A Husband for Margaret (by Ruth Ann Nordin)

I’d read something by Ruth Ann Nordin a while ago, so when I saw this book free for the Kindle, a couple of years ago, I downloaded it and promptly forgot about it. Scrolling through my unread e-books I came across it recently, and decided to read it.

I imagine it’s set towards the end of the 19th century; trains exist, but cars do not. People mostly travel by horse and carriage, although the language is not that of the 19th century. The main character, Margaret, is a forthright and sensible young woman who has decided to advertise for a husband. We meet her when she’s preparing to meet the young man she’s been corresponding with, but quickly discover that his older brother Joseph has come instead… along with his four young children: all boys.

Margaret is horrified at first; her friend Jessica is good with little ones, and immediately remembers their names, while Margaret knows nothing about children, and feels that Joseph simply wants a mother for his lively sons. However, she quickly discovers that he’s a thoughtful and intelligent man, and agrees to go ahead with the ceremony.

So far so good, although even by this stage I was getting a little irritated by the number of times people were described as rolling their eyes, a phrase which meant something rather different (and crude) until the middle of the 20th century. However it went downhill even further when we were treated to a several page detailed description of what happened on Margaret and Joseph’s wedding night; not something I expect to read in a book labelled ‘Christian’, and there were no indications that it was going to be that kind of book.

Then it started to get a bit silly; the wedding had been interrupted, and that leads to another thread for the second half of the book, and a bit of matchmaking that seems to work but is so unbelievable that I found myself doing a bit of eye-rolling in the modern sense of the phrase.

I did like Margaret, and the books stands alone although I later learned that it’s a sequel to the story of Jessica and her husband. I liked the small boys, too, and Joseph makes an interesting hero. But a lot of the writing was trite, the bedroom scene was unnecessary, and the ending decidedly strange.

Still available free for the Kindle, so worth downloading if you want something light and undemanding for a flight, or a holiday afternoon. More a novella than a novel, I read it in a couple of hours.

As far as I know, it's only available in Kindle form.

Review copyright 2015 Sue's Book Reviews

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