I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for my honest opinion, the opinions in this review are uninfluenced and my own.
Every once in awhile you get asked to read a book and, after a double check, you get excited because you recognize the author! Most of the books I review on here are complete surprises, unheard of authors, possibly different genres, and usually I'm pretty excited by the results.
Judith Miller, on the other hand, author of The Brickmaker's Bride has seen my bedside table since high school, and, although I've never found her books overly challenging, it's always like coming back and catching up with an old friend.
Brickmaker's Bride lands on some of Miller's strong point. It's set in West Virgina just after the civil war (historical fiction being, in my opinion, Miller's best). Laura, is a strong, likable female character learning to navigate a very male dominated society following the loss of her father and provider.
Ewan on the other hand is a recent immigrant easy to connect with as he struggles to bring one side of his family together while remaining above the ploys and ethics of the others.
I enjoyed the pacing of this book, Miller has always provided a good pacing and with Brickmaker's Bride it didn't just suit the story but helped give a feel to the setting of the story and the lives of the characters.
The tension within the plot was believable and most readers, myself included, could easily find people they have met who embody the different qualities, displayed by the main cast (although I could certainly do with some more of the liveliness found in the twins. Two of my favourite characters by far and perhaps a smidge underused)
Some readers may find the end wraps up rather neatly, as does much Christian fiction, however, I found Miller's work refreshing in that not every character had their story-lines neatly wrapped up. There were still quirks, prejudices, and pain that was left unresolved while making sure the story had a complete ending.
All in all I felt this was one of the better reads I've had with Miller in recent years and recommend it to fans of this genre
4 out of 5 stars.