My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Chantel Panetta returns home from a year in Italy to find her sister Isabella has fallen in love with Orlando, a Calarco and a generations-long enemy of the Panettas. She soon finds herself in the thick of the feud when Issy asks her to cover for her and Orlando during their tryst, when Dante, Orlando’s older brother, comes in search of him.
The mining town of Ely, Minnesota is the setting of this historical romance by Tracie Peterson. It is peopled by colorful Italian immigrant families who move in contrasting social circles of the church and the gambling den. Their men folk risk life and limb in the iron ore mine while their women make lace, succulent pastas and pastries, and are generous with the coffee.
Perhaps not surprisingly Chantel and Dante become the real romantic subjects of this tale, with Dante’s father determined to keep their families apart. The love scenes are not what I would call edgy, though there are a few that might be considered PG 13.
Peterson deals in an outspokenly pro-Christian way with themes of forgiveness, family, and the need to trust God when trouble hits.
I found it hard to get into the book when I came across several early passages that felt like they needed more editing (e.g. Dante’s thoughts more detailed than natural thoughts would be, seemingly to give the reader background; an information dump about the particular kind of iron mined in the region that felt unrelated to the plot; and several passages that told instead of showed). However, once past those, the plot and characters captured me and I got carried away by the tale.
The Miner’s Lady is a romantic—and tasty—bit of Americana. The strong message of forgiveness adds value and a happy ending to this story with its shades of Romeo and Juliet.
I received The Miner’s Lady as a gift from the publisher, Bethany House (via Netgalley), for the purpose of writing a review. (Again, I struggled with the absence of all ‘ff’s in my Netgalley Kindle copy. It would be wonderful if they figured out how to fix this!)