Courting Emma by Sharlene MacLaren

Why read?

Is it good for our imagination? Obviously. Experts pound it into us to read to our children, if only for 15 minutes a day.

Many people enjoy kicking back in front of the television. For me, there’s not much on that I’m interested in, or that I have time to watch. I try to fit in American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and Supernanny when I can. But usually the television is tuned to Noggin.

When I sit down, away from the computer, I like to have a good book to read. Here’s another I read in just a couple of sittings.

The Book:

In Courting Emma, twenty-eight-year-old Emma Browning has experienced a good deal of life in her young age. Proprietor of Emma s Boardinghouse, she is mother to an array of beefy, unkempt, often rowdy characters. Though many men would like to get to know the steely, hard-edged, yet surprisingly lovely proprietor, none has truly succeeded. That is, not until the town s new pastor, Jonathan Atkins, takes up residence in the boardinghouse, affecting not only her with his devout faith and strong convictions, but her clientele as well. Emma clings desperately to her stubborn ways, refusing to acknowledge God s love until all of Little Hickman witnesses a miracle the conversion of her abusive and alcoholic father, Ezra! Only then will Emma begin to experience God s transforming power at work.

Christy here:
I looked forward to Emma’s story while reading Book 2 in the Little Hickman Series. The character of Emma appealed to me because she was a hardworking woman, trying to make it on her own. She didn’t need a man to be successful. She’d learned from successful women and had learned early on she couldn’t depend on the men in her life.

Her father is the town drunk and she runs the Inn, taking care of several men. She has their respect and she works hard. When Jon, the town pastor, shows up and needs a place to stay, I knew this was going to be an entertaining story. Emma’s stubborn and Jon’s intrigued. I liked that he was having to pray to God to keep himself in check. We learn Jon has loved Emma since they were in grade school. Another classic romance that I love to hear about.

Another thing I liked about this story is the fact that Jon reached out to help the town drunk. He didn’t do it just because Ezra was Emma’s father. He did it because he truly felt led by the spirit of Christ. It’s so much easier to turn the other way when you see a figure like Ezra. That’s what most of the town did. Except Jon.

Sharlene MacLaren has taken two classic characters and put her special spin on it. I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to more from this author. And by the way, I really need to go back and read book one, Loving Liza Jane. I know how their story will end, but isn’t it nice to be a part of the journey!