Monday, May 4, 2015

To Win Her Favor by Tamera Alexander - REVIEWED

About the book: 
To Win Her Favor (Zondervan, May 2015)

A gifted rider in a world where ladies never race, Maggie Linden is determined that her horse will become a champion. But the one man who could help her has vowed to stay away from thoroughbred racing forever.

An Irishman far from home, Cullen McGrath left a once prosperous life in England because of a horse racing scandal that nearly ruined him. He's come to Nashville for a fresh start, hoping to buy land and begin farming, all while determined to stay as far away from thoroughbred racing as possible. But starting over proves harder than he'd wagered, especially when Maggie Linden's father makes him an offer he shouldn't accept yet cannot possibly refuse.

Maggie is certain that her mare, Bourbon Belle, can take the top purse in the inaugural Peyton Stakes, the richest race ever run in America. Maggie only needs the chance to prove it. To give her that chance---and to save Linden Downs from being sold to the highest bidder---Maggie's father, aging, yet wily as ever, makes a barter. His agreement includes one tiny, troublesome detail---Maggie must marry a man she's never met. A man she never would have chosen for herself.

You can purchase a copy HERE.

My Thoughts:
Sometimes in life, when what we want most is just beyond our reach…and the ground beneath us gives way, we must grab hold of the nearest branch.”  (p. 55)

Maggie’s father spoke truth that neither of them realized at that moment.   Gilbert Linden was trying to provide security for his daughter, and his choice of Cullen McGrath made little sense to Maggie.  In 1869, such arrangements weren’t unheard of, but to choose an Irishman to care for your only child made almost no sense.  Tamara Alexander tackles the ugliness of racism in all of its forms in this story.  She also takes a hard look at trusting others,  being faithful to promises made and many other facets of the human condition that make the difference between living and dying.

The dream of racing her thoroughbred and providing a way to redeem the family property is a dream that seems to dissolve entirely when Maggie learns of her father’s arrangement for her future.  Cullen’s dreams of owning land in a place where an Irishman is treated worse than pond scum seems equally impossible.  But God’s ways are not our ways, and through an unlikely set of circumstances and a series of heartbreaking trials, a way is made for both Cullen and Maggie to have more than they ever dreamed possible.

The brutality of racism was very real, and Alexander uses this as a foundation to mold the lives of her characters.  They each must choose to accept or reject the path set before them while keeping their dreams in sight.  This is a very satisfying read that deals with some very tender and vital parts of the human condition.  I am happy to recommend this book to all readers!  You will come away from the story with a full and grateful heart!

About the Author:
About the author: 

Tamera Alexander
 is a best-selling novelist whose deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose resonate with readers. Having lived in Colorado for seventeen years, she and her husband now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee, along with their two adult children who live near by. And don't forget Jack, their precious---and precocious---silky terrier.

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