“Ripples Along the Shore” is book three in Mono Hodgson’s ‘The Quilted Heart Series. We meet Caroline Milburn in book two, a widow who’s husband had gone missing after the war. After receiving news of her husband’s death Caroline finds herself settling into a whole new phase in life, that of a Widow.
Caroline steps off the boat, back into Saint Charles, wondering if she could really call this place home anymore. A widow, and living with her sister Jewell, along with Jewell’s family, Caroline suddenly feels the pressures of no longer having a husband and a house to call her own. When an opportunity arises to head west, and start a new life in California, Caroline thinks this just might be her chance to start over herself.
Her heart is torn, not wanting to leave her sister Jewell, and her quilting circle friends, but Caroline decides to go ahead and attend the meeting for those going west. The meeting was led by Garrett Cowlishaw, a confederate soldier from the war that killed her husband. Befriending Garrett Cowlishaw had not been in the plans for Caroline, not even on the radar, but over time she found there was a different side to the man who was about to lead the Boones Wick Wagon Train to California.
With high hopes of rebuilding her life, and an even slighter hope of getting to see more of Garrett Cowlishaw, Caroline decides to go for it. That is until Garrett refuses to allow the widow to ride alone on the wagon train, and crushes her dreams of a new life in California. Caroline must now decide whether she is going to give in to Garrett, and to the title of being a widow, allowing them to crush her dreams, or if is she is going to see that the ripples of God’s love were far bigger then even she could imagine, by trusting him to lead her life.
I truly enjoyed Mona Hodgson’s Quilted Heart novella series. I’m a big reader, so although these books ended way too quick for me, it only showed just how good they were. I loved that each book carried on the story from the previous one, allowing you to continue following the previous character’s story. I was even excited to start Caroline’s story. Without giving away too much, I will say that my opinion of ‘Ripples Along the Shore’ was good, but definitely left me a little too unfulfilled.
On that point, of course, is the fact that an author doesn’t just finish a book like that on accident. Though many may find it a poor way to finish a series, especially a novella which just made it seem shorter, I can slightly understand if she is wanting the rest of Caroline’s story to start a whole other series. Though I feel there could have been a little more completion, at least a side story that could have given you that satisfactory feeling, it didn’t ruin the read for me.
This wasn’t my favorite of the three books, probably my least favorite, but in my heart and mind, it’s because this story felt more like a filler piece, rather then a book on it’s own. That’s okay seeing as I’ll probably be one of those reading the series that follows this one. Mona Hodgson is still a very talented writer, and I know I’ll enjoy her new series just as much, if not more, then this one.
-I received this books for free through Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review.