Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Her Good Name by Ruth Axtell

"Lies and secrets can spoil a woman's good name."-- back cover of Her Good Name

I love the state of Maine. It's the place where if feel the most home of anywhere on Earth. So I jumped at the chance to read Ruth Axtell's new book, Her Good Name. It's about a young, feisty, woman with a thirst for knowledge and a desire for a better life. A life that is more than just working long, cold, hours in a cannery in Holliston.

Espy Estrada is one of eleven children--her father is a ne'er do well, alcoholic who comes home when he feels like it and her mother is tired. In 1892, letting the home fires burn out is not an option, so Espy must contribute to the welfare of her mother and siblings.

Being of Portuguese descent, and therefore of a low social standing, when Espy is caught in a compromising position with a professor (by his wife) the finger of blame points squarely in her direction. Will no one stand up for her? Where is the God that Espy believes in while she stands alone and accused?

Ruth Axtell creates a story with wonderful characters and a believable premise. I could almost smell the sea air and hear the children playing in the shanty section of town. Ruth painted the towns of Holliston and Bangor with a vivid and lively brush.

Please read on for more information!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Her Good Name
River North; New Edition edition (July 24, 2012)
Ruth Axtell


Ruth knew she wanted to be a writer ever since she wrote her first story--a spy thriller--at the age of twelve. She studied comparative literature at Smith College, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne in Paris. After college, she taught English in the Canary Islands then worked in international development in Miami, Florida, before moving to the Netherlands, where for the next several years, she juggled both writing and raising her three children.

In 1994, her second manuscript was a finalist in Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart competition. In 2002, her sixth manuscript took second place in the Laurie Contest of RWA's Smoky Mountain chapter. The final judge requested her full manuscript and this became her first published book, Winter Is Past, which was spotlighted in Christian Retailing magazine. Since then, Ruth has gone on to publish thirteen historical romances and one novella. Her books have been translated into Dutch, Italian, Polish and Afrikaans . Her second historical, Wild Rose, was chosen by Booklist as a "Top Ten Christian Fiction" selection in 2005.

Ruth lives on the coast of Maine where she enjoys gardening, walking, reading romances and gazing at the ocean plotting her next romance.


In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron's son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father's business empire.

Esperanza Estrada, daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman and a local woman, lives on the wrong side of town, surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. She is unable to pretend she is anything but "one of those Estradas." When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local high school teacher's home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity--to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again, but also to imbibe of the culture and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons.

When rumors about Espy and her respected employer begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. Warren believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street.  A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?

If you would like to read the first chapter excerpt of Her Good Name, go HERE.


Mary Aalgaard said...

Wow! What a successful writing career. Sounds like a great book.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Hi Mary!
I really enjoyed Ruth's writing style and "voice".
I hope to read more!!

Bless you!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Sounds great. I love Maine too!

Maria I. Morgan said...

Sounds like a great read! Looks like one I'll be adding to my list. Thanks for the review!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info, Cheryl! I've seen this book and thought it looked good. (Judging a book by its cover, I know! lol) I appreciate your thoughts and will be checking this one out soon.

Dana said...

I haven't read anything by this author, and this sounds like a great book. Thanks!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Hi Jennifer! Maine is my favorite place!

Maria, Ruth is a great story teller- I think you'll enjoy Her Good Name! :)

Hi Karen--the books lives up to both the title and cover! The young woman on the cover reminds me a bit of my daughter, Elsa! :)

Dana, thanks for checking out the review!
Bless you!!

Robyn Campbell said...

Maine is a place I've always wanted to visit. I'll check this book out for sure, Cheryl! Ruth has an awesome voice. Something that is hard to understand. (I finally figured it out though) Hugs, my friend!

Cheryl Klarich said...

Robyn! So glad you stopped in!! You have one of the loveliest voices around!

Bless you!!