Sunday, January 30, 2022

Book Review: The Lady's Mine by Francine Rivers

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to the California frontier in this sweeping, romantic tale of a displaced New England suffragette, a former Union soldier disinherited by his Southern family, and the town they join forces to save.

When Kathryn Walsh arrives in tiny Calvada, a mining town nestled in the Sierra Nevadas, falling in love is the farthest thing from her mind. Banished from Boston by her wealthy stepfather, she has come to claim an inheritance from the uncle she never knew: a defunct newspaper office on a main street overflowing with brothels and saloons, and a seemingly worthless mine. Moved by the oppression of the local miners and their families, Kathryn decides to relaunch her uncle’s newspaper—and then finds herself in the middle of a maelstrom, pitted against Calvada’s most powerful men. But Kathryn intends to continue to say—and publish—whatever she pleases, especially when she knows she’s right.

Matthias Beck, owner of a local saloon and hotel, has a special interest in the new lady in town. He instantly recognizes C. T. Walsh’s same tenacity in the beautiful and outspoken redhead—and knows all too well how dangerous that family trait can be. While Kathryn may be right about Calvada’s problems, her righteousness could also get her killed. But when the handsome hotelier keeps finding himself on the same side of the issues as the opinionated Miss Walsh, Matthias’s restless search for purpose becomes all about answering the call of his heart.

Everyone may be looking to strike it rich in this lawless boomtown, but it’s a love more precious than gold that will ultimately save them all.

Read an excerpt from The Lady's Mine on Tyndale Publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

Francine Rivers rates as one of my favorite authors and I’ve anticipated reading The Lady’s Mine since I first heard of it. I don’t consider this stand-alone, historical romance lighthearted, but it felt less broody than other novels by this author. With Matthias’ flirtations, Kathryn’s quick rebuttals, and a handful of squirrely side characters, the book had plenty of mild humor.

In the author’s notes of The Lady’s Mine, Francine Rivers explains that she explored the question, “Can one person impact an entire community?” Being set in Calvada, California, an 1870’s mining town replete with greed, lust, and lawlessness, the novel probes the many ways an individual affects his or her community.

Equally strong throughout The Lady’s Mine, a study on gender equality plays out. Kathryn and Matthias, the lead characters, clash often as Kathryn refuses to wilt under blatant gender discrimination and boldly pursues her God-given purpose. Avoiding overly feministic rhetoric, the narrative follows the characters as they learn the necessity and benefits of mutual respect. Frequent swirls of attraction add a delicious layer of romance to their relationship.  

In conclusion, The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers will likely appeal to Christian fiction readers who enjoy gritty historical settings, a strong heroine, and a satisfying romance.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.

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