing and leaving bright sunny skies with which to view the destruction.

And destruction there was! Not only from wind and water, but also the fact that both of those things unleashed the ships moored in the harbor and sent them sailing down the main street of town! Can you imagine looking out of the second or third story window of a building which was likely flooded on the ground floor and seeing a ship coming at you?

That, in itself, was dramatic enough. Especially when coupled with the fact that those ships often broke apart, whether from wind and waves or from contact with the buildings and bridges they encountered on land. Then I considered the in those ships? What happened to them? Many were flung into the water, searching for purchase.

It was just such a circumstance that brought one man to the window of a young woman. She helped him inside. They were later married. And if finding such a story that isn’t a romance writer’s delight, I don’t know what is!

Finally, as I continued to read about the destruction in the area, I discovered a few lines about area orchards. The hanging fruit was found covered with a dusting of white. When tasted, it was discovered to be salt. Salt from storm surge and sea spray. Salt that saturated, even miles inland. Water and wind—and they salt they carried—ruining fruit crops ready for harvest. What could be more devastating to a farmer than that?

And so No Small Storm was born, with Remembrance and Simon each trying to make a good life for themselves, each trying to trust God as they work hard. Each keeping careful watch over their heart. But sometimes circumstances take things we don’t want to give. And give things we never imagined possible.

Historical fact and spiritual truth. Characters who are a product of their times as well as universal in their struggles and desires. It’s the kind of story I love to read. And the kind of story I’m proud to write.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, February 6
Carpe Diem, February 6
The Power of Words, February 8
Kathleen Denly, February 10
Bukwurmzzz, February 11
By The Book, February 12
Maureen’s Musings, February 12
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 13
Mary Hake, February 13
A Greater Yes, February 15
Janices book reviews, February 15
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 16
Bibliophile Reviews, February 17
Margaret Kazmierczak, February 17 (Interview)
Simple Harvest Reads, February 18 (Guest post from Mindy)
Bigreadersite, February 18
Pursuing Stacie, February 19


To celebrate her tour, Anne is giving away a grand prize of a reader bag of goodies that includes …

  • Pride and Prejudice fleece throw
  • “Reading” charm necklace from Storied Jewelry
  • Secret Garden lithograph tote bag
  • $25 Amazon gift card!!!

Click the image above or link below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!


  1. Thank you for your review on "No Small Storm" by Anne Mateer and for being part of the book tour!

    You have reaffirmed my desire to read this book in your review and I enjoyed the guest post with author as well.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Kay. I think I've got a couple of Anne's earlier books somewhere on my Kindle that I need to locate and start reading. Based on this novella, she writes my kind of story. So glad you stopped by today, Kay.

  2. loved this post and your review. thanks. this has to go on my to buy list
    quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

    1. Thank you, Lori. I really enjoyed this story and hope you get to read it soon.

  3. Always enjoy Anne's works, Wings of a Dream being my favorite. Thank you for hosting the giveaway.

  4. So glad you enjoyed Mem and Simon's story, Carole!

  5. Great review for a great book. Anne is a wonderful author and I would encourage anyone to read her books.

  6. I have read some of Anne's books and really enjoyed them, this one sounds like another one I'd like. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

    wfnren at aol dot com

  7. Sounds very good thank you, and a new Author for me also, I'm looking forward to reading this, Thanks

  8. Having experienced Hurricane Harvey this past August, the topic interests me, and never having read any of Anne's books, I would love to read this one.

  9. This sounds really good--I'd love to read it!

  10. The New England states have such a seafaring history. This book sounds like one I'd enjoy reading.