Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Judith Miller: The Artisan's Wife

By Kelly Bridgewater

Ainslee McKay's world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business.

When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he'd be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?

From Amazon
My Review:

I enjoyed Judith Miller's The Potter's Wife. It was the fourth book that I have read by her. When I read a historical novel, I want to be taken back to the time period and never once doubt the research and the story that the writer has created for me. In Miller's stories, I never once doubt her love of history and her ability to bring the story to life with her research.

In the Refined by Love series, I enjoy how Miller took three different positions of a brick maker, pottery maker, and a tile maker  and showed me the inner workings of these three types of factories. Her research into how each item is made caught my attention. I really enjoyed learning more about the process to make these items, which helped build our museums, buildings, and flatware.  The setting of each of these factories and their communities jumped off the page. It reminded me of small town America with everyone knowing everyone.

As for the characters, I enjoyed how Miller made the stories intertwine with the recurring characters. The family featured is a family of four children who left Ireland to come to America for a better life. In each of the three books, I watched the oldest brother, oldest sister, and younger twin mature and develop. I really enjoyed how Miller made all the women strong heroines who showed they could run a business just as well as a man. I wish there was more information about Ainslee's twin sister instead of just letters from her.

Since The Artisan's Wife is a historical romance, the plot and romance must go hand in hand. I enjoyed how the romance did not take president over the plot. The plot was the most important with a sprinkling of romance to satisfy the romance readers. Even though I did enjoy the story, about sixty percent in, the plot dragged, and I couldn't wait to finish the novel.

The Artisan's Wife is a well-researched novel by a definite history novel. With strong heroines and the men who love them, Judith Miller's The Artisan's Wife is a novel worth savoring as I learned about the early factories that shaped the landscape of America. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Artisan's Wife from Bethany House Publishers and the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

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