Friday, September 23, 2022

A GEM OF TRUTH by Kimberley Woodhouse, Reviewed by Paula and Winnie

With a setting in the Grand Canyon in 1907, A Gem of Truth continues the Secrets of the Canyon series by talented author Kimberley Woodhouse. It was fun to return to El Tovar Hotel and the Harvey Girls who worked there. I’ve enjoyed learning more about this slice of history.

Woodhouse has created a cast of colorful, engaging characters and placed them in a beautiful, historic setting. This tale stars Julia Schultz as a story-telling Harvey Girl and Christopher Miller as a jeweler who is invited to show and sell his wares at the Hopi House near the hotel. Julia’s stories have caught up to her, and she is striving to be more truthful and develop some friendships with the other girls. Christopher needs to earn enough money to buy the shop he’s been renting.

When Julia finds part of a legendary treasure, things begin to get exciting, but dangerous. Adventure, twists and turns, inspiration, and a dash of romance all combine to make this an entertaining addition to the series. It can be read as a stand alone book, but many of the characters from the first book appear in this one.
*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from Bethany House Publishers through Interviews and Reviews. All opinions are my own.

Harvey girl Julia hides the shame of her past behind the outrageous but entertaining stories she tells, all to gain the self-esteem she lacks. Christopher is a jeweler who is commissioned to take his craft to El Tovar, the shining star of the Harvey House chain.

This story is filled with secrets and a treasure hunt, villains as well as upstanding characters. We get to see more of the Grand Canyon and the Hopi artists from the first book, as well as meet the new Harvey Girl, Julia and Chris who has his own set of problems when the landlord of his rented jewelry shop decides to sell.

Spiritual struggles play out with mentor and head waitress, Ruth, trying to reach Julia for the Lord. And even though Chris, a believer, is showing interest in Julia, he does not know if he can trust her.

It was interesting to see how the author created a legend of lost treasure and weave it into the story that caused the characters to examine their faith. A theme that resonated was that God pursues us and loves us. My favorite verses: Romans 8: 38 & 39, were used to draw Julia to Christ.

I liked the descriptions of the jewels and jewelry making because I dabble in making jewelry. The whole story was intriguing and kept me turning pages. I cannot wait to see what happens to Ruth and who her suitor will be.
*A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Bethany House through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

5 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
Escaping her shattered past is much more difficult than she imagined.

Julia Schultz has a reputation for being a storyteller, or as others see it, a liar. But with her dark and painful past, stories are all that have kept her company throughout her life. Longing for a fresh start and a second chance to earn real trust, Julia takes a job as a Harvey Girl at the El Tovar Hotel, where she's challenged to be her true self.

Learning the trade of a master jeweler is hard work, but Christopher Miller takes pride in running his family's small shop and earning the respect of the people around him. But when he discovers that he has six weeks to buy his building from his landlord before it is sold, he must find a way to save his grandfather's legacy.

United by the discovery of a legendary treasure, Chris and Julia find hope in each other. But when Julia's past catches up with her, doubt creeps into Chris's heart. Can he really trust her and her stories?

Bethany House, September 20, 2022
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