The strongest love is formed in the crucible of hardship
As Norah King surveys her family land in Iowa in 1880, she is acutely aware that it is all she has left, and she will do everything in her power to save it–even if that means marrying a man she hardly knows. Days before her wedding, Norah discovers an injured man on her property. Her sense of duty compels her to take him in and nurse him back to health. Little does she realize just how much this act of kindness will complicate her life and threaten the future she’s planned.
Norah’s care does more than aid Quincy Barnes’s recovery–it awakens his heart to possibilities. Penniless and homeless, he knows the most honorable thing he can do is head on down the road and leave Norah to marry her intended. But walking away from the first person to believe in him proves much harder than he imagined.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher, the opinions below are my own.
You might think it’s a bad idea when you’re a single woman to take a strange man into your home, especially in 1880. Yes, he’s injured but what if he recovers? What if he doesn’t? And what if the man you’re supposed to marry in two weeks finds out about it? But if Norah King hadn’t come across Quincy Barnes and taken him into her home, Where the Road Bends wouldn’t be much of a read.
But this isn’t a book about Quincy’s healing. Instead, most of it takes place during a time I didn’t expect. There are twists I didn’t see coming. The plot involves money, contracts, and… Jane Austen? There’s a strong Christian message of redemption and change. A vulnerable kid plays a major role, and there’s a lovely housekeeper. And I’m trying very hard not to give away any spoilers or major plot points.
There’s a list of book club questions at the end, and one asks if Quincy could have done more? What he could’ve done more of, I won’t say because of those spoilers, but my answer was an immediate yes. And there’s my big problem. Where the Road Bends is an entertaining story, but it is only a story. In real life, a single woman in 1880 shouldn’t take in an injured stranger. In real life, Quincy could’ve done more to resolve a particular situation. But without those two situations, there wouldn’t be a new book by Rachel Fordham. Or if there was one, it would be short and boring. And that’s the thing about novels. They’re not reality, and that’s mostly a good thing. We all want a time of enjoyable escapism, and Where the Road Bends provided me with exactly that.
Publisher: Revell (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 07 June 2022
Rachel Fordham is the author of A Lady in Attendance, A Life Once Dreamed, The Hope of Azure Springs, and Yours Truly, Thomas. Fans expect stories with heart and she delivers, diving deep into the human experience and tugging at reader emotions. She loves connecting with people, traveling to new places, and daydreaming about future projects that will have sigh-worthy endings and memorable characters. She is a busy mom, raising both biological and foster children (a cause she feels passionate about). She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.