I adored this book, cover to cover! Belle begins her story by throwing dirt onto her third dead husband's face while burying him and berating herself for marrying him. I chuckle as I'm keying this in. There are chuckles all the way through, too. I love when a book can make me laugh out loud or any other visceral reaction. Mary Connealy is one of my new favorite authors, for sure and for certain.
When I was a teenager I envisioned myself as a nurse midwife roaming the Kentucky hills on horseback and tending to my bunch of Appalachian folks. Quite romantic, right? Well, I am a nurse and I did work in Labor and Delivery for some years, but the reality is much different than the dream-thank God. Especially after reading Bell's trials in the Rockies on horseback, I can truthfully be thankful that I was born in the 20th century and not before. I just don't see me changing a diaper on a snow-drifted mountain pass while in the saddle on a cattle drive! There's lots of similarities between Belle and me though. I'm a blunt, upfront kind of gal-what you see is what you get.
Here's my ratings:
4 stars for Story Depth. I couldn't tell just what was coming around the corner with this one and I love that.
3 stars for (a term I just learned) Edgy Romance. A bit too spicy for my teen but nicely warm for me.
3 stars for Inspiring me. You can definitely see the characters growing here but it's as much on a personal level as growth with God Himself.
Maybe I should add a Laugh Factor....hmm, If I did Husband Tree would get all 5 stars!