“Fresh out of college, Aggie Milliken thinks she’s prepared for anything life can throw her way. Think again, Aggie!
After the abrupt loss of her sister and brother-in-law, Aggie is stunned to find herself the sole guardian of their eight lively children. If learning basic parenting skills wasn’t complicated enough, she must also battle the children’s half-crazed grandmother, survive a massive remodeling project, and navigate the waters of new friendships-alone.
She has little experience with children and none with housekeeping, and it shows. What she has going for her is grit, a double dose of determination, and the confidence that this is exactly where the Lord wants her to be. With an unlimited P-mail account and enough hymns to keep her spirits bolstered, she tackles one catastrophe after another.
It seems like nothing Aggie does is right, but ready or not, here she comes!” (from Amazon)
I try to avoid reading very many romance novels in the first place (they either send my head into the clouds with the delightfulness or into the wall with the drama), so it’s very unusual to find me recommending a series of them. These books by Christian author, Chautona Havig, are the best “romance novels” I’ve ever read; but they are also much more than that.
Set at first in an expensive, Victorian era town home and later in an ramshackle, rural farmhouse, these books really come to life. Not too much description, but enough to give you the perfect feel of everything. (And remodeling sounds really fun…)
The Story (make that “Stories”):
From reading the synopsis, you’ve probably already guessed that the story is a bit of a ride. : ) Funny moments (like accidentally feeding the baby coffee instead of formula, oh horrors!); Spiritual lessons on trusting God, dealing with grief, and leaning on Him every day; lots of day to day life; and, yes, some healthy, God-centered romance combine to make these books awesome!
I just loved Aggie. She’s realistic down to her meltdowns over nothing, but she had an encouraging faith in God. She was such an inspiring and spunky character! The children were awesome—always full of surprises. ; ) I also really enjoyed their friends neighbors including William, Luke, Tina (Go, Tina!!), Uncle Zeke, and Libby. (One downside though, was that the Love Interest was a leeetle too perfect, but don’t let me get ranting about writing. We’ve got a review to do, folks!)
Sigh. Parents should have caution in considering these books for younger readers because, well, they are technically romance novels. (Though I am happy to say there are no bedroom scenes or kissing before marriage except a light kiss between two side characters.) Other concerns include crazy, scary grandmother-in-law who SPOILER ALERT! engineers a kidnapping of one of the children (child is found unhurt and returns home safely!); discussion of death; and SPOILER ALERT! backstory of a side character and his baby sister being beaten as children by a drunken mother. Potential readers may also want to note discussion of lingerie as bridal shower gifts; short discussion of adult themes in movies (particularly sexual immorality); and passing mention of a background character having a child out of wedlock. Also, there is a view of pants vs. skirts that some families may not agree with.
How in the world do I explain how awesome these books are??!! Well, try this. Take a freshly graduated college student dealing with grief; add eight kids (ages 12 to a baby!) for her to feed, clothe, homeschool, disciple (remember, they are dealing with grief too!), and take to the ER a few times; mix in two suitors—an imposing police officer and a very handy handyman; remember the aforesaid crazy, scary, loopy, controlling, nuts grandmother-in-law; and stir in a seven bedroom farmhouse to remodel. Now you have what I’m talkin’ about!! (And they are really long books too! Delightfully so!!)
So, if you’re looking for more of a sensible, God-centered “romance novel” with a good story that isn’t just filler between the mush parts (Lorna and the picture frame is really cute!); I suggest you read these books! ; ) Enjoy!!