Beyond All Measure

Beyond All Measure
by Dorothy Love
Published by Thomas Nelson
Will Be Published on May 31, 2011

Ada Wentworth, a young Bostonian, journeys to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, in the years following the Civil War. Alone and nearly penniless following a broken engagement, Ada accepts a position as a lady's companion to the elderly Lillian Willis, a pillar of the community and aunt to the local lumber mill owner, Wyatt Caldwell. Ada intends to use her millinery skills to establish a hat shop and secure her future.

Haunted by unanswered questions from her life in Boston, Ada is most drawn to two townsfolks: Wyatt, a Texan with big plans of his own, and Sophie, a mulatto girl who resides at the Hickory Ridge orphanage. Ada's friendship with Sophia attracts the attention of a group of locals seeking to displace the residents of Two Creeks, a "colored" settlement on the edge of town. As tensions rise, Ada is threatened but refuses to abandon her plan to help the girl.

When Lillian dies, Ada is left without employment or a place to call home. And since Wyatt's primary purpose for staying in Hickory Ridge was to watch over his aunt, he can now pursue his dream of owning Longhorns in his home state of Texas.

With their feelings for each other growing, Ada must decide whether she can trust God with her future and Wyatt with her heart.  - Taken from

I enjoyed this book.  I believe that this is the author's debut novel and I think she did an impressive job for her first published work of fiction.  The main character was headstrong and had problems- without seeming irritating or unlovable to the reader.  The main male figure in the store, Wyatt, was strong, dependable and likable.

I have to say, the idea of including the KKK as the main protagonist in the story was original and interesting.  I also enjoyed reading about the rifts between the North and the South.

The only thing that I had trouble with was the pacing of the book.  I felt as though all of the big climactic scenes were within the last 20 pages of the book- that left little drama for the reader.  Also, some of the reasoning behind the decisions that the main character made were a little unclear.

All in all, this was an enjoyable book and I look forward to reading more of this author in the future.

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