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For the Love of Literature

As a bibliophile, my passion for books coalesces with a love of writing, and writing book reviews allows me to share literature with the world.

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Blowing on Dandelions - Miralee Ferrell

If only life was as easy as making dandelion wishes. But as Katherine Galloway knows,"There was no fantasy world where thirty-two-year-old women--or little girls for that matter--could ride the dandelion fluff and become someone they weren't." A widow of three years who balances motherhood with running a boardinghouse, Katherine has accepted the hardships she faces and tries her best to keep moving forward. However, now her overbearing and acerbic mother, Frances Connors, is coming for a visit, and she dreads having another cause of stress in her life. Katherine firmly believes in respecting her elders, particularly her mother, even though she does nothing but criticize and try to assume control. Katherine decided long ago that she will have a better relationship with her own two daughters than she has with her mother, and she moves this determination to the forefront in the wake of their grandmother's arrival. Nevertheless, her obeisance does not preclude her from wishing that her circumstances were different and from wondering why God doesn't change her mother's attitude, especially when she meets a handsome single man.

Widower Micah Jacobs and his son Zachary have come to Baker City, Oregon to make a fresh start. Micah owns the town livery, and he is still grieving his late wife's untimely death and harboring anger toward God for allowing it to happen. A chance encounter introduces him to Katherine, and his son and Katherine's older daughter, Lucy, develop a close friendship. Micah's life seems to be heading in the right direction when a tragic event upsets his new start and seems to push him even further away from God and from happiness. As a reluctant lodger at the boardinghouse, he finds himself in the midst of a tumultuous situation between Frances, the other boarders, and Katherine, who is often caught in the crossfire. Sometimes, though, the Lord works in mysterious ways, and perhaps it isn't too late for healing and renewal to begin.

"Blowing on Dandelions," book one of author Miralee Ferrell's "Love Blossoms in Oregon" trilogy, sets a promising precedent for the remainder of the series. With intelligent, well-crafted prose, Ferrell takes readers on a literary and spiritual journey that spans the past and bridges the gap between the story's 1880 setting and contemporary life with timeless dilemmas and relatable characters. Everybody knows someone who is difficult to love, and everyone can identify with the struggles of faith and love. "Blowing on Dandelions" presents practical Christianity and faith in action, avoiding pie-in-the-sky preaching in favor of illuminating the true message of the Gospel--i.e., loving God and loving one's neighbors. This heartwarming novel encourages readers in their daily lives and faith walk as Ferrell dexterously weaves a story rife with adversity but also abounding in love and triumph. Suitable for an adult and young adult audience, "Blowing on Dandelions" proves to be a quick and lively read, thanks in part to short chapters and a captivating plot. There is also an "AfterWords" section appended to the novel itself, providing an Author's Note regarding Ferrell's reason for writing the story, thought-provoking discussion questions for individual or group consideration, and an enticing look at chapter one of "Wishing on Buttercups," the second book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.