Parr's wonderful historical novel is rich in detail. She's been compared to Jan Karon, and with good reason. Readers will be immersed in the story as they see into the characters' souls.
Ellie Kilmer agrees to work as a housekeeper for Jackson Smith, a widower with two young sons, because she doesn't have any other options. Jackson knows all about the rumors regarding him and his first wife; unless he wants more wagging tongues, he'll have to offer Ellie a marriage of convenience. For Ellie's part, marriage will provide her with a home, some stability and young charges to mother. Will this marriage turn into something more for two people who have run out of options? (BETHANY HOUSE, Mar., 320 pp., $14.99)