My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it's Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he'll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business
and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura's heart.
This novel is so rich in history! From the process and business of brickmaking to the etiquette of ladylike behavior, I definitely felt immersed in the time period. The characters have unique and individual personalities that seem to jump off the page. I admired Laura's independent spirit and determination to make her voice heard in the politics of the future of her father's business. I felt bad for Ewan having to deal with his uncle and wish that storyline had been tied up in this book. I'm looking forward to seeing where things go in the next book in this series!
(Thank you to Bethany House Publishing and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)