November 2010 by Bethany House
Paperback, 352 Pages
Todd Valmer should have known better. A farmer who's been through several disasters, he travels to Virginia to fetch his widowed mother to cook and help him around his Texas farm...or that was the plan until she keels over on the train and they get kicked off. Maggie Rose barters for a living and also makes soaps, lotions, and perfumes with a special rose recipe passed down from mother to daughter for generations. She hasn't wanted to marry...until that handsome Texan shows up. Her heart skips a beat, and when he proposes, a hasty marriage follows. What ensues, however, is a clash of culture and a battle of wills--and it's clear they both mistook instant attraction and infatuation for love. As their marriage loses its sparkle and fills with disillusionment, Todd and Maggie must determine what is worth fighting for. He dreams of a farm. Maggie wants to fulfill the family tradition with her rose perfumes. Todd's mother, however, has entirely different plans for her son that do not include Maggie. In light of their hasty marriage and mistaken dreams, is there any hope of recapturing their love and building a future together? (Cfba)
When I first started reading this I couldn’t help but think of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Maggie is a young woman who has been taking care of her uncle and the some townsfolk men. She makes lotions, soaps to bring in money and is a lovely cook. Her uncle though feels its time that Maggie move on with her life, marry and settle down. Maggie has no plans in leaving her uncle or the little store to “settle down” and argues that her life is content……And then Todd Valmer shows up with his sick mother……
Todd was seeking a housekeeper for his mother when fate would have him stepping into Maggie’s store looking for help. They stay for awhile during Todd’s mothers recovery and during the time Maggie and Todd fall in love, whether out of convenience or hidden agendas Todd asks Maggie to marry him. Throughout a whirlwind they get married move to Texas and begin a life together.
Maggie is floored once she begins her life in Texas, the farm is in a desperate situation, there is money problems, her husband is stubborn and bossy and not to mention she has a mean-spirited mother-in-law. With much to do Maggie tries to get along with the unreasonable woman but their personality’s which are very similar clash on a daily basis. Maggie begins to wonder what possessed her to marry Todd, what will she do to survive, to get through and make it all work….?
Set in a time of the late 1800’s Serendipity offers a simple story of a couple married out of circumstance, that find true love and make endings meet. Unfortunately though, this was not a book for me. I think the hardest was the dialect, the hillbilly mountain "twang" turned me off immediately from the first chapter and because of it I couldn’t connect to the characters or the story itself. Lines that were intended to be funny, rubbed me the wrong way and lines that came off as serious seemed way to cheesy. The plot felt choppy and sometimes I wondered what the characters were talking about because their dialog seemed to jump around and never resolve. Transitions seemed to drag, lack or just disappear and the use of scripture every other page just didn’t work for me, I felt it was overused and didn’t make the faith aspect of the book important…just preachy. That being said while Serendipity wasn’t for me, Im sure many fans of this author or southern historical books will enjoy.
Serendipity can be read by all. Content includes: Romance, mean mother in-law and martial issues. Wholesome throughout along with faith aspects.
2.5/5- Christian Fiction- Southern Historical Thanks to Bethany House/Cfba for Review Copy