A young widow trying to keep her business and hopes afloat...
Life is far from a breeze for Olivia Beckman, owner of Livvie's Kitchen, a favourite of locals in Wabash, Indiana. The widowed mother of two is struggling to make ends meet -- no simple feat, especially when her cook resigns. Yet she's determined to pull through on her own, just as she did when God failed to save her beloved Frank.
An ex-convict ready to make a fresh start...
Newly released from a ten-year prison sentence, Will Taylor is ready for a fresh start. With harmonica in hand -- the only possession he values, aside from his bible -- he makes his way to Wabash, where a late-night meal at Livvie's Kitchen turns into a job opportunity when the outgoing cook learns about his restaurant experience. What he doesn't know is that the his restaurant experience. What he doesn't know is that the "restaurant" was a prison cafeteria.
An unlikely recipe for romance...
But Will became a new man behind bars, thanks to a Christian friend, and he credits God's providence with landing him a job he loves. Soon, he cooks and bakes his way into the stomachs of his customers -- and the heart of his employer. Both are hesitant, though, still healing from past hurts. A recipe for love between them will require sharing secrets, braving dangers, and believing God for a bright future.
There is an air of unhurried charm about this book. The story unfolds with gentle, deliberate care and it captivated me from the very first page. There's definitely drama and a plot rife with unexpected twists but I delighted in the unpredictability of what otherwise might have been a predictable story.
The inspirational message is embedded so deeply that it feels natural even as it testifies. MacLaren doesn't preach but she makes an impact nonetheless. And the scriptures that head each chapter are worth the price of the book. I've never seen such convicting passages laid out in sequential order like that. They made me pause and ponder and then eager to read on so that I could see how they applied in the character's lives.
And oh, what characters! Will Taylor, bent on change and a future of promise, delighting in the simplest things after being incarcerated for ten years. Everything is a wonder to him, including the faith he has embraced. He's the perfect foil for Livvie, who has buried herself away beneath the cloak of her mourning. Reading their love story was like watching an old black and white movie gradually changing into colour until it becomes a vibrant kaleidoscope by the end.
This is the kind of book that not only entertains, but it makes you think. A definite keeper shelf edition.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Livvie's Song, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Make sure to put the title in the subject line so your entry is easy for me to spot. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday December 18. Good luck!