Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maggie Rose by Sharlene MacLaren - REVIEWED

The Daughters of Jacob Kane were first introduced to me in Sharlene MacLauren’s story, Hannah Grace. I have just finished Maggie Rose, and now I am well acquainted with the Kane family and the second daughter who has left to find her way into the world, following God’s unique direction to assist the orphans in New York.

I’ve never read much about the orphan trains that used to run through our country back in the early 1900’s. It’s a fascinating topic, and Sharlene MacLauren uses it as the idea around which she fashions the story of Maggie Rose. The call to serve others is never without risk and sacrifice, and Maggie Rose Kane seems to understand that fully when she leaves her home in Michigan and heads to New York City. What she didn’t anticipate was the vast scope of the need that existed and how completely these cast-off children would capture her heart.

Maggie Rose didn’t anticipate Luke Madison either. Luke is not unlike the orphans that drew Maggie to New York. His heart is in tatters when he comes to the door of Sheltering Arms Rescue to write a story for the New York World Newspaper. What Luke finds within this sprawling building filled with children is far more than he was looking for. His journey cleverly dovetails the lives of the orphans as they all become part of God’s divine plan.

This was an interesting look at a specific event of the past – orphan trains – as well as a historical romance written to entertain those who are themselves hopeless romantics. There were some unexpected twists in the plot, and throughout the story the constant reminder that God takes even the painful pieces of our hearts and uses for our good and His glory. Some will find this a bit too direct in its message as they prefer more covert Christian content in their fiction. However, for those who enjoy history, romance and a very clear and open message of God’s grace, there is much to enjoy in Maggie Rose.

Sharlene will revisit the Kane family one more time in 2010 when she shares the story of the youngest Kane daughter – Abby Ann.

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