I was glad for the opportunity to return to RIverton to read the second book of this series. Sarah’s Smile was the first book that I have read by this author.
by Dawn Kinzer
Series: The Daughters of Riverton #2
Published by Morningview Publishing
Publication Date November 11, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Wisconsin Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Inspirational Historical Romance Novel
In 1904, Hope Andrews, an aspiring fashion designer, struggles with leaving New York City. But with no job, her parents leaving the country, and an abusive ex-fiancé refusing to accept their broken engagement, Hope doesn’t have much choice but to give in to her parents’ wishes that she move far away and live with her cousin indefinitely.
Talented Benjamin Greene can’t deny his passion for painting, but guilt over a painful incident in his past keeps him from sharing his gift. Instead, he devotes much of his days to helping his younger sibling rebuild a farm inherited from a great-uncle. Only his brother is aware that Ben spends his spare time in a studio on their property.
In the small rural town of Riverton, Wisconsin, Hope and Ben can’t help but be thrown together. But as feelings for each other deepen, tension thickens over how talent should be used. Their mutual passion for art brings them together, but will it also drive them apart?
BOOK CLUB MEMBERS: You’ll find 20+ questions included for discussion and reflection.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Hope’s Design was written as a stand-alone novel, but some readers may appreciate parts of the story even more if having read Sarah’s Smile, Book 1 in The Daughters of Riverton series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Also in this series: Sarah's Smile, Rebecca's Song
As with Sarah’s Smile, while there is romance and a great plot in Hope’s Design, there is a large focus on the spiritual growth of the characters and the lessons they learn about themselves and the Lord.
Ben carried tremendous guilt from something that happened when he was a teenager and he couldn’t allow himself to believe that he shouldn’t be bearing dire consequences. Despite his belief that Jesus had paid the price for his sins, he somehow still felt that he bore the guilt and shame. Praise God that Jesus took all that away when he died on the cross!
I enjoyed the tidbits shared about the Butterick pattern company as Hope spoke of them and tried to get them to accept her designs. Having used patterns by that very company (and others), this was another point that drew me in. Things I took for granted about using sewing patterns were shown as novel and new.
Hope’s cousin, Annie, had dreamed of creating a library in their town, and the process of doing exactly that took place. Again, it was fascinating to see what goes into an institution that I have taken for granted. In addition to that, Annie and Ben’s brother Jake presented a secondary story-line that enhanced the main one.
I may seem to be fixated on Rebecca (if you read my review for Sarah’s Smile, you’ll know I’m really looking forward to her story, which comes next!) I was able to see the beginning of her transformation here and the struggles she went through having people accept that she was changing. I have great hopes for her!
As a caution (because calling it a warning would be stronger than necessary) Hope had to leave New York to get away from a man who was abusive and controlling. This is handled in a very tactful manner, yet there is a portion of the plot dealing with abuse. If this is a sensitive subject for you, just be aware it is here so you are prepared.