MY LOVING VIGIL KEEPING
by Carla Kelly
Cedar Fort, Inc., 2012
Copy received from publisher through NetGalley.
Della's giving up all the comforts of bustling Salt Lake City to teach school in a rural coal mining camp. Little does she know, she may soon be giving up her heart as well. But when tragedy strikes in the Scofield Mine, Della's life will be changed forever. Based on true events, this thrilling new romance from award-winning and bestselling author Carla Kelly is a must-read!
There are some books that just seem to speak to me as a reader. This is one of those. There are several reasons for this. First, the story involves a mining disaster in Utah and my grandfather died in a coal mining accident when my father was only nine days old. This left my grandmother with three children to raise on her own. After reading this book, I have a much deeper appreciation for what she must have gone through.
Another reason I found this book so compelling was the characters, I fell in love with them immediately. Della's courage and heart in facing her challenges despite relatives who treated her poorly won my heart immediately. How could I not cheer for someone who found much to live for despite her aunt's constant criticism. I also found myself falling for the Winter Quarters community. Despite a place of hard, dangerous work, the people that Della meets find much to rejoice in and they welcome her with open arms. The children that Della works so hard to teach reminded me of everything that I love about teaching and what is truly important about that profession.
The romance was a very sweet one and also realistic as Della and her love interest struggle with past losses and fears. I especially enjoyed the parts about the choir, so much so that I wished I could actually hear them sing! Religion does play a strong role in the story but not in any way intrusive, at least not in my opinion. I think one of the things I enjoyed the most was the feeling of goodness that radiated from it. So many books these days are so dark and depressing, but despite the heartache suffered by so many, there was also hope and friendship and love. NOTE: There are a couple of scenes where Della visits a sauna with her Finnish lady friends and they remove all their clothes, but as this is a cultural activity I felt like it fit with the story.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for those that enjoy a positive, uplifting, clean romance, just be sure to have a box of tissues near by. :)
If you are interested in other reviews of the book, see here for the rest of the blog tour.