Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Review: "The Making of Mrs. Hale" by Carolyn Miller

When I started reading Christian fiction in the mid-1990's, many of the novels were very preachy ... to the point where full sermons and/or long passages of scripture were included. Often, these sections did nothing except pull me out of the story and cause me to skip ahead.

In recent years, the trend has been to go light on the spiritual content, and I greatly appreciate authors who can include a thoughtful faith thread without coming across as preachy.

The Making of Mrs. Hale is a blend of the two: this is clearly a Christian novel, and one conversation features paragraphs taken straight from Romans, but, somehow, it doesn't come across as preachy, and I didn't feel like skipping any of it!

Marry in haste, repent in leisure—Mrs. Hale is about to find out how painful that repentance can truly be.

Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn't turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn't know where--or if he's ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they'll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage. 

Carolyn Miller's clean and wholesome Regency romances continue with The Making of Mrs. Hale, following familiar characters as they learn how restoration can occur by finding hope and healing through a deep relationship with God. Full of rich historical details and witty banter, this series continues to draw in fans of Jane Austen, Sarah Ladd, and Julie Klassen.

The Making of Mrs. Hale is not your typical regency romance. It begins with Julia and Thomas already married (and physically separated—she has no idea if he's even alive), and as the novel goes on, they have to deal with the consequences of their actions and work to repair relationships with their family, friends, and each other.

This novel started out fairly slowly for me, and I didn't like either Julia or Thomas, which made caring about their stories difficult. I'll be honest: I didn't really like Julia at all until very close to the end of the novel. Thomas grew on me, though, especially once he connected with Lord Hawkesbury (Nicholas from The Elusive Miss Ellison, the novel that started Miller's regency romances). It's a conversation with Lord Hawkesbury that I referenced at the beginning of the post; this conversation leads to Thomas's spiritual awakening, and it's written so, so well.

I ended up very much enjoying The Making of Mrs. Hale. I wish it hadn't taken so long to get into the story, as I probably would've abandoned it had I not agreed to review it, and I would've missed out on a really good novel. 3-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Winning Miss Winthrop (5 stars), Miss Serena's Secret (4-1/2 stars), The Elusive Miss Ellison (4 stars), The Captivating Lady Charlotte (4-1/2 stars), and The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (5 stars).

Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW contests. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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