The Artisan's Wife
by Judith Miller
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Released: Aug. 2, 2016
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from NetGalley:
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 take over and run the tile works in Weston, West Virginia, by herself. She had only agreed to help her sister because it was her sister's dream. She urges her brother to sell the business quickly so she won't be exiled in Weston forever.
When Levi Judson arrives and asks for a job at McKay Tile Works, she's impressed by his skill and passion for the business. He hopes Ainslee will agree to produce his unique mosaic tile patterns. Ainslee must decide if she wants to keep the business and expand using Levi's designs. But can their growing feelings for each other survive when Ainslee learns that Levi's brother is a patient at the local asylum?
The Artisan's Wife is a historical novel set in 1876 in West Virginia. This book is the third in a series. You can understand what's going on without reading the previous books, but I'd recommend reading these books in order. Part of this book was more of a resolution to events in the first book than about Levi and Ainslee, and it "spoils" critical events from that first book in the process.
The historical focus of this book was on the asylum and its patients. Levi has a brother living there, and he provides art classes for his brother and other male patients. He encouraged Ainslee to overcome her fear of the patients and to help the female patients create a library at the asylum. Time was also spent at the tile works, but generally Ainslee handled to office work and Levi and his brother did the artistic tile work.
I found the main characters interesting, and Ainslee learned from her mistakes and became more mature as time went on. While Levi and Ainslee worked well together and were a good team, their romance mostly happened in the stretches of time that the author skipped over. Perhaps due to skipping forward through time, this felt more like a "life happened" story since it felt like any struggles were quickly overcome.
The Christian element was references to praying and underlying themes like forgiveness and trusting God's care and provision. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this book to fans of historical novels.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.