I had never read books by Gilbert Morris until this one. Now I look forward to read more. He had me hooked from the first page right through until the end.
Morris is an excellent writer who brings his readers back in time by painting such a clear picture they can see themselves in the story with the characters. Personally, I’ve never been on a paddlewheel steamers but I could clearly see what it looked like, inside and out. It brought tears to my eyes on several occasions.
The River Rose is the story of Jeanne Bettencourt, a fine Christian woman, young widow, and mother of a young daughter, Marvel. Jeanne works hard as a chambermaid in a hotel, barely getting by for the two of them. Even with some of the very generous tips she gets, life is not easy and there’s no room for splurging. Jeanne deprives herself of a lot so she can give more to her daughter.
She takes Marvel to the Christmas regale in the town square and they see George Masters, one of the generous guests from the hotel. Unlike most people who treat her like a plain chambermaid, Masters is a wealthy plantation owner and a fine gentleman who treats her with dignity. Hesitantly, she accepts his invitation to drive her back home from the regale, but only because of the pleading look in Marvel’s eyes. Soon, they begin to see each other. Does Jeanne see in him what he sees in her? Will her affection for him grow like his for her?
When Jeanne learns she’s inherited a paddlewheel steamer, she’s all too excited until she’s told she’s not the only heir. The other half of this boat belongs to Clint Hardin, a boxer and beautiful baritone. Together, they must decide whether to sell the boat and split what they get from it, or keep it and make a living arrangements.
Masters begins to court Jeanne while Clint begins to fall for her. But does she feel anything for either man? She and Clint live on the same boat, work together and see each other every day. She only sees George once a week, if that. Her heart’s desire is for her family and it doesn’t seem to have much room for love. Or does it?Despite their good and fun times, they go through a terrible time when Marvel becomes very ill.
Morris wrote this in such a way that he gives you a history lesson; it is informative and educational. He also gives you a beautiful love story. But it is a story of hardships that makes the reader look at what they have today, and how hard yet simple people lived in the 1850’s. It will make you laugh and move you to tears page after page.
This author is unpredictable. Just when you think ‘this or that’ will happen, a plot twist takes you in a totally different direction. Amazingly well written, I give it 5 stars and look forward to read the other novels in the Water Wheel series. I highly recommend The River Rose.
The River Rose is Book 2 in a three-book series. However, The River Rose is a stand-alone novel – there is zero overlap in characters or plot lines between the books. They are a series in the sense that all three books take place on Mississippi River paddle wheelers during the 1850s.
Read Chapter 1 of River Rise here.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from B&H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.