The year is 1886 and Sophie Robillard Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge to begin a newspaper. Her dreams of starting up the Gazette however, will be much harder than she first realized. Sophie is ready for the challenge though, set in the knowledge that she knows what she’s doing and that God will be with her every step of the way. But a different fear plagues her, one that has all too much to do with the prejudiced side of the people of Hickory Ridge. Because Sophie remembers all too well the hurtful things people used to say and she cannot be sure if they will accept her now.
I couldn’t think of a better title for my post than the title of this beautiful novel, Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love. In this last installment of the Hickory Ridge Romances we are introduced to a grown up Sophie Robillard, who was once upon a time the little girl we fell in love with in the first book Beyond All Measure.
Sophie has a deep love for writing, she has since she was a little girl. When her guardians, Ada and Wyatt Caldwell took her from Hickory Ridge, she began a whole new life in a place where no one knew her. No one knew who she was, where she’d come from…or the rumors of her birth. In Texas, they could keep Sophie’s heritage a secret, no one would question them. But back home in Hickory Ridge, where people remembered her much too well, Sophie fears that her and her newspaper will not be very well accepted by the community. But then she meets Ethan Heyward, and an entirely new problem arises.
I have loved every Hickory Ridge novel by Dorothy Love, and this one was the perfect ending! We finally get to read Sophie’s story. The mystery of Sophie’s heritage had interested me from the beginning as I’d never read about such a thing before, or thought of the very likely possibility of there being children like Sophie back then. I liked how Dorothy Love brought it all together in this book, guiding us through Sophie’s determination to run her own newspaper in Hickory Ridge, her struggles with whether or not people would accept her and the memory of the pain she suffered at the hands of the more prejudiced side of the people of Hickory Ridge. And when it came to falling in love with Ethan Heyward…well, that was her biggest struggle of all. How could she expect him to accept a person like her?
The mystery called Ethan was also very intriguing from start to finish. I picked up this book whenever I could and read as fast as I could just to find out his story and I wasn’t disappointed. Memories from the war, from his old home in Georgia, haunted him for so many years and he held onto the anger and bitterness for so long. But meeting Sophie and working at Blue Smoke–where people came to the surface to remind him of what happened and God used certain people to open Ethan up to learning the truth–changed his entire life.
The return of beloved characters from the previous books is always welcome of course! I loved seeing Carrie and Griff especially since the second book Beauty For Ashes may be my favorite of all three of them (I haven’t made up my mind yet!). One of the things I have truly liked about Dorothy Love’s novels is her ‘love at first sight’ angle. In every one of the Hickory Ridge novels there was almost always an instant attraction between the two main characters. Every girl dreams of love at first sight, but Dorothy Love makes it come alive in the gentlest ways. Quiet and sweet, she lets love flow onto her pages and makes you truly believe in love at first sight.
Through fearful trials, through memories resurfacing, facing devastating truths and struggling against people who would see them fail, through all this will Sophie and Ethan discover God’s perfect plan for their lives?
Every Perfect Gift was the perfect conclusion to this lovely trilogy. I loved every minute of my time ‘in’ Hickory Ridge, and I am so sad to say goodbye!
Coming Soon: Two enigmatic strangers…one girl with mysterious, beautiful eyes…a terrible secret that will change everything. Which side will Skye choose? Look for my review of A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies, soon!!