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12.24.2014

The Brickmaker’s Bride ~ Review

The Brickmaker’s Bride 
Refined by Love
By Judith Miller

The Woodfield Brickworks has been known for its quality and reliability.  But with the death of the owner Isaiah Woodfield in the War between the States the brickyard has been idle, awaiting a new owner.

When Hugh Crothers and his nephew Ewan McKay show an interest in purchasing her father's brickyard Laura Woodfield insists on meeting them.  Ewan shows an understanding unlike his brusque and profit-seeking uncle.

The sale of the brickyard sees Ewan seeking out Laura and her understanding of the workings of her father's brickyard.  Laura is more than happy to offer her assistance in offering information and guidance on potential workers, contract contacts, and bookkeeping records.  Where Hugh and especially his wife meet Laura's offered assistance with suspicion, Ewan accepts it with gratitude.

But Hugh isn't the businessman he thinks himself to be and signs a contract that threatens to destroy the business that Ewan is struggling to build up.  And it could displace all the workers who have been employed at the brickyard.  Laura is determined to see Ewan and the brickyard succeed, but is there anything she can do to help?

The Brickmaker's Bride is set in West Virginia shortly after the end of the Civil War.  The Tygart Valley River region has been devastated by the war and is in a state of rebuilding.  This is a world where a woman's place was to be found in the home as a wife and mother.  And immigrants are meet with suspicion.  This is an interesting and entertaining step back in time.  We often consider this to be a simpler time, but when we take a longer look this is not so.  This yet another delightful book from Judith Miller you'll want to take the time to enjoy.

I was provided a copy of this book by Bethany House through their blogger program in exchange for my honest review.

About the book:
In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again. 

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job. 

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?