Time is fleeting, the days fade fast. Treasure faith and family, only they will last. ~Charlotte
This was my first book by Carrie Turansky and I'm left asking myself “why did I wait so long to discover this exceptional author”? I do have other books of hers on my bookshelf so it's not like I have any excuse to not have picked them up. That being said, I discovered I really enjoy dual-timeline stories so I was excited to review this for Bethany House when the opportunity came! I was most eager to explore the legacy of Longdale Manor and history it held within its walls. I'm delighted to say, my heart was left satisfied at the end.
As with dual-timelines, there are two stories to get lost in...one is set in 1912 and the other is set in 2012. I've never heard of England's Lake District and I was thrilled to travel along with the characters in this beautiful city. I could picture each detail in my mind as Turansky described them. I'm also a hopeless romantic, so watching the two love stories play out was delightful. This story isn't without its struggles and both Charlotte and Gwen have their share of them. From a secret held close to the heart, to a need to prove that oneself is good enough played out in the pages with plenty of emotion. My heart went out to both of these women who dealt with life's worst thrown at them. God plays a central part in all of it as each character learns how to navigate both their faith and relationships. Forgiveness is a strong theme as both women grapple with how to overcome some very real hurts. And then of course, we get to know Ian and David and what role they play as romance develops and as they conquer their own conflicts of the heart.
All in all, this was an absolute pleasure to read! My emotions and heart were invested in each of the characters and my faith grew along with them. I also grew fond of David's grandmother Lilly and Charlotte's mom Rose. They played a central role in teaching valuable lessons and sharing their own faith as they walked through life.
This quote from Turansky at the end of the book sums it all up for me: The themes of fatherhood, forgiveness, and holding on to your faith through painful times are important to me, and I hope they shine through in this story. ~Author's Note
*I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions expressed here are my own. *
Two women--a century apart--embark on a journey to healing, faith, forgiveness, and romance.
In 2012, art historian Gwen Morris travels to England's Lake District to appraise the paintings and antiques of an old family friend, hoping to prove herself to her prestigious grandfather. While at Longdale Manor, she meets David Bradford--the owner's handsome grandson--who is desperate to save the crumbling estate by turning it into a luxury hotel. When Gwen stumbles upon a one-hundred-year-old journal and an intricately carved shepherd's staff similar to one in a photo of her parents, she's left searching for answers.
In 1912, after her father's death, Charlotte Harper uncovers a painful family secret she can only confess to her journal. She and her family travel to the Lake District to stay on a sheep farm, hoping eventually to find a home with Charlotte's grandfather at Longdale Manor, but old wounds and bitter regrets make it a difficult challenge. As Charlotte grows closer to shepherd Ian Storey and rebuilds her shattered faith, she must decide whether she will ever trust in love again.