Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tea & Read: Love's First Bloom

Title: Love’s First Bloom
Author: Delia Parr
Rating: Two Cups of Tea

This is the second book I read from author Delia Parr. I read Heart’s Awakening last year and enjoyed the story Parr crafted. Parr gets major points for following up her first book with a good second book.

Love’s First Bloom is the story of Ruth Livingston, daughter of Reverend Livingstone. She is sent to New Jersey under an assumed name to raise a child who is not hers. Because of her father’s case, the public clamors for information about her whereabouts, and one newspaperman, Jake Spencer, is determined to find her.

I think the best part of this book for me was Parr’s exploration of clergy in the media’s eye. Even though the book is set in 1800’s, it has a very modern ring to it. It portrayed how cases are tried in the court of public opinion even back then. Parr did a great job of showing that the media doesn’t always share the whole truth.

Ruth proves to be a great character. She is tough but tender towards her Lily. And the romance that develops between she and Jake provides the perfect balance for the tragedies that Ruth faces. Jake’s drive to please his brother also adds to the emotional fabric of the story. As a reader, you feel torn between wanting Jake to be free from his brother’s torment but realizing that the only way he will hurt Ruth if he does.

The pacing of the book is good and the plot was believable and enjoyable. I’m looking forward to Parr’s next book.