As the second book in the Land of Shining Water series by Tracie Peterson, The Quarryman’s Bride caught my attention immediately in chapter 1. It was one of those books that I wish I could sit down and read from start to finish. The Land of Shining water series focuses on settlers in Minnesota during the late 1800’s just before the turn of the century.
The first book in the series, The Icecutter’s Daughter, was full of action and intrigue. In contrast, The Quarryman’s Bride, focuses on main character Emmalyne Knox’s internal struggles to be a good daughter despite her hard family circumstances, and shattered disappointments. But, don’t anticipate a boring read because Peterson is a gifted storyteller that shows us the hearts’ of her characters while cleverly introducing us to Minnesota’s spirited pioneers.
At age seventeen, Emmalyne Knox was almost a bride to her childhood sweetheart Tavin. When disaster kills her two sisters, Emmalyne’s mother retreats into depression to deal with her loss, while her father, already a harden man, becomes bitterly angry. In his anger Luthias severs his daughter’s engagement and leaves the area with his family. But fate and a good job cause the Know family to return to St. Cloud a decade later.
Although older now, Emmalyne returns to her place of disappointed hopes to learn that Tavin has also returned, but he is not the same loveable Tavin she knew. Instead, he is embittered and angry, much like her father. In her despair, and with the help of a caring friend, Emmalyne turns to God and finds hope for herself and her family, despite her hard life.
Once again Tracie Peterson deftly shares the struggles of the human heart through her characters and shows us how hope in God can change our hearts and maybe even our lives. The Quarryman’s Bride is a poignant story of love and loss and healing.
Bethany House Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of The Quarryman’s Bride by Tracie Peterson to review.