This novel takes its theme from 2 Kings 4:1-7, the story of the widow who owed a great debt after her husband’s death. She went to Elisha for help, and he told her to collect all the empty vessels she could from her neighbors and pour out her remaining oil into all of the vessels. Once the vessels were full, the flow of oil ceased. He told her to sell the oil, pay off her debt, and for her and her son to live on the rest. Lorna Seilstad tells a story of relying on God to use what we have, and to trust Him to fill our empty vessels. A message most of us need to be reminded of from time to time.
The story is set in the early 1900s. Charlotte Gregory has trained in the science of cookery under the tutelage of Fannie Farmer. After finding it difficult to locate someone who would allow a female chef in their kitchen, Charlotte accepts a position giving cooking demonstrations to promote the use of gas ovens. Most homes had coal or wood burning ovens. She also, to the greatest degree possible, educated nurses in nutrition’s role in the healing process, frequently going head-to-head with Dr. Joel Brooks. Sparks of all kinds fly whenever Charlotte and Joel are together, and as if they were “cooking with gas,” those sparks cause one explosion after another in their relationship.
This book is sweet and romantic, the kind of story Hallmark movies are made of. While there is a bit of intrigue, it definitely takes a backseat in this second story of the Gregory sisters. The first book concentrated on the oldest sister, Hannah, and I imagine the next will reveal more of the life of the youngest sister, Tessa. Charlotte, the middle sister’s story was easy to follow, and there were no real spoilers for going back to book one at a later time. This story moves at rather a slow pace, but there is enough tension between the main characters to hold the reader’s interest. If historical romantic fiction is your genre of choice, I predict that you will be pleased with this selection. If your preferences run in a different direction, this won’t be the book to sway you into becoming a fan of the genre.
Thank you to Revell for providing this book in exchange for my honest opinion.