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Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite
Be Thou My Vision is an old hymn that Faith Blum actually blends into her inspirational, historical romance that easily pulled me back to the mid-1800s. Thirty-year-old Anna Stuart has lived on her father's farm, cooking and cleaning for him and her older brother Caleb, but always wondered about her younger brother Jed. When she gets a letter from him saying he is going to be hanged, he shares his faith and encourages her to find God as well. When she decides to go to church, it seems that God has a plan for her when two motherless boys who need guidance cross her path.
Faith Blum knows how to blend faith, feelings, and characters together to make for a page turning story where the plot zips along, and the ending leaves you missing the characters and wanting to hear more from them. I found myself drawn to the character of Anna from the beginning. It took the death of her younger brother to propel her into living again, something that the author allows us to see and experience as she decided to go to church. Her older brother Caleb also seemed to want change, and the secret he shared was one I certainly didn't see coming. My heart ached as Faith Blum shared what their childhood had been like and why the younger brother had left home at fourteen. While I wanted to dislike their father for the hurts he caused, the author had me feeling empathy for him, and hoping that he would change his life. The romance was well written; there was a sweetness in seeing the feelings shift from friendship to something more. I loved the children, the exuberance they often felt jumped from the pages, and the relationship between father and sons was a nice contrast to how things were in the Stuart home.
Ms. Blum allows her faith to shine through as she shares the characters' growth and change as they develop a closer relationship with God. I thought the turmoil that the author threw into the story added a nice balance to the faith based messages. Anyone who enjoys inspiring historical fiction will certainly enjoy Be Thou My Vision. I know I can't wait to read the next book in the series!