About the Book ~
Six years ago, a shocking secret sent Agnes Pratt running in search of a new start. She found it in Penance, a rugged town of miners and lumberjacks in the Dakota Territory. In the shadow of the Black Hills, she became Miss Aggie, respected schoolteacher and confirmed old maid--despite being only twenty-four. But the past has a way of catching up with people.
When childhood friend and former sweetheart James Harris accepts a position as the town doctor, Aggie's pleasantly predictable days suddenly become anything but. James wants to know why Agnes left behind the life they had dreamed of creating for themselves--but he is precisely the one person who can never know.
Can a healing light be shed on the past? Or will the secret Agnes can't seem to outrun destroy her chance at happiness?
For more information about Rachel Fordham and her books, check out her website here!
My Thoughts ~
A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham carries the beautiful tune of simpler days -- even though none of the heart-wrenching issues the author tackles can be described as simple!
Set in 1880 in the Dakota territory, A Life Once Dreamed sweeps the reader into Penance, a close community with the grit to thrive in the West. The author's writing style stirred fond memories of Catherine Marshall's Christy and any number of Janette Oke's stories -- the kind of writing that warms you from the inside out!
You can't help but root for James and Agnes' second chance at love! Very romantic! Their journey makes up the primary story, but the author included another character that I'm hoping will the hero of his own tale one day! While the author emphasizes that where a person is going in life is more important that where they came from in James and Agnes' romantic story of reconciliation, the author achieves this through the character's heart-tugging choices to love. Without giving away the plot, each of the characters has to make the choice to love, a choice that may not be convenient, safe, or without sacrifice. Additionally, the author tackles the emotionally-charged topic of unwanted, illegitimate children. Amidst poverty, class prejudice, and a scarlet fever outbreak, the fatherly heart of God shines like a beacon of love in A Life Once Dreamed, a love story that is more than apropos for such a time as this!
Four Stars ~ A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham is beautiful story of love! A Life Once Dreamed is a standalone, but the author has other stories in her backlist for readers to enjoy!