Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ten Thousand Charms by Allison Pittman--Book Review

Ten Thousand Charms by Allison Pittman is an outstanding and powerful novel of love and redemption.

A mining camp certainly isn't the place for someone as young and pretty as Gloria. But when you're a pregnant prostitute trying to decide how to get out of your predicament, a mining camp where you know someone isn't such a bad thing. Taken in by Jewell, the closest thing to a friend she knows, and the owner of the local brothel, Gloria pays her way by taking care of things around the place...that is, until her time comes and then she'll be expected to work like the rest of the girls.

John William McGregan is desperate. His wife died in childbirth and he is forced to seek Gloria's help to nurse his newborn daughter. They enter into an agreement where Gloria will tend to his daughter if he raises her son. No marriage, just taking care of the kids together until Gloria feels it's time to leave--she's not the motherly type.

After moving to the new Oregon Territory things begin to change. John William's faith and the doting of a neighborly widow leave Gloria longing for the love she's never known. But she's not worthy of a man of great faith like John William McGregan and certainly God couldn't want anything to do with her. When tragedy strikes, Gloria turns to the God she's never trusted. Can He save her new found family?

Kudos go out to Pittman for delivering such a powerful and inspiring story right out of the gate. Ten Thousand Charms is Pittman's debut novel and now I am eager to read the next two books in her Crossroads of Grace series.

A story of unanticipated love and redemption, Christian fiction and inspirational romance fans are certain to be moved by Ten Thousand Charms. Pittman has thrust two characters from distinctly different points of views together out of necessity and brings them to the point where they discover God's plan for their lives.

Gloria is at times crass, but her childlike eagerness to learn from John William and Maureen (the neighborly widow) about God endears the reader to her. It is easy to relate to the helplessness that Gloria feels as she wanders through life believing she has no future and doubting that she could ever be worthy in John's or God's eyes. The unfolding love story between John and Gloria is heartwarming and beautifully done, especially when it comes so unexpectedly for both of them.

Pittman's research and attention to detail make this story come to life as much as her realistic and all too human characters do. This story is set in the 1860's--a favorite time period of mine--which is why I wanted to read the book in the first place. And the discussion questions at the end make this the perfect book club selection.

I can't imagine how Pittman will top such a strong introductory novel, but since she sent me books 2 and 3 in this series to review, I eagerly anticipate sitting down with a cup of tea and finding out.

Title: Ten Thousand Charms (Crossroads of Grace series #1)
Author: Allison Pittman
Publisher: Multnomah Books
ISN: 1-59052-575-2
U.S. Price: $12.99

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