Bethany Quinn had the seemingly perfect life- she worked in her dream job as an up-and-coming architect at a top firm, was dating a high-powered attorney, and lived far, far away from her hometown and the traumatic events of her childhood. However, her life quickly nosedives as she faces multiple losses- she’s laid off from her job, her and her boyfriend go separate ways, her best friend from childhood loses her husband, and her beloved grandfather dies unexpectantly. With no job and no home, Bethany reluctantly returns to Iowa to tend to her grandfather’s affairs and learns that she has inherited the family farm. Seeing this as a golden opportunity to get her life back on track, Bethany decides to sell the farm so she can re-invest the funds into her own architectural firm. However, she is met with strong opposition from Evan Price- farmhand and close friend of her grandfather’s- who inherited the family farmhouse and a small portion of the land. From the beginning, tensions escalate between Bethany and Evan as both are very strong-willed and stubborn. When she agrees to remain in town to help her childhood friend through her pregnancy, Bethany and Evan begin to soften toward each other finding a growing attraction developing. The two wade through conflicting views of God, the shared grief of losing Bethany’s grandfather, and the tension that still remains over the fate of the farm to discover new beginnings in both of their lives.
Ganshert’s depiction of Bethany’s journey to faith and Evan’s role in that process through their developing romance drew me into this story. Bethany arrives on her grandfather’s farm filled with bitterness, resentment, and loathing for the God she encountered as a child through her father’s death. Although Evan seemingly despises Bethany early in the story, he begins to see the hurt and pain buried deep below the layers of bitterness she exudes. I love how his quiet, steady faith and the simple beauty of the rural setting coaxes Bethany to re-examine her perceptions of God and her purpose in life. Readers are sure to enjoy the sweet love story and depiction of God’s immeasurable grace and love found in Wildflowers from Winter.
This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I have not been compensated for this review in any way.
Katie Ganshert is the author of seven novels and several works of short fiction. She has won both the Christy and Carol Awards for her writing and was awarded the RT Reviews Reviewers Choice for her novel, The Art of Losing Yourself. Katie makes her home in eastern Iowa with her family. To learn more, visit her website at http://katieganshert.com/.