Saturday, August 29, 2020

Book Review - A Life Once Dreamed


Where you come from matters far less than where you're going

Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory. In the shadow of the Black Hills, she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid--despite being only twenty-four. But the past has a way of catching up with people.

When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is precisely the one person who can never know.

Can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?


Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs and Yours Truly, Thomas. She started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She'd pull a book from the shelf, but they'd insist she make one up. Finally, she paired her love of good stories with her love of writing and hasn't stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.


I usually don't chose to read what I would categorize as romance fiction, however, when I saw the cover of this book and read the synopsis about it, I just had to read it and I'm so glad I did!

I loved the main character, Agnes and I related to her so much. I loved her selfless love she has for James and how she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness for his. I was so impressed with her strength of character to move from the home she knew to the Dakota Territory! You have to be strong to do something like this and we see this strength in her throughout the story. Of course, a lot of this strength came from her faith in God and it was so wonderful to see this woven through the book by the author.

James is caring man who follows his own dream and Agnes to the Dakota Territory. I love the scene where he is in the middle of the town and she sees him for the first time in her little town after so long. He is tenacious in his love for her and their friendship is so incredibly special and sweet.

Of course, there had to be a love triangle, which adds to the complexity of the story. Unlike some books where the third part of the triangle is usually not that likeable, Sam totally is.  He is kind and always willing to help Agnes with things. Adding him in to the story just made it that much more complex and interesting.

I found myself wholly invested in this story from the first page. I loved the secondary characters and hope we will see them all again as they have stayed with me after reading the book.

There is so much to like about this book! I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

*This book was provided to me by Revell.  I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

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Blessings - Julie

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