Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Serendipity by Cathy Marie Hake

Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm . . . or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off.

Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry . . . until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows. What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love.

As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together?

My Review:
This light-hearted novel comes with instructions for dealing with a difficult in-law.

The plot involves a sharp-tongued, mother-in-law, who suffers a stroke, and her tough cookie daughter-in-law as they struggle to settle into their new home in Texas. Todd, the son/husband works hard to hang on to his heavily mortgaged land, but like most men, doesn't see his world crumbling. Miscommunication and misunderstandings abound as these three learn to adjust--in a one-room house.

Hake is adapt with dialogue; she peppers the novel with metaphors and similes. Reading Maggie's mountain dialect often caused me to chuckle aloud. For example, when discussing her plan for bartering, Maggie says, "Ma, he's going to be slicker 'n snot on a glass doorknob. But he tried cheating us, and... I'm agoina teach him a lesson" (229).

The end is a bit choppy. Transition is lacking between Chapters twenty and twenty-one, but overall, the book is well worth the time spent reading it.

Thank you to Bonnie at CFBA and Bethany House for my copy.

If you would like to read the first chapter, click here.

If you would like to buy a copy, click here.


Nise' said...

I have always enjoyed Cathy's books. Will be checking this one out.

Anonymous said...

I'm assuming there's a happy ending. I can't imagine having to live with my mother-in-law in that small a house, or at all for that matter.