A MOST PRECIOUS PEARL
Asa Caldwell returned from the Great War with nothing to show for it -- as in nothing below his left knee. Forget about the journalism career he loved. His story is over. Done.
Yet he finds the strength to journey to Winslow, Georgia, to get Ruby Bledsoe Morson's sister out of trouble. Before he can bring Mags Bledsoe home though, a spate of mysterious attacks reawakens his investigative instincts.
During the war, Mags did her duty to God and country by stepping into a management role at the textile mill. Now she's been shuffled back to the rank and file -- and Asa has her hard-earned job. Not only is the infernal man doing everything wrong, her plan for revenge against the mill owner who lynched her childhood sweetheart is father out of reach than ever.
As they clash over almost everything, Mags begins to set fire to Asa's soul, bright enough to dim the memory of the killing fields of France. Enough to give him a new mission in life -- to make her feel the same way.
The kind of read that kept me fuming and swooning in equal measures. And what a fascinating historical backdrop! 1919 is a time of change. The war is over and men are making their way back home and into jobs that women have been holding for years. I'm still grinning over the righteously indignant Mags as she watches a stranger from the north take over her management position. Poor Asa -- not the way to endear himself to the fiery woman. In fact, I adored the dynamics between these two -- Asa, teasing and watchful; Mags all prickly and affronted. Goodness, but she can hold a grudge and pick a quarrel at the drop of a hat! Much to Asa's delight...and frustration.
But there's even more going on in Winslow, Georgia -- and right across the south. African American men who have fought in the war have returned with greater expectations than ever before. They want more of that freedom they risked their lives fighting for. But instead of greater freedom they encounter intimidation and oppression and constant threats of violence.
Asa and Mags join forces to expose injustice which leads to some heart-pounding scenes. But it also serves to draw them together as they fumble their way towards a happily ever after they hardly dare dream of. There were times when Asa's tender yearning made my heart ache. And the story around Mags name and his subsequent nickname for her? Be. Still. My. Heart. Thud.
And through it all, they both cling to the Lord with very little understanding of how good could be worked from so much evil. But they hang on anyway, bearing witness of God's hand in their lives even during the darkest hours.
This is the kind of book you could discuss for hours -- there are so many aspects I haven't even touched on. It would make a wonderful book club selection. Emotionally charged and soul satisfying -- and enthralling read from beginning to end.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of A Most Precious Pearl please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday Sept 4 2016. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!