ABOUT THE BOOK
Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.
Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.
A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.
This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.
MY THOUGHTS.....This is an amazing book on so many levels. It is Amanda Wen's debut novel but it appears to have been written by a seasoned author. Roots of Wood and Stone is a split-time story that tells of two young women divided by 150 years and Wen has beautifully laced their stories together until it's easy to forget which one you're reading. Sloane Kelley's love of historic preservation puts her in possession of the diaries of Annabelle Collins and, from the first 1861 entry, Annabelle proves to be an amazing young girl and woman who knew joy and grief but never failed to credit God's presence in her life. These entries inspire Sloane as she searches for love, acceptance, and connections to her own heritage. I was very moved by her assertion that she was "Plan B"; that she was always "Unwanted. Unloved. Not Enough". Watching her find God's presence and her own self-acceptance was a true joy!
Garrett Anderson has his own struggles with honoring the past while moving toward the future and Sloane proves to be a major player with his decisions. Will she convince him to save his grandmother's home from destruction, thus preserving the house where Annabelle once lived? Is Annabelle Collins's legacy connecting them?
Wen has crafted amazing characters, realistic situations, and two beautiful relationships. One, a love story that ended much too soon and the other, a special friendship that could turn into so much more. Roots of Wood and Stone will make you smile and it may make you cry but it is never depressing...instead, it is a story of hope, joy, and faith. It is also a reminder to treasure your past as you navigate your present and future!
This is a book that will surely be nominated for awards and I am so looking forward to more Sedgwick County Chronicles!
I received a copy of this book from Kregel and Read with Audra. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.
Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog, and is a regular contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on January 26, 2021.
In addition to her writing, Amanda is an accomplished professional cellist
and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her
church’s worship team, as well as serving as a choral accompanist. She’s
also been spotted onstage with the worship band at ACFW conferences. A
lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Amanda currently lives in Kansas with her
patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a
snuggly Siamese cat.
Learn more at www.amandawen.com, and follow her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).
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