Friday, March 25, 2022

Book Review: Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen

About the Book:

This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts.

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary.Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

My Thoughts:

Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen contained all my favorite story elements: emotional depth, perfectly paced character development, and swirling romance. The characters in this beautiful story experience loss and brokenness with genuine sorrow; yet, the novel is not a heavy read. By the time I got a few chapters in, Sloane and her story had me captivated to the point I read through most of the book one Sunday afternoon. Sloane rates as my favorite character, but Jack is another favorite because he’s so honest and raw about his struggles. I loved the authenticity to the characters and their journeys.

I appreciated the themes in Roots of Wood and Stone. Perhaps the most poignant for me was about finding redemption even when restoration isn’t possible. I’ll leave a favorite quote here: “Though painful, Papa’s abandonment had led her here. To Jack. To this hard, messy, wonderful adventure of a life. The Lord had indeed wrought beauty for her life’s most bitter moments.”

Roots of Wood and Stone, Amanda Wen’s debut novel and first in the Sedgwick County Chronicles series, surpassed my expectations. Reading this story was time well-spent. I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy Christian fiction with romance and depth. 4.5 Stars!

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.


  1. I love stories about redemption. That quote you put in your review, is beautiful.

  2. This one is on my TBR list and I look forward to reading it. Great review!