Friday, September 9, 2016

Book Review: The Artisan's Wife

Today's review is on The Artisan's Wife by Judith Miller.
I received a copy of this novel from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

Ainslee McKay's world is turned upside down when her twin sister unexpectedly elopes several weeks before they were supposed to move to Weston, West Virginia to run the tile works that her family had recently acquired. Despite her apprehensions, Ainslee moves to Weston and takes charge of the tile works until her older brother can find a buyer. During this time, artisan Levi Judson moves to Weston to show the new owner of the tile works his designs for a new kind of tile. However, that is not the true reason for his move to Weston. Will Ainslee continue to pursue her plan of selling the tile works? Or will a romance blossom between her and the handsome new artisan?

This is the first time I have read anything by Judith Miller and I can't wait to check out more of her novels. I really enjoyed the premise of the novel and how Ainslee grows as a character. I also enjoyed learning more about the asylum that was the main provider of jobs for Weston, and what some of the cruel alternatives were for those who were declared insane. The author did a good job of showing how not everyone in the asylum was necessarily crazy, especially the women, some of them were put in there because of cruel husbands. She also did it in such a way that it didn't have feminist undertones, she was simply basing it on historical fact.

It was interesting to see Ainslee become her own person. At the beginning of the novel she relied heavily on her sister, Adiara to forge ahead, however when she comes out from her sister's shadow and takes charge of the tile works and starts to enjoy it. I also enjoyed how Levi opens the doors for her to help out at the asylum and help provide a library for the women that live there. Levi was an interesting character because even though he wants to be a good artisan, he also wants to look out for his younger brother who is a patient of the asylum. He strives to find ways to engage his brother so that his brother has something to live for.

I enjoyed all the different characters in this book, especially some of the women from the asylum that are introduced about halfway through the novel. I liked that we got some of the back story behind these women and the real reason why they were in the asylum. I also enjoyed getting to know more about the McKay family, even though I hadn't read the other books in this series.

I appreciated how the plot was romance heavy, in fact the romance isn't really a big part of the novel. I enjoyed the plot, even though it was simple and most of the time it was just depicting day-to-day life. I loved that it was after the Civil War, but yet it is still a time filled of historical gems. I also liked how Ainslee's project at the asylum was putting together a library because I could relate to her a lot more at that point.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is when the library at the asylum is about to open and Ainslee states the reason for why she chose to open a library, "Beyond what we learn from books, they can also provide a wonderful escape from the difficulties that surround us." (p.205) I like this because it is true, books can provide a wonderful, entertaining escape from the world when we need a break.

I am giving this book 4/5 Stars because I really enjoyed it and it surprised me in several ways. I also enjoyed some of the historical background that came to light whilst reading the book. I also enjoyed how even though this is the third book in a series, it can be read as a stand alone. I am looking forward to checking out more of Judith Miller's books in the future.

Thanks again to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations, let me know and I will check them out! :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment