Lynn N. Austin, Author . Bethany House $11.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-7642-2197-2

This successful follow-up to Wings of Refuge and Eve's Daughters combines a strong spiritual story line with endearing, believable characters during the Great Depression. "How's a scrawny young thing like you, with three little kids to raise, ever going to run a big outfit like Wyatt Orchards?" the widowed Eliza Rose Wyatt is asked. She's desperate to hold on to the only real home she has ever known, but Eliza believes it will take a guardian angel to help her succeed. When the handsome hobo, Gabriel Harper, comes into her life, Eliza at first holds him at arm's length, wondering whether the aptly named mysterious stranger could be the guardian angel she's been waiting for. The strength of this beautifully descriptive book is its characters, from the whimsical, eccentric "Aunt Batty" to the one-eyed dog, "Winky." Austin incorporates subtle allusions to the angel theme throughout the text in everything from a Christmas tree ornament to the birth of a calf. Underlying layers of the story deal with the impact a father has on future generations and the importance of following one's dreams in spite of opposition. Throughout, readers are teased with misconceptions about Gabriel that are resolved in an unexpected manner. The flashbacks to the past can feel somewhat jarring, but Austin's writing is strong enough to take the reader through them with only a few difficulties. If Christian fiction fans haven't discovered Austin before, this appealing book will send them to her backlist, wanting more. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 07/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 589 pages - 978-0-7862-9044-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-4412-0279-6
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