Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Roots Of Wood And Stone By Amanda Wen & Giveaway

Roots of Wood and Stone
by Amanda Wen
Publisher: Kregel
ISBN: 9780825446689

SO grateful to I Read With Audra for the opportunity to read this story from debut author Amanda Wen. She really knocks it out of the park with her first story! I was sent the book for review.


This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.

My Review:

You know how you feel when you start a book by a new author, right? A bit of trepidation? I'm not alone with that am I? When I agreed to read Roots of Wood and Stone I had the thought of, "what do I do if I don't care for her writing and she's just starting?" Insert a * cringe * face here. Well, well, well, my friends, let me tell you right now, that I had no need to worry. I'm going to start off my review by letting you know that this was a 5 star read for me!

I already reached out to Amanda telling her I knew I wasn't going to be able to put how I feel about this story into adequate words. So, she already knows. HA! With that out of the way, I'm going to give it a go!

This is a time-slip novel. We go from the mid 1800s to current day. I'll tell you what, I've fallen in love with this genre! We meet Sloane - a woman who was abandoned at birth on a bus - who has a fascinating job, which leads her to meeting Garrett. Garrett, the guy who's only in town on weekends as he helps his sister go through their grandma's belonging.

Sloane seems to have a rather neat and tidy life. She researches and organizes historical items and has a side gig that is rather surprising given her somber life. Garrett has a well planned life. Aside from his grandma's Alzheimer's, his mom's death, and his dad creating a new life with a new family nowhere near them, it's well planned. And then he drops off a diary with Sloane and the ball rolls from there.

Let me just say that I love Lauren, Garrett's sister in this story. She's a snarky, little cuss and I think we'd get along splendidly. I think she gets it from her grandma. Lauren has been living with grandma since her health started going downhill.

And let's talk about the past.

Annabelle. Oh my word, I loved her part of this story so much. Well, her and Jack that is. I'm going to note here so that I'll always remember where to go back to... if you want a romantic scene that will cause you to fan yourself and consider swooning WITHOUT a single touch you'll find it about 1/3 of the way through the story. Someone get me a fan!

I love looking back to my own ancestors and seeing how people were connected through this story as well as the legacy to the land and the house just made the story incredibly deep and heartwarming. To read the legacy of Annabelle's family was incredible. I'll have to admit, I welled up with tears, laughed, and got shivers as I read this part of the story.

It was wonderful watching Sloane grow and work through her pain of abandonment from her birth mother and always feeling like Plan B to everyone who comes into her life. And then watching Garrett struggle with his plans coming unraveled while he tries to line them all back up was rough. I think I can see a bit of myself in him. I'm not a planner, but I like to have my ducks in a row.

I'm telling you, I'm not giving this story its due. There's a lot I CAN'T tell you because it would ruin the story. We can't have that. Let me just say that you won't be disappointed if you read this story!

About the Author:

Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist.
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. Her debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone, releases from Kregel Publications on February 2, 2021.
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen)Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).

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Annmarie Weeks said...

Love your looks like a good read!

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