This Heart is Closed…Well, Sort Of

When Adelaide Proctor’s plan for a family of her own with a handsome book salesman goes down the drain after she discovers a shocking truth, she promises herself that she will not fall prey to her romantic thinking again. However, taking the position of a governess for a handsome ranch owner’s daughter puts her heart to the test once again!

Karen Witemeyer’s amazing novel, Head in the Clouds, is funny and heartrending at the same time.

Gideon Westcott made a promise. He would be five-year-old Isabella Petchey’s guardian after the death of her mother, Lucinda. The reason why Lucinda wanted Gideon to take her daughter, and not return the girl to the Petchey family in England is because of her brother-in-law, Reginald. Lucinda knew that Reginald would take the child’s inheritance and squander it, leaving Isabella with nothing. Unloved and dowryless. Gideon will never let happen and when the court rules in his favor, that Lucinda’s will was written with a sound mind on her part, he takes Isabella to his sheep ranch in Texas.

He never expected to hire the spirited governess who wears yellow gowns all the time and wins the heart of Isabella almost instantly. Not only that, but Adelaide Proctor is quite beautiful. Gideon’s attraction to her should be forbidden, he knows that. In England he wouldn’t even look at a governess as a prospective bride, it just wasn’t done. Her station is too low. He can’t start looking at Adelaide in that way.

Adelaide wants to close her heart against Gideon, especially when she finds herself imagining him as Mr. Rochester and her as Jane from her favorite novel Jane Eyre. She certainly is no Jane, and he certainly is no Rochester. Trying to abandon her imagination and close up her heart, Adelaide concentrates on Isabella…the sweet child who hasn’t spoken a word since the death of her mother.

Isabella is mute because she wants to be. Gideon hopes that Adelaide’s spirit and joy will bring laughter and happiness back to Isabella. He wants his daughter to feel joy again, and Adelaide seems like the perfect person to bring it back to her.

But Reginald Petchey is on the move. He is determined to take Isabella away from Texas…no matter what he has to do to Gideon to get to the girl.

And a bit of Adelaide’s joy and innocence is taken away for a little while when she is attacked in the barn by a drunken ranch hand who was hired to help shear the sheep. If Gideon hadn’t been close by, Adelaide would’ve been compromised, her joy stolen completely away from her.

Gideon and Adelaide share the same strength and faith in God. This book showed how their faith sustained them, even in the most dire situations. Adelaide is able to relate to Isabella as well because of the loss of her father. Knowing what it was like to lose a parent made Isabella draw closer to Adelaide, and she knew that she could go far with this child.

Adelaide’s love for her horse, Sheba, was also a sweet theme in the story. Sheba was the last gift Adelaide’s father gave to her before he died. Having Sheba with her makes Adelaide feel as though a part of her father is still with her too.

Head in the Clouds was a beautiful story. It was funny, dramatic and, at a few moments, edge-of-your-seat-scary! If you like historical/religious fiction, then you would definitely enjoy this book. Karen Witemeyer weaved a story of faith and love that I will not easily forget. She took Adelaide, a girl with her head in the clouds, and turned her into the perfect heroine. Adelaide might have been a dreamer, but her heart was for God and that fact gave her courage when she needed it the most.

But…will Isabella ever speak again? And will the event that leads her to speak cause both her and Adelaide heartbreak in the end? If you want to know, then I suggest you start reading Head in the Clouds as soon as possible!

Coming Soon: Magaret has spent most of her life denying her mother’s heritage…Clara has run to relatives who don’t want her for help…the annihilation of a people is at hand. Look for my review of Into the West Part 4: Hell on Wheels, tomorrow!!

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