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The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham
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The Hope of Azure Springs

by Rachel Fordham

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Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Wow! A fabulous debut from Rachel Fordham!

Both the cover and the description had me hooked when I first saw this on Netgalley, and I'm so glad I decided to read it! It was so lovely to step into this simply-written small-town historical story with heart-melting characters, a sweet romance, and even gun-toting outlaws.

Both Caleb and Em were unique and realistic MCs with so much depth to their characters. I loved their sweet relationship, easy banter, and lighthearted competition. I also loved the secondary cast of Mae and Milly, Margaret, and the Howells, with the exception of Eliza. Her character was a bit . . . odd. I see why she was necessary to show how Em was different, but I feel like Eliza ended up being unrealistic. There are more effective ways to show the contrast, in my opinion.

The story, while a bit slow at times, was heartwarming and enthralling. I loved the contrast of inner beauty vs. outer beauty the author made. I feel like so many romances put such weight on the physical and often forget inner beauty entirely. Fordham did a fabulous job with that subject. The romance was slow and sweet and pure, just the way I like it.

A couple of my quibbles: Eliza, as mentioned above. As well, the writing style seemed a little oversimplified at times, which is probably just my personal preference. Also, some of the dialogue and description seemed historically innaccurateinauthentic. I'm always a stickler for historical accuracy, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of this book too much.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed The Hope of Azure Springs and look forward to reading more from this talented author!

Recommended for ages 14 for mild romance.


FTC DISCLOSURE: I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. A positive review was not required. These are my honest thoughts and opinions. ( )
  SarahGraceGrzy | Oct 2, 2018 |
The story is about one of the children from the orphan trains, but not one of the lucky ones. Instead, her story is tragic and sad. She seeks her sister Lucy and that is her end hope, to find her sister.

This was a really good book. To be honest, the cover art was nice to look at, but it in no way portrayed the story that I read between the pages. It was sad, it depressing but yet encouraging and delightful. It had me smiling and then teary. I loved this book. It took me a day and a half to finish it, and by the time I finished, I had texted my friends the picture of the book to tell them to read it!

The story is atypical to the traditional Christian fiction story, especially those set in the time period as this one. For a new author, Rachel Fordham, has captivated me. I want to read more from her. In fact, should I ever get an opportunity to write (aka be motivated) I aspire to write like Rachel.

I look forward to more stories by Rachel Fordham and encourage others to read this book also.

I received this book from the publisher with no requirements to leave a review. All opinions are my own. ( )
  sesquius | Aug 27, 2018 |
Where will Em decide her best future lies, in The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham?

Fordham brings to life the story of a “prince” and “princesses,” beauty and ugliness, and the ugly reality of lonely children who travel the orphan train west to very uncertain futures.

I loved Abigail and Abraham Howell and the generosity and love they show to Em in her hour of need. I also appreciate the fact that one of their children is NOT walking in their ways. How true to life that can really be.

I also loved that the heroine is not beautiful by most people’s description of beautiful. Beauty comes from the inside out. This is one discussion my husband and I have repeatedly with our young, single twenty-somethings. Can Caleb, the sheriff, ever start seeing with eyes of the soul?

Sometimes we think the little things we do for others don’t matter. Not so. Em discovers this when Abigail lends her a clean nightgown. “...it was not just a nightdress, it was kindness.”

A few other quotables:

“Where does a caged animal go when it is freed?”

“How will you ever truly live if you are too afraid to be where you need to be?”

Definitely, a book to read to experience the varied lives of orphan train children. I gratefully received a copy of the book from the publisher and NetGalley. This in no way affected my opinions. I was not required to leave a positive review. ( )
  Becky_L | Aug 15, 2018 |
I can’t believe this was a debut novel. This made me laugh and cry. I did not want to put this book down. The orphan train was an interesting idea but unluckily there were too many people who would abuse the system. I loved the characters of Em and Caleb. There were so many twists and turns for a historical novel. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will. ( )
  Virginia51 | Jul 29, 2018 |
This is a beautifully written story that takes readers to 1881 where the land was hard to work and the town was small in Azure Springs, Iowa. The author captures the time period with breathtaking scenery painted by words. I could see the town and the promises of growth and wealth in the small but almost forgotten piece of the world.

The character Em is a rare and mysterious young woman. She has been left to die but lucky for her was found and taken in by a gracious family. Em has had a hard life and her strength overwhelmed me. She never gives up and her determination is far greater than most her age. I loved how she didn't want hand outs and was willing to work to repay the family that helped her. She also has a mission to find her sister.

Caleb is the sheriff and wants to find out who hurt Em and why. He has this sense of protection over her and wants to help her find answers to her past. Their relationship is slow and I kept wondering why Em was referred to as a plain woman. Perhaps people couldn't see the real beauty she had inside. The author draws the characters closer as they open up about their past. There are emotional times that brought tears to my eyes. Will Em find her sister? Can Caleb and Em learn to trust each other? It's hard to believe this is a debut novel . The writing flows easily and the character development is right on track. There is a bit of danger in the story that will keep readers on their toes. Overall I love the townspeople and how they came together to help Em feel at home.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing . The review is my own opinion. ( )
  Harley0326 | Jul 28, 2018 |
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