LADY OF THE RIVER
Dianna Crawford's latest novel, set in 1800s Tennessee Territory, highlights the dangers of judging other people. Belinda Gregg and her parents live in a fancy house in the woods, guarding their secret and avoiding peopleespecially other Christians.
When the pastor's son, Max, sees Belinda, he decides to draw her family into Reardon Valley society. Belinda battles her growing attraction to Max, as well as a desire to once more risk fellowship in a faith community. Her worst fears are realized when Max's mother discovers the Greggs' secret and tries to separate Max and Belinda.
My only reservation is that even the scruffiest characters turn out to be pretty decent. Crawford redeems herself by giving glaring flaws to some of her nicest characters, like Max's mother. (Apr., 332 pp., $9.99)