Title: The Heart of Thornewell
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Enid Hawthorne is in shock from her grief. She and her husband have traveled from England to Africa to fulfill her husband’s dream of being a missionary. Now, he has died from a very short illness, leaving Enid alone in a foreign country, friendless and pregnant. Enid does the only thing she can and that is to gather her belongings and leave on foot for the next village and slowly begins her journey back to England. Upon arrival, she has no family or friends to take her in, so she arrives on the doorstep of her husband’s brother, the Earl of Thornewell, hoping he will take her in. Upon arrival, she learns that her good friend, Marie, the earl’s wife, has died a week after giving birth and the newborn child has also died. The earl, Sebastian, is in mourning and seclusion and wants nothing to do with Enid. He blames her for taking his brother away and thus causing his death. Enid is mortified, but the earl gives her no chance to explain. However, he allows her to stay as long as they don’t see each other.
As her pregnancy progresses, Enid makes Thornewell her home. She spends time with her two young nephews and quickly sees their grief and need for their father. She is angry that the earl is allowing his sons and his household to be severely neglected. She can hold her tongue no longer and sets about telling the earl just what she thinks of him and his treatment of this own children and staff of loyal employees. Her words hit home and the earl emerges from his room and begins to live again. While initially they don’t spend time together, that soon changes and romance is in the air. However, Enid is keeping a secret that she fears will cause Sebastian to end their romance. They both are still angry and hurt over the subject of Sebastian’s brother, but they don’t talk about it. If they are to have a future together, then they must base their relationship on total truth. Will Enid trust Sebastian enough to share her secret?
The author does a nice job conveying the anger, hurt, grief and angst of the two main characters. The struggles each main character has with grief was realistic. Through these difficult times, Enid shows her reliance upon God and leans on him to walk beside her. She remembers His blessings on her and that is something that really hit home with me. I have been blessed so much be God. Thanks to Anita for that timely reminder!
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