Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mary's Blessing

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Mary's Blessing
Realms (May 15, 2012)
Lena Nelson Dooley


Award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley has more than 675,000 books in print. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers http://www.acfw.com/ and president of the local chapter, DFW Ready Writers. She’s also a member of Christian Authors Network, CROWN Fiction Marketing, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas.

Lena loves James, her children, grandchildren, and great grandson. She loves chocolate, cherries, chocolate-covered cherries, and spending time with friends. Travel is always on her horizon. Cruising, Galveston, the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, Mexico. One day it will be Hawaii and Australia, but probably not the same year. Helping other authors become published really floats her boat, with fifteen signing their first book contract after her mentoring. Three of her books have been awarded the Carol Award silver pins from American Christian Fiction Writers and she has received the ACFW Mentor of the Year award at their national conference. The high point of her day is receiving feedback from her readers, especially people whose lives have been changed by her books. And she loves chocolate, especially dark chocolate.


When her mother dies, Mary Lenora must grow up quickly to take care of her brothers and sisters. Can love help her to shoulder the burden?

Mary Lenora Caine knows she is adopted. As she was growing up, her mother called her “God’s blessing.” But now that she’s gone, Mary no longer feels like any kind of blessing. Her father, in his grief, has cut himself off from the family, leaving the running of the home entirely in Mary’s hands.

As she nears her eighteenth birthday, Mary can’t see anything in her future but drudgery. Then her childhood friend Daniel begins to court her, promising her a life of riches and ease. But her fairy-tale dreams turn to dust when her family becomes too much for Daniel, and he abandons her in her time of deepest need.

Will Daniel come to grips with God’s plan for him? And if he does return, can Mary trust that this time he will really follow through?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Mary's Blessing, go HERE.


This is a heart-wrenching story and a sobering reminder of how difficult life was for so many in the nineteenth century. I could practically feel the despair and exhaustion Mary felt as she cared for her father and siblings and rejoiced at the glimmer of hope offered by Daniel's attentions. My heart ached when her hopes were dashed every time the sun began to peek from behind the clouds. The characters in this novel are masterfully portrayed with completely believable emotions. I particularly liked how Mary alternately wearied of caring for her siblings, became irritated with them -- and felt overwhelming love for them, as well. Lena Nelson Dooley has penned a novel that kept me turning pages until the satisfying conclusion.

In addition to Mary's story, I was drawn into the over-arching story of the entire series, which was new to me. Triplet girls, born on a wagon train to a mother who died at childbirth, were split up by their grief-stricken father. He kept one daughter to raise and gave the other two to be adopted by other families traveling on the same journey. Years separated the families, and the girls don't know about the others. Maggie's Journey came out in October, Mary's Blessing was just released, and the final book, Catherine's Pursuit will be published next year. While they can obviously be read as stand-alones, reading one has whet my appetite for the others; I suspect you'll be drawn in as well.


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1 comment:

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Thank you for reviewing my book.