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Author: Jane Peart

ISBN: 9780061043147
Pages: 224
Description: I like that I can depend on these books to give me characters who genuinely want to do the right thing in their personal lives, even if they have various flaws.
In this book, Sara Leighton is in love with a man she met while she was off at school, but when he gets engaged to someone else, she “settles” for a different man and gets married too. In many other books this would be the catalyst for adultery or at least a lot of angst, and while she does pine for her lost love to some degree, she also matures and gets on with life and is just fine.
I think the idea that first love isn’t always successful, and that that’s not necessarily a life-ruining thing, is a valid and realistic point.

The nitpicking: I’m not sure why her husband first fell in love with her, other than for her beauty. It was very much a love at first sight, that’s-who-I’m-going-to-marry knee jerk reaction from him, and I’m not a huge fan of moments like that.
Also, I continue to be uncomfortable with the fact that these stories are primarily set in the antebellum South, and that slavery is not mentioned as a remotely problematic thing…and it’s not like these books are a “product of their time,” because they were written in the 90’s. The characters seem to take it for granted that the established order of things is right and proper, and I guess that’s realistic, but it’s awfully grating for a modern reader.
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