The last time I read romance, it was Dear John by Nicholas Sparks back in high school.
But then school ended, and much before that, my favorite librarian Anagha ma’am’s tenure did. She happened to be my go-to person for whatever questions I’d have under the sun. I could tell her what sort of story I was in mood to read and she instantly listed authors and urged me to go search for them. Not always, though.
To someone who read Enid Blyton till well into early middle school, she thoroughly emphasized the importance of exploring works by different people, across genres (particularly addressing my disdain for autobiographies back then: they all looked boring!)
Every Perfect Gift is the final book in a series featuring a young woman by the name of Sophie Caldwell who returns to her town Hickory Ridge, Tennessee.
Overcome with awe over the changes the place and its people had undergone and overcome with the determination to revive the town newspaper, she lands her first interview with successful architect and businessman Ethan Heyward, who has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
Sparks fly. But what if…?
In a time of bright calico skirts and wicker baskets full of bread, you almost hear horses neigh in the town’s livery. Small place, characters quilted together, a place where everyone knew everyone. The times are on the singing tip of revolution: the economy is looking up, women would get a right to vote… And maybe African blood won’t equal shame by horrible ancient alchemy any longer. Who knows.
1886 sounds so much like 2013; women could be taken for granted very easily. It is this conviction of Sophie’s that made Ethan fall for the willowy figure of grace.
There is a tragic secret the enigmatic Heyward smoothly hid. Sophie’s ran way back in time when she was the mongrel the Texans despised, till the Caldwells came along.
Towards the beginning of the book, the predominantly romantic mood is understated and negative. The characters could have done with a little more definition; the onslaught of names and lodgings become too much for a nap-deprived kid to handle, but that is probably what happens when you read the last book in a trilogy.
There are certain things that Dorothy Love touches upon, which are endearing, like description of working of a rotary press in vivid detail and of a pair of ink-stained hands fixing broken parts. Even how depicts she the racial tension and attitudes against the larger backdrop of privation just in time to rescue the common from the gallows of depression.
The writer’s first attempt at Christian fiction elicits sentiment as she relates stories of the lively town; hubbub of a man’s marriage with an older woman and Sophie’s conundrum over whether it be her career over a relationship turn out to be work to keep your interest alive.
Light and quick paced like Sophie’s favorite mare, the popping fizzling novel, though highly predictable, makes for a good read in thirty three chapters. While Ethan intrigues Sophie no end, she is petrified he will reject her like everyone else if he learns of her lineage; Ethan is taken in by Sophie’s breathtaking beauty and sharp intelligence.
As his past catches up with the new love fawning in his life, the Dorothy Love reminds us that people fall in love with humans too.