Love’s First Bloom
Author: Delia Parr
Gemre: Christian Fiction
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: I received this book from the publisher, Bethany House, for my honest review.
Ruth Livingstone is the daughter of Reverend Gersham Livingstone, a man who ministers to the Prodigal Daughters, prostitutes in New York City. When the Reverend is accused of murdering Rosalie Peale, one of the Prodigal Daughters, he must protect Ruth and Rosalie’s daughter, Lily. He sends them away to Toms River, New Jersey to live under an assumed name with a family who is part of his ministry. Ruth Livingstone becomes Widow Ruth Malloy.
Ruth is very hesitant to leave her father and move to an unknown place and live with people she does not know. She must keep up the charade of her new identity, even keeping it from the family who has provided her with a home to live in. She must care for a toddler who is not her child and keep away from news-hungry reporters who are trying to find Reverend Livingstone’s daughter, who they think has the answers to Rosalie Peale’s untimely demise at Reverend Livingstone’s hand.
When reporter Jake Spencer arrives in Toms River in search of Ruth Livingstone, he must also keep his identity secret from everyone in town so he can write his story and gather information in quiet anonymity. However, Jake is not only looking for the story; he is looking for redemption from a very public and humiliating story he wrote two years prior. He is hoping that this story will get his career back on track.
When Widow Ruth Malloy (aka Ruth Livingstone) and Jake Spencer meet, they being to forge a tentative friendship amidst all of their respective secrets. As their bond deepens, so does the potential fallout that could ensue from the secrets they are hiding from each other.
Both Ruth’s and Jake’s characters were developed well, with alternating viewpoints throughout the book. The reader really gets to know each character deeply and really feel for each of them. All of the sub-characters were fun to read about. The townspeople were quirky and interesting and added a nice element to the story. The family that Ruth lives with were also amazing characters that became very integral to the overall story.
This is a beautiful story that is well-plotted and very nicely written. I’ve been wanting to read some Christian Fiction books and this was a great introduction to the genre for me. I’d rate this book as Crazy Fabulous!