MyHeart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily’s Dilemma (My Heart Belongs) by Andrea Boeshaar
Review by Tina St. Clair Rice
This story is set in 1816 Middletown, Virginia where Lillyanna “Lily” Laughlin lives with her Aunt Brunhilda “Hilda” Gunther and two younger brothers, 14-year-old Jonah and 12-year-old Jed. Since the recent death of her father, Lily now cares for her brothers as well as their small farm and home. However things soon change when she learns she no longer owns part of the land across from her beloved home. Her guardian, Silas Everett, sold it without even discussing it with her and her family to a stranger, Captain McAlister “Mac” Albright. I enjoyed the way Lily and Mac initially meet, although it was rather embarrassing for Lily, and hoped maybe something more than friendship would develop between them. Unfortunately Lily and her family's troubles were only beginning thanks to a very deceitful and evil man. Lily and her family quickly became favorite characters. I admire Lily’s dedication to caring for her family. Not only is she lovely and has a beautiful singing voice, she has a giving heart, strong work ethic, kind spirit and strong faith. Will her new neighbor see all those godly qualities in her?
I felt for Mac and the reason he left his family home and moved to the Shenandoah Valley. He has had his own troubles in the past but with his friend, John Blake to help, he hopes to make a fresh start in Middletown. Will his past troubles follow him there? He soon became another favorite character in this story. He is physically strong...and very handsome...which he will need in order to work the farm and orchard he just bought, and his honesty and integrity are admirable.
Mac’s friend John, Lily’s two brothers and aunt, along with some of the other secondary characters are just as endearing and bring much to the storyline. John especially, who is lighthearted and fun and often brings smiles and laughter. There is one character who I did not like at all, Silas Everett. He is an evil, conniving man, out for his own selfish wants regardless how he obtains them or who he hurts in the process.
The author certainly developed the characters in this story well...some I grew to love and one I did not like at all. The characters experience humor, more than one sweet romance developing, adventure and suspense, deceitfulness and conniving, evil intentions, trust….others and oneself as well as trusting and learning God’s plan for each of them, love and faith. I enjoyed the spiritual aspect of the storyline. Oh, I love the ending, perfect!
The historical details and descriptions of the Shenandoah Valley are beautifully done and invite the reader to step off the pages into the valley itself. The author has a note in the back of the story explaining the history of Middletown of 1826 which is very informative. I like that the stories in each of the My Heart Belongs series (10 stories) are based on actual historical locations and plan to read the other 8 that I have not read yet.
~I received an e-book copy via Net Galley (no monetary gain were exchanged), this is my honest review~
Bio: Tina St.Clair Rice is Colonial Quills' Reader/Reviewer. A former nurse, Tina lives in Maryland with her family. Tina enjoys Christian historical fiction and is a beta reader for several authors.