HAKE, CATHY MARIE
There is no one quite like Hope Ladley. A veritable dandelion in the wind, she blows from one farm to the next, roaming the Texas countryside as an itinerant cook. When she rides her mule, Hattie, onto the Stauffer farm, Hope knows this is the place the Lord wants her to be.
Jakob Stauffer, though grateful for a cook to assist his pregnant sister and young daughter through the harvest, is baffled by Hope's unconventional methods as she gets things done around the farm. Yet he can't deny the way her sunny disposition and unstinting love make changes of a different kind...even within his own heart.
HOPE HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE AND CHARMING CHARACTERS I HAVE EVER MET!!!!! SHE CAPTIVATED ME FROM THE FIRST PAGE AND HELD ME ENTHRALLED RIGHT TO THE END. AND ALL THE WHILE I READ, I MARVELED AT CATHY MARIE HAKE'S INCREDIBLE IMAGINATION.
HOPE MANGLES IDIOMS AND HER SPEECH IS PEPPERED WITH THEM. IT'S INCREDIBLE THAT CATHY CAME UP WITH SO MANY, BUT THEN SHE FINDS A WAY TO TWIST THEM INTO HILARIOUS FAUX PAS THAT IRONICALLY MAKE SENSE AND LETS HOPE BLITHELY SPEW THEM THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BOOK. BRILLIANT. BRILLIANT. BRILLIANT. NOT ONLY FUNNY AND ENDEARING, BUT SUCH A CLEVER WAY FOR THE READER TO CONNECT WITH A CHARACTER.
I LOVE THE WHOLE PREMISE OF HOPE BRINGING A HEALING CHANGE. SHE'S A MAGICAL CHARACTER -- KIND OF LIKE A MARY POPPINS ON A GRANDER SCALE...AND MAYBE A FAIRY GODMOTHER WITH COMMON SENSE...NOT TO MENTION AN AMELIA BEDELIA FOR THE OLDER SET. I DON'T THINK MY DESCRIPTIONS CAN DO JUSTICE TO HOPE. SHE'S EXCEPTIONALLY UNIQUE. PERIOD.
THIS IS A DEFINITE MUST-READ FOR HISTORICAL LOVERS -- AND IF HISTORICALS AREN'T YOUR THING -- MAKE AN EXCEPTION. YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED.