Monday, August 19, 2013

Break the Caste

Her Good Name

     Ruth Axtell
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In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father's business empire.

Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas," Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter  how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.

When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?

     Her Good Name is a cute romance, but it takes a while. The book takes a long time to get to the point that the summary on the back of the book talks about. It took about two hundred pages to get there and it just dragged out. Also, reading those first two hundred pages made me really uncomfortable because the way Espy's flaws are drawn out makes me feel put on the spot. I nearly decided to skip the parts, because I couldn't stand it. It took me the longest amount of time just to get the courage to keep moving through the book. However, I get embarrassed easily, and any situation the character finds themselves in reflects onto me.

     Once you got past that, I felt like the book really wrapped up quickly. I wanted to enjoy the characters transformations, but it kind of just drifted and skipped past those parts. It was like bang and then two month later she has experienced growth. I wanted to experience that growth with them. Also, that drifting and skipping is always super obvious, which leaves you in the dust. Sometimes just above the first paragraph in a new chapter will have a date. You need to watch those to know where things fit along the timeline. 

     Other than that, I enjoyed the ending. I liked the spiritual aspects of it. It showed the differences in ministries and types of ministers. I wasn't so comfortable with the hypocritical aspects that came with some of the characters in terms of ministry, as I liked to see through rose colored glasses, but it did cast a realistic glow over those parts of the book. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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