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A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham
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A Life Once Dreamed (edition 2020)

by Rachel Fordham (Author)

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1611986,670 (4.36)7
Member:LilTexasLibrary
Title:A Life Once Dreamed
Authors:Rachel Fordham (Author)
Info:Revell (2020), Edition: 7/2, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Book Review Selection

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A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham

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"Because I don't know what's ahead and neither do you. But when we get there, to whatever it is that is next, we have to be ready to welcome it, not scrambling to catch up."

This is my first book by Rachel Fordham and I can't believe it's taken me this long to read one of her books! What a sweet historical romance full of second chances and adventures in the untamed territory of the west. The author's writing style is easy to follow and she will naturally lead you into the heart of Penance, Dakota Territory where you'll root for the success of the town and the people who make up the growing town. If you enjoy historical romance set in the west, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Aggie is a spunky, independent, stubborn, compassionate schoolteacher who fled her wealthy lifestyle back East to devote herself to teaching the children out west. She has a secret and a great love from back home she's fleeing from. James, her next-door neighbor from Buffalo and her almost-fiance, comes to Penance to reclaim their love while serving as a doctor in a community desperate for medical help. I enjoyed how Aggie and James both grew emotionally and spiritually during the book. Aggie learns to trust more in the sovereignty of God and James learns what true, sacrificial love means. My favorite character, though, was Sam - a lovable, down-to-earth, plain-spoken logger who is sweet, tender, thoughtful, and honest about his dreams and heartbreaks.

I received a copy of the book from Baker Publishing Group (Revell) and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All comments and opinions are solely my own. ( )
  SBMC | Aug 7, 2020 |
Title: A Life Once Dreamed
Author: Rachel Fordham
Pages: 336
Year: 2020
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
If you haven’t yet become acquainted with Rachel Fordham novels, I hope you soon will because they are heart-warming stories. There are two previous works that came before this one titled: Yours Truly, Thomas and The Hope of Azure Springs. Each book is a stand-alone and filled with wonderful characters who are seeking romance but face some challenges along the way.
In A Life Once Dreamed, Agnes Pratt is running to the west away from something or is it someone? Agnes comes to the town of Penance to become the schoolteacher to children who have endearing qualities and sometimes test Agnes along the path of learning. Agnes loves her students and their parents, and she has finally found a place to call home regardless of what the future holds.
The town finally acquires a doctor named James Harris. When he arrives in town, he upsets and surprises Agnes Pratt. Why? They have a shared history that just may rear its head and force Agnes to face what she has been running away from. These two individuals need to find a way to get along together and work together as well in order to save the town. Can Agnes finally let out into the open her long held secret? Will James allow his past to determine if he has a future with Agnes or will he grab hold of a promising future with Agnes?
Just as with the other Rachel Fordham novels this one too touched my heart and has left me waiting for the next tale to come from this author’s pen. I enjoyed the tension between Agnes’s past and her possible future. I loved her boldness and her loving heart. James was a character that had to face the fact that what he believed was being challenged and his decisions would definitely affect more than just his happiness.
I hope readers will grab a copy and sit down to enjoy this tale that has all the elements to entertain for hours and a light-hearted ending readers won’t soon forget!
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Aug 6, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Growing up next door to James Harris in Buffalo, Agnes Pratt long thought that she would marry him and have a family with him. But when she discovers a devastating truth that threatens to keep them apart forever, she leaves Buffalo and James for a new life as a schoolteacher in Penance, a city in the Dakotas. She may be able to build a new life, as has James, but he has never forgotten her. He shows up in Penance determined to win back Aggie but is there too much standing in their way to true love?

Set in 1880, “A Life Once Dreamed” is a nicely done historical romance. The chemistry between Abby and James is nicely done and very believable and author Rachel Fordham does an excellent job of slowly revealing why Abby, at least, thinks they can never be together. In today’s world the reason seems minor, almost laughable, but times were different back then and Abby’s anguish is very real and believable. Fordham does an excellent job of writing about that period of time, not only the obstacles in James and Abby’s way, but the way life was back then – especially illnesses (Fordham does an excellent job with this aspect which eerily echoes part of what is going on in today’s COVID-19 world) – this is a frightening, well-done section of the book. Finally, Fordham does an excellent job with the children in the book, especially Tommy and young Freddie who plays an important role in the book.

“A Life Once Dreamed” is a nicely done historical romance. ( )
1 vote drebbles | Aug 5, 2020 |
This is Rachel Fordham's third novel. It is the second one I have read. I really liked the first one, and this one is no exception. She is a very good writer.
This novel focuses on the hard choices one has to make. It is set in the late 1800's in the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory. There are two, well developed and thought out, main characters with 3 semi-major characters and then the background characters. The most major character is Agnes. The book revolves around her choices both those made in the past and those she is being forced to make.
The other main character is her life-long friend, James. He also has choices to make.
The three semi-major characters are Hannah, Minnie, and Sam. They really help build and fill out the story.
This is a Christian story, but it is not too much a Christian story. There is not a church they attend and not a lot is mentioned about their beliefs. It does mention that they read the Bible and pray. So, if you want more faith-based books you may be disappointed. If you want a good, clean, slightly faith-based, and not preachy book, this is one you won't be sorry you chose.
The story is one where you feel you know the ending, but the development is so good you really aren't sure if you are right or not. The story keeps you guessing until the very end.
I think you will be very happy if you choose to read this. It is for people that want a good, clean, historical fiction novel that keeps your attention throughout. I give this a 4 out of 5 star rating.
I was given a copy of this book to read and review through Revell Blogger Program. The review is fully my own opinion and is freely given. ( )
1 vote grammy57 | Aug 5, 2020 |
Rachel Fordham is an inspirational historical romance author who excels in captivating characterizations and compelling story lines. In "A Life Once Dreamed", a young woman learns a life-changing secret and leaves behind her home, her family, and her love in Buffalo, New York to travel westward to a new life. The Dakota Territory of the late 1800's is a far cry from the life Agnes Pratt is turning away from, but she has accepted a teaching post, and plans to go forth as "Miss Pratt". After six years, she has become the well-regarded spinster schoolmarm, "Miss Aggie". However, Fate will have its way, and Life is either less than we expected, or more than we hoped. When the new doctor arrives in Penance, the little town where Aggie settled, she is stunned to learn that the physician is James Harris, her next-door neighbor, friend, and sweetheart from Buffalo. James has never accepted the fact that Aggie left with no explanation, and now he wants answers to his questions. However, he must learn to adapt to life in a frontier town if wants a chance for a life with Aggie. As James and Aggie work together to resolve pressing issues in the town, they each grow as individuals as they grow closer together. Will Aggie finally come face-to-face with the secrets that caused her to flee? When Faith shines its cleansing light and all truths are revealed, will hearts heal and hopes be rekindled for a bright and happy future? "A Life Once Dreamed" is highly recommended for lovers of inspirational historical romance.

Book Copy Gratis Revell Books ( )
1 vote gincam | Aug 4, 2020 |
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