Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: Beyond All Measure

Beyond All Measure by Dorothy Love is an historical fiction romance set in the backwoods of Tennessee shortly after the Civil War. Ada Wentworth has just come from Boston by train to be the companion to a cantankerous elderly woman. The circumstances that led to this situation are kept from the reader for quite some time, yet eventually unfold. Expecting to be met at the train station by the woman who hired her by correspondence, she is surprised and flustered when Wyatt Caldwell comes to get her instead. She’s even more flustered when Mr. Caldwell turns out to be her employer, a Civil War veteran and successful mill owner who has hired her to care for his aunt.

Though it all begins so awkwardly, the story unfolds in a subtle, quiet way. I really liked this, so let me try to explain. When you put a Yankee in the midst of deep southerners just after such a traumatic war, there are bound to be problems. To make matters worse, the small town where the story takes place is struggling with racial tensions. The war is over, but people are still choosing sides as they work to discover what their changed world will ultimately look like. There is a lot of repressed anger and conflict in the story, yet most of it is resolved peacefully as people get to know each other over time. As they do this, they learn and grow and change themselves, building a successful community. Ada, Wayne, Lillian, and some unexpected others play their part in this process as they choose to do what’s right regardless of what others pressure them to do and sometimes above concern for their own safety.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. I’ll admit I was frustrated by the author’s obviously kept secrets at the beginning of the story, but once I got past those, I liked the way the story played out. If you enjoy historical romances, I recommend this book.

Thank you, Thomas Nelson Publishers, for sending it to me.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the honest review. Hope you have a good week! :O)