I’ll admit, all things being equal, historical fiction is not my first choice among genres. Lyn Austin’s Refiner’s Fire series and Francine Rivers’ Mark of the Lion series (both favorites of mine) notwithstanding, it seems that most historical romances either contain too much history rendering the characters flat and uninteresting, or too much romance making the history nothing more than an implausible backdrop.
Not so with Deanne Gist’s Deep in the Heart of Trouble, the story of Essie Spreckelmeyer, the independent, outspoken spinster of Corsicana, Texas more concerned with bicycles and bloomers than men and romance. Tony Morgan is the disinherited son of a rival oilman who finds a job with Essie’s father’s oil company, a company Essie herself manages. While Essie is a free spirit determined to do things her way, Tom finds himself intrigued, bewildered, and even angered by Essie’s fierce independence.
I don’t have to tell you that Essie and Tom fall in love–such is the nature of romantic fiction! However, their story lacks the usual predictability and tells an engaging and delightful tale. Essie is a quirky, refreshing and extremely likeable heroine who struggles with an unsavory past. Though this is certainly a love story set in Texas at the turn of the twentieth century, it is also a story of forgiveness and redemption. Through Essie and Tom, Gist reminds us of the true nature of grace and the faithfulness of God’s provision. I completely enjoyed this novel!
Interested in reading Essie’s story for yourself? Check out an excerpt here.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….
Would you like to win a copy of Deep in the Heart of Trouble? Please leave a comment, and we’ll announce the winner on September 3.