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The Measure of Katie Calloway

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The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and h The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love. With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cook-stove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.


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The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and h The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love. With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cook-stove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page.

30 review for The Measure of Katie Calloway

  1. 5 out of 5

    Janelle

    I’ve done things backwards with this book, having read the third book in the series last month. However doing so didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this at all. It’s not often that I rate a historical romance novel with five stars, but I loved this book. I was hooked by both the story and characters from the first page and the book didn’t let me go until the final satisfying sentences. The numerous descriptions of Katie’s wonderful cooking were an extra pleasure for me. It’s not often that a novel inc I’ve done things backwards with this book, having read the third book in the series last month. However doing so didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this at all. It’s not often that I rate a historical romance novel with five stars, but I loved this book. I was hooked by both the story and characters from the first page and the book didn’t let me go until the final satisfying sentences. The numerous descriptions of Katie’s wonderful cooking were an extra pleasure for me. It’s not often that a novel includes so much yummy food.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christy

    I never knew spending time with a ornery old cook, a group of dirty loggers, and a frightened Indian who could barely speak would make for one of the best historical books I've read all year! Serena Miller successfully transported me to the cold forests of Michigan with this charming tale, and I absolutely hated to leave. While I enjoyed the ebb and flow of camp life, as well as the subtle romance that steadily built between Katie and Robert, what I really loved to read about was the food. Oh, t I never knew spending time with a ornery old cook, a group of dirty loggers, and a frightened Indian who could barely speak would make for one of the best historical books I've read all year! Serena Miller successfully transported me to the cold forests of Michigan with this charming tale, and I absolutely hated to leave. While I enjoyed the ebb and flow of camp life, as well as the subtle romance that steadily built between Katie and Robert, what I really loved to read about was the food. Oh, the food! Juicy apple pie, warm peach cobbler, and mouth-watering flapjacks had me itching to jump into the kitchen to cook up a mess of yummy food! The one thing that would have made the book complete would've been some recipes at the end. :o) Oh, well... It was still a delightful book. Serena Miller's realistic tale of life after the Civil War was one that deserves a permanent place on the keeper shelf. I'm anxious to recommend it to my friends and family, and as far as I'm concerned, her next book can't get here soon enough!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    The Measure of Katie Calloway is an engaging story that offers a little bit of everything – romance, history, adventure, as well as touches on some heavy subjects, particularly spousal abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, or “soldier’s heart” as it was called during that time. In order to make a living for herself & her younger brother, after escaping an abusive husband, Katie takes a position as a cook in a lumber camp. The historical details about cooking, the lumber camp and its inhabitan The Measure of Katie Calloway is an engaging story that offers a little bit of everything – romance, history, adventure, as well as touches on some heavy subjects, particularly spousal abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, or “soldier’s heart” as it was called during that time. In order to make a living for herself & her younger brother, after escaping an abusive husband, Katie takes a position as a cook in a lumber camp. The historical details about cooking, the lumber camp and its inhabitants really grabbed my attention. I loved the rivalry between Katie & the crotchety old camp cook. His childish behavior had me both laughing and exasperated at the same time. The descriptions of the camp & the kitchen, especially the food, were really well-done. I loved how the story didn’t depend on romance to keep the plot going, but rather had a compelling pull on its own to continue reading. With that said, I never felt like I got to really know the characters, especially Katie & Robert. They had many endearing qualities, but I felt like they were held at arm’s length throughout the story. I wanted more emotion, more tension, more true conflict between them and more story in general. Despite touching on heavy topics like I mentioned above, some aspects of the story were very on-the-surface. I also felt that the ending was a bit of a letdown. After a couple of tension-filled scenes between Katie and her estranged husband, the conclusion felt somewhat anti-climactic. I still enjoyed the story overall and would recommend it if you’re in the mood for a sweet, historical story.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    To save her life and protect her young brother from her violent husband, Katie Calloway leaves her house in Georgia, arrives to Michigan with little money and a few clothes and accepts a job as a cook in the lumber camp owned by Robert Foster. To protect herself she lies to him by saying she is a widow, but the most important challenge she has to face is a demanding job in a pine forest away from everything, surrounded only by men. Will she be able to survive? And, most of all, will she understa To save her life and protect her young brother from her violent husband, Katie Calloway leaves her house in Georgia, arrives to Michigan with little money and a few clothes and accepts a job as a cook in the lumber camp owned by Robert Foster. To protect herself she lies to him by saying she is a widow, but the most important challenge she has to face is a demanding job in a pine forest away from everything, surrounded only by men. Will she be able to survive? And, most of all, will she understand that there are other kinds of men, aside from that vile man she is still married to? After reading this book I definitely see things in a different way about lumbering. Cutting trees is not a thing I am in favour of, but these men deserve my respect. They had a difficult life and death was a highly probable option. If they survived the falling of majestic trees, they had good chances to die because of the cold winters or dangerous fires in the woods. All of this, just to support their families and have some money in their pockets for their needs. I came to like all of these men whom Ms. Miller talked about, they were all very endearing to me. Cletus, with his beautiful wood carvings, Ernie and his love for his scarred brother, Skypilot and his courage and beliefs (oh my! What a man!), Henri with his fiddle always ready to play music, and all the others. Everyone gave me something I really liked. Besides the minor characters, I loved the protagonists, Katie and Robert. How a woman can endure years of suffering, both physical and emotional, and have the strength to survive and live again is one of the things I appreciated a lot. Katie does everything both for her own happiness and for his little brother’s. Her fears which slowly turn into courage and determination are very interesting to witness, and her joy and faith (even in the most dreadful situations) are reassuring. Thanks to God, she understands that not all the men are despicable as her husband Harlan, and she learns to trust them. One in particular, Robert Foster, who trusts her at first. He is loyal, kind, affectionate, all that Harlan never was. Therefore, she is particularly drawn to him (who can blame her?). If you want to spend some days in a lumber camp with tough, dirty men with a big heart and a well-defined ethical code, you will surely enjoy “The measure of Katie Calloway”. A touching and interesting story that will bring you right at the centre of a pine forest where you can smell the trees and witness the bad and good days of a special group of people.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shari Larsen

    The Civil War has ended, but there is still conflict raging in Katie Calloway's home in Georgia. When she finds out that her abusive husband plans to kill her so that he can marry a wealthy war widow to rebuild his ruined plantation, Katie and her little brother Ned flee as far north as the train can take them, which is Bay City, Michigan. There she meets Robert Foster, who is looking for a cook for his logging camp. Katie takes the job, and she and Ned find sanctuary in the camp. Robert wonders The Civil War has ended, but there is still conflict raging in Katie Calloway's home in Georgia. When she finds out that her abusive husband plans to kill her so that he can marry a wealthy war widow to rebuild his ruined plantation, Katie and her little brother Ned flee as far north as the train can take them, which is Bay City, Michigan. There she meets Robert Foster, who is looking for a cook for his logging camp. Katie takes the job, and she and Ned find sanctuary in the camp. Robert wonders if the young woman has the grit to survive the harsh conditions and never ending work, and Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from the man she slowly growing to love. I really enjoyed this story, it was so much more in depth than I had expected. I felt like I was experiencing life in a logging camp right along with Katie. The characters were richly drawn; I enjoyed getting to know all of the logging men and their different personalities. I have lived in Michigan my whole life, and I knew the state had a rich logging history, but I had not read much about it until I picked up this book. The author did very well with her research, and it gave me a new appreciation for all the work, and the danger involved in what it takes to get wood to the consumers who will use it, something I think a lot of take for granted. I don't know if there is a sequel planned for this book, but I would love to read one, not only to find out what happens next to main characters, but all the other characters as well.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Noreen Kellner

    This was such an enjoyable read! I love historical romances. Serena B. Miller did an exceptional job on the time period and kept true to how people lived then. The lumber camp was fascinating and the characters were well fleshed out and believable. Loved getting to know them and feeling as though I knew what they would do in a situation...that is the mark of a great author!! This was the first book I have read by Serena B. Miller, but it will definitely not be the last! Reminder...Add Serana B. M This was such an enjoyable read! I love historical romances. Serena B. Miller did an exceptional job on the time period and kept true to how people lived then. The lumber camp was fascinating and the characters were well fleshed out and believable. Loved getting to know them and feeling as though I knew what they would do in a situation...that is the mark of a great author!! This was the first book I have read by Serena B. Miller, but it will definitely not be the last! Reminder...Add Serana B. Miller to my "Favorite Authors" list.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    An enjoyable read by a new-to-me author. Katie runs from her wrecked Southern home when her abusive husband attempts to kill her in cold blood, taking her young brother with her. She goes as far to the end of the rail line as her money will take her and ends up with a job as camp cook for a lumber camp. I enjoyed the tales of life in the north woods and look forward to more of this series.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    SUMMARY: The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is SUMMARY: The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp. The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love. With grace and skill, Serena Miller brings to life a bygone era. From the ethereal, snowy forest and the warm cookstove to the rowdy shanty boys and the jagged edges of the saw, every detail is perfectly rendered, transporting the reader back to the time when pine was king, men were made of iron, and rivers were choked with logs on the way to the sawmills. Readers will have a hard time leaving the Northwoods when they turn the last page. REVIEW: This was a great historical fiction novel and I found the storyline based on the logging in Michigan very interesting. Miller's research into the logging industry during the time after the Civil War was well done. The characters were well-developed and very realistic. They each had their own strengths and weaknesses. The interaction between the loggers, Katie, and the camp owner Robert Foster all had depth and realism. My favorite part was the Christmas Eve gathering and how each character contributed in some way to make it special for the children and the whole group. FAVORITE QUOTES: "It was the root of his greatest spiritual battle--trying to reconcile a loving God, the Creator of such an intricately crafted world--with all the suffering he had seen." "Marriage, her father had advised her, wasn't like choosing a dress pattern that could be discarded when she tired of it. Marriage was forever. Marriage was for life."

  9. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    From the very first page I was hooked. And it just kept getting better and better as I read on. I couldn't ask for more, this book had me utterly charmed. And I will most certainly be reading more books from Ms. Miller as soon as I possibly can! Katie Calloway and her younger brother Ned, run from her husband's Georgia Plantation, up North to the lumber camps of Michigan. Will Katie's faith and determination keep them safe from their past? And what about the honorable owner of the lumber camp who From the very first page I was hooked. And it just kept getting better and better as I read on. I couldn't ask for more, this book had me utterly charmed. And I will most certainly be reading more books from Ms. Miller as soon as I possibly can! Katie Calloway and her younger brother Ned, run from her husband's Georgia Plantation, up North to the lumber camps of Michigan. Will Katie's faith and determination keep them safe from their past? And what about the honorable owner of the lumber camp whose kind words give Katie reason to hope again? The characters were charming and believable, each having their own special charm about them. The lumber men were each distinct and wonderful, I think my favorites were Skypilot (the ex-preacher), and Jigger (the cook). There were so many memorable characters, and non of them particularly stood out for me as better, even with the secondary characters lined up next to the main characters. And I mean that as a good thing. The story and the characters were well-rounded. I could tell that this book was also well researched, and I enjoyed learning little facts about lumber camps as I read. This is now one of my favorites that I've read this year :) Ms. Miller is a wonderful writer and she has a huge future in writing. I will most definitely be reading her next book! Overall, this is a historical love story that will charm your heart away. I have already highly recommended this book many times, just by word of mouth. In my opinion, this is exactly how Christian Historical Fiction is done. The Measure of Katie Calloway was a pleasure to read; an absolute delight! That will be enjoyed :) Thank you. “Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

  10. 4 out of 5

    MAP

    This was a nice little book. It's fairly formulaic -- you know from the first 50 pages the basics of what will happen by the end -- but it's well written with compelling characters. And it's a step above other Christian fiction novels in that it doesn't slam you in the face with THE CHRISTIAN LESSON. There are a couple of serious continuity issues that drove me crazy, but I blame that more on the editor than on the author -- it's the JOB of the editor to pick up on this stuff. (My plan in high sc This was a nice little book. It's fairly formulaic -- you know from the first 50 pages the basics of what will happen by the end -- but it's well written with compelling characters. And it's a step above other Christian fiction novels in that it doesn't slam you in the face with THE CHRISTIAN LESSON. There are a couple of serious continuity issues that drove me crazy, but I blame that more on the editor than on the author -- it's the JOB of the editor to pick up on this stuff. (My plan in high school was to become a book editor -- who fantasizes about that in high school?) Anyway, I'll go ahead and read the next ones in the series.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    “The Measure of Katie Calloway” is a novel that spans land and emotions, filled with colorful descriptions and finger-nibbling moments of unease. When you have an abused character it can be a challenge to make her likeable and not weak. Katie Calloway is no weak heroine. She knew what she wanted and she went after what she needed – to protect her life and that of her brother. I have tremendous respect for her in that role. The setting of the novel was one so well described I could smell the don “The Measure of Katie Calloway” is a novel that spans land and emotions, filled with colorful descriptions and finger-nibbling moments of unease. When you have an abused character it can be a challenge to make her likeable and not weak. Katie Calloway is no weak heroine. She knew what she wanted and she went after what she needed – to protect her life and that of her brother. I have tremendous respect for her in that role. The setting of the novel was one so well described I could smell the donuts frying on the wood cook stove and hear the whine of chainsaws. Such was the imaginary through the entire novel. The occupation of camp cook for Katie in a setting such as a logging camp was well done. However, there were several things about the novel that didn’t move me in my particular reader “needs”. I didn’t feel emotionally attached to the novel. There was a separation between reader and character and I wanted to get closer to Katie. Find out what she was all about and dig within her problems. I wanted there to be a bigger climax to the ending. The story line felt like it deserved something more dramatic between Katie and her estranged husband. Though the novel hasn’t been my favorite, the love story ending did make me “ahh” and the historical descriptions were good. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review. **Available October 2011 from Revell, a division of Baker publishers**

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    'The Measure of Katie Calloway' is the first book that I've read by Serena Miller and I very much enjoyed it! I found Katie's story very sad and heartbreaking. She was married to an abusive husband who (in the first chapter) tried to kill her. Katie, upon learning this, hurriedly left Georgia and her violent husband behind, traveling North with her brother. She ends up in Michigan where she secures a job as a lumber camp cook. Her heart seeks sanctuary in the deep woods. But will trouble find he 'The Measure of Katie Calloway' is the first book that I've read by Serena Miller and I very much enjoyed it! I found Katie's story very sad and heartbreaking. She was married to an abusive husband who (in the first chapter) tried to kill her. Katie, upon learning this, hurriedly left Georgia and her violent husband behind, traveling North with her brother. She ends up in Michigan where she secures a job as a lumber camp cook. Her heart seeks sanctuary in the deep woods. But will trouble find her even here? I liked Katie's, Robert's, Mose's, and Skypilot's characters. The story was entertaining, suspenseful, romantic, and interesting. I read 'The Measure of Katie Calloway' relatively quick and would enjoy reading a sequel - just to see how the character's stories develop. The whole aspect of the lumber camp, wildfires, and shanty boys made me enjoy 'The Measure of Katie Calloway' all the more! I think if you enjoy a good story with romance and a little suspense, then you would enjoy 'The Measure of Katie Calloway'! Recommended! *I received a complimentary copy for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, just my honest opinion.* Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    This was my first book by Serena B. Miller and I enjoyed the book. Historical fiction is not my favourite genre but I really enjoyed reading a bit about the Civil War which I don't know a lot about. The way the writer writes makes you really feel like you are there with the characters and various number of times I felt tears in my eyes reading Katie's story. There was some funny bits as well as well as some suspenseful parts. I can't believe that there is guys like Harlan, but I guess there is a This was my first book by Serena B. Miller and I enjoyed the book. Historical fiction is not my favourite genre but I really enjoyed reading a bit about the Civil War which I don't know a lot about. The way the writer writes makes you really feel like you are there with the characters and various number of times I felt tears in my eyes reading Katie's story. There was some funny bits as well as well as some suspenseful parts. I can't believe that there is guys like Harlan, but I guess there is a lot of women who has to deal with a Harlan. And I loved to see how Katie grew from a scared fragile women to a strong confident women. Even though this is not my favourite genre, I will read more of Serena B. Miller's books and will read the next book in this series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    ⚜️Trea

    This book was entertaining, fast paced, and spiritually uplifting, and yet ultimately forgettable. It left me not really wanting to continuing with the series. I admired Katie's spirit in getting away from her abuser and her willingness to find love again in Robert. Robert was a good hero, a bit tortured, but ultimately a decent man. I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting, as it made it very easy to visualize! Thing of it is, I can't really put my finger on what was wrong with the book to make This book was entertaining, fast paced, and spiritually uplifting, and yet ultimately forgettable. It left me not really wanting to continuing with the series. I admired Katie's spirit in getting away from her abuser and her willingness to find love again in Robert. Robert was a good hero, a bit tortured, but ultimately a decent man. I enjoyed the descriptions of the setting, as it made it very easy to visualize! Thing of it is, I can't really put my finger on what was wrong with the book to make me not want to keep going with the series. I guess I just wasn't impressed with it enough to want to continue.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    This is the first book I've read by Serena Miller and I doubt it will be my last. I rarely read Christian books mainly because I believe religion is a very personal thing and I don't like how some Christian books are written. This book was beautifully written the characters faith in God was strong, but subtlely written. A much more powerful message in my mind. The story fascinated me from start to finish. This book was obviously well researched and I was totally absorbed in following the lives of This is the first book I've read by Serena Miller and I doubt it will be my last. I rarely read Christian books mainly because I believe religion is a very personal thing and I don't like how some Christian books are written. This book was beautifully written the characters faith in God was strong, but subtlely written. A much more powerful message in my mind. The story fascinated me from start to finish. This book was obviously well researched and I was totally absorbed in following the lives of the lumberjacks and the hardships they endured. I plan to look for book two very soon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tammi

    This is the story of a young girl from Pennsylvania, who married a Southern plantation owner prior to the Civil War. Katie Calloway didn't realize the evil in her husband's heart until it was to late, and she was trapped, post Civil War, living on a burned out plantation, courtesy of General Sherman, with a mean and vile husband. This story is one of survival, strength, hard work, and love. I absolutely adored it. It is a book that I will certainly read more than once. A favorite, for sure. This is the story of a young girl from Pennsylvania, who married a Southern plantation owner prior to the Civil War. Katie Calloway didn't realize the evil in her husband's heart until it was to late, and she was trapped, post Civil War, living on a burned out plantation, courtesy of General Sherman, with a mean and vile husband. This story is one of survival, strength, hard work, and love. I absolutely adored it. It is a book that I will certainly read more than once. A favorite, for sure.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patty Mitchell

    This is one of my favorite books. I have read it several times!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by the depth of this story. Not only did I learn a lot about the logging business post Civil-war, but more about Michigan as well. I loved the anecdotal sayings and songs about the shanty boys and the dangers inherent in that business. It was amazing what our ancestors went through in both logging and mining, which are both fascinating subjects to me. The plot was well developed and the characters were complex. I loved that the author didn't have a predic I was pleasantly surprised and delighted by the depth of this story. Not only did I learn a lot about the logging business post Civil-war, but more about Michigan as well. I loved the anecdotal sayings and songs about the shanty boys and the dangers inherent in that business. It was amazing what our ancestors went through in both logging and mining, which are both fascinating subjects to me. The plot was well developed and the characters were complex. I loved that the author didn't have a predictable ending and things twisted and turned a little bit from the standard story structure. Robert was a great hero and very easy to fall for. I hurt for him and his history as a surgeon during the war. I was moved to tears when he needed to perform surgery and Katie prayed for him. It reminded me of Aaron holding up Moses's hands in the Old Testament. His children were realistically portrayed as well. The cook Jigger was something. His transformation in the story over time was heart warming. The heroine, Katie, was a hard worker and it was impossible to not admire her pluck. I think that was one of the things that Robert liked most about her. She wasn't a typical women. She worked hard and didn't nag or complain. That was good to see in a book. Her cooking was so well described I often imagined myself eating what Katie was creating in the kitchen. Those meals sounded yummy. The camaraderie of the camp employees really made this novel special to me. The many characters were distinct and the author included just enough male vulgarity (if you will) to make it really feel like a camp full of men without being gross. In my mind I could smell their BO and I experienced other sensations like the rough pine and scratchy wool because they was so well described. I did find myself scratching my head every time lice and bed bugs were mentioned. Ick. Probably the best part of the story to me was the realistic portrayal of how an abused woman would react when threatened. Even a strong one. I loved how Robert noticed that she was almost too compliant and didn't want to make waves. She was also afraid of male anger. That was well done. I loved how Katie nurtured everyone around her including her brother and Moon Song. The spiritual thread in Sky Pilot's story was also good. I felt like I knew the characters personally. That's good writing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Miller’s story about an antebellum abused wife fleeing north to Michigan timber country and winds up as a cook in a rough and tumble lumber camp is a satisfying step back in time. Katie Calloway, young and naïve Pennsylvania minister’s daughter, marries her brother’s West Point friend and moves south to become mistress of a slave-run plantation. Not only does she enter the strange and confusing world of ownership of other humans, the War Between the States becomes a reality and she is left alone Miller’s story about an antebellum abused wife fleeing north to Michigan timber country and winds up as a cook in a rough and tumble lumber camp is a satisfying step back in time. Katie Calloway, young and naïve Pennsylvania minister’s daughter, marries her brother’s West Point friend and moves south to become mistress of a slave-run plantation. Not only does she enter the strange and confusing world of ownership of other humans, the War Between the States becomes a reality and she is left alone when her husband goes to fight. The story begins a couple of years after the conclusion of the war, when all that’s left to Katie and her young orphaned brother is her pride. Realizing that her husband does more than just despise her, she takes Ned and runs. Blessed with jumping into the right place at the right time, Katie meets Robert Foster, owner of a lumber camp, who is in need of a cook. At the camp filled with rough lumbermen for a winter of work, Katie is thrust into an experience that will either make her stronger or break her spirit for good. Getting along with the wounded camp cook who is supposed to help her is only the first bump in the road. Falling in love with the wounded widower, Robert, and his children, and keeping her secret, is compounded when a former slave of her husband’s shows up to work at the camp. And when her brutal husband eventually tracks her down, will anyone come to her rescue? Miller’s use of shanty song refrains to open each chapter is a delight, and adds just the right nuance to each section. I could hear the singing and fiddle playing, smell the pine trees and the flapjacks during her wonderfully smooth narrative. Characters that capture your heart, from the surly trickster Jigger, to the gentle carver Cletus, to Moon Song and her baby, to Skypilot, the once-upon-a-time preacher, readers of historical romantic inspirational fiction will escape to the years immediately following the Civil War in the boom time of Michigan with this lovely read. Reminiscent of other great reads, like Naomi Musch’s Empire in Pine series. Available October 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group

  20. 5 out of 5

    Naomi Musch

    I chose to read this book simply because the era intrigues me, and I wanted to see how the story compared to my own Empire in Pine series of novels set during the rise of the logging era in Wisconsin rather than Michiga. The story was vastly different (much to my relief as an author) and I greatly enjoyed the telling of the tale of Katie, who in flight from an abusive husband who,once a southern gentleman, has clearly lost his mind during the civil war, winds up taking her little brother from a I chose to read this book simply because the era intrigues me, and I wanted to see how the story compared to my own Empire in Pine series of novels set during the rise of the logging era in Wisconsin rather than Michiga. The story was vastly different (much to my relief as an author) and I greatly enjoyed the telling of the tale of Katie, who in flight from an abusive husband who,once a southern gentleman, has clearly lost his mind during the civil war, winds up taking her little brother from a Georgia plantation to the far northern pine lands of Michigan where she becomes a cook in a logging camp. The love story that follows between Katie and the camp owner is gently and realistically woven, with her own struggles to remain aloof while trying to keep her marriage a secret. The peril of pursuit by her husband remains a constant, ominous threat in the background. Ms. Miller spent a good deal of effort creating a richly developed surrounding cast of characters that also tugs on the heart strings. The only criticism I would have of the book is that while the story was carefully immersed in historical detail, there were a few occasions now and then when the detail felt just a tiny bit like historical trivia information dumping -- for it's own sake. Nevertheless, the story is a winning one, and I highly recommend it as a great break from other frontier or Edwardian fiction. If you like it as well as I did, you might also enjoy my books, starting with The Green Veil (if I may be so bold).

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    Utterly captivating! Miller has gone to great effort to get her historical facts right and it certainly shows in this sweeping saga. I loved the unique setting and the author used it to the best advantage in this gripping plot. Miller's vivid details made each scene jump off the page and it was very easy to lose myself in the wealth of this story. In fact, I was very reluctant to give it up when I reached the conclusion. Stunning passages, endearing characters and a stellar plot will engage any Utterly captivating! Miller has gone to great effort to get her historical facts right and it certainly shows in this sweeping saga. I loved the unique setting and the author used it to the best advantage in this gripping plot. Miller's vivid details made each scene jump off the page and it was very easy to lose myself in the wealth of this story. In fact, I was very reluctant to give it up when I reached the conclusion. Stunning passages, endearing characters and a stellar plot will engage any reader's emotions. Katie's struggles with an abusive past are particularly poignant and just when everything seems hopeless...well...Miller doesn't leave it there. She crafted an incredible, page-turning conclusion that left me breathless. This one should definitely have a place on your Keeper shelf.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    What a interesting book this was. With the vivid characters and the gorgeous scenery you will fill just like you are in the lumber camp with all the shanty-boys. When I started this book I was hoping for something not too typical and I was pleasantly surprised. I found this read to be a eager page turner for me. It had well-balanced humor and slight moments of sadness and a abundance of warmth in times of hardship. It has a beautiful cover and a sensible title that makes you want to read it. I e What a interesting book this was. With the vivid characters and the gorgeous scenery you will fill just like you are in the lumber camp with all the shanty-boys. When I started this book I was hoping for something not too typical and I was pleasantly surprised. I found this read to be a eager page turner for me. It had well-balanced humor and slight moments of sadness and a abundance of warmth in times of hardship. It has a beautiful cover and a sensible title that makes you want to read it. I enjoyed this book long after the last page was turned.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dundee Library

    This was a wonderful read. The author, Serena Miller, visited Hartwick Pines in Michigan and saw a picture in the museum featuring a woman cook at a lumber camp. That picture captured her imagination and became the seed for this story. Katie Calloway was an abused wife of a Confederate soldier. She flees Georgia with her young brother and becomes a cook in a lumber camp in Michigan. She grows to love her boss but can't reveal information about her marital status. The plot twists in the story are This was a wonderful read. The author, Serena Miller, visited Hartwick Pines in Michigan and saw a picture in the museum featuring a woman cook at a lumber camp. That picture captured her imagination and became the seed for this story. Katie Calloway was an abused wife of a Confederate soldier. She flees Georgia with her young brother and becomes a cook in a lumber camp in Michigan. She grows to love her boss but can't reveal information about her marital status. The plot twists in the story are enough to keep you interested and anxious to see what happens next.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jena

    I'm giving this two stars because I think it failed as a romance novel. As a novel-novel, I think it works a bit better (although I'd probably give it 3 stars at most). Not enough interaction between the two main characters, too much information dumping, and waaay too chaste for my tastes. It wasn't a dealbreaker, but the constant God/blessings talk got old quickly for me as well. Not my jam. I'm giving this two stars because I think it failed as a romance novel. As a novel-novel, I think it works a bit better (although I'd probably give it 3 stars at most). Not enough interaction between the two main characters, too much information dumping, and waaay too chaste for my tastes. It wasn't a dealbreaker, but the constant God/blessings talk got old quickly for me as well. Not my jam.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Aerykah

    I've really been looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed! It's a great read and I enjoyed it very much! This is my first book by Serena B. Miller. I'll definitely be checking out some of her other books! I've really been looking forward to reading this book and I was not disappointed! It's a great read and I enjoyed it very much! This is my first book by Serena B. Miller. I'll definitely be checking out some of her other books!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I really enjoyed this novel. The characters were well drawn, and the plot was entertaining, making a balance of the serious and the funny. I liked the historical setting as well. It has earned a place on my favorites list.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Crampton

    This is a light book and somewhat predictable it nevertheless retains one's attention and offers interesting insight into the tough life of the loggers of Michigan in the eighteen hundreds and context to common words in our vocabulary such as logjam and haywire. An enjoyable read This is a light book and somewhat predictable it nevertheless retains one's attention and offers interesting insight into the tough life of the loggers of Michigan in the eighteen hundreds and context to common words in our vocabulary such as logjam and haywire. An enjoyable read

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chesney

    Great Christian read. Life as a logger in the 1800s was rough! Katie was a pretty strong woman for all she dealt with. Cute story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    hilary shabazz

    Absolutely great reading this is a definite love story.it's a story about abuse. it is an American history lesson. I promise you will enjoy it Absolutely great reading this is a definite love story.it's a story about abuse. it is an American history lesson. I promise you will enjoy it

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joanne Roberts

    Really entertaining romance with danger and drama. Stayed Biblical and clean. A bit too much telling rather than showing. Interesting history peppered in.

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