From 1898 to present day, four generations of Texan women encounter love in Fredericksburg's Sunday Houses! Schoolteacher Amelia has been avoiding marriage until a carpenter crosses her path. Mildred is nursing a patient who begins healing her heart. Trudy's sense of adventure is challenged by a roving columnist. And Gwendolyn's world is rocked by a geologist. 352 pages, softcover from Barbour.
Average Customer Rating:
(3 Reviews) 3
Rating Snapshot(3 reviews)
3 out of 3100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
This book contains four stories that take place in Fredericksburg, Texas and spans from the 1800’s to present day. Back in the 1800’s they had what was called Sunday houses and farmers who lived many miles out of town would own a small weekend house so that they could come into town for Church each week. The Sunday homes serve as the back drop for the stories and follow a few families through out the years.
What I liked: I liked how this book started with historical stories and worked towards the present and for the most part followed some of the characters from earlier stories. I like when they do this as it makes the short stories feel more like one book and its easier to get into each story when they share some details.
What I did not like: The last two stories where okay but I did not enjoy them as much as the first too.
Over all this as an enjoyable book and a solid add to the Romancing America series.
The Sunday House is not something I'd ever heard of before. German settlers in Fredericksburg, Texas, found their farms in the new country were too far from town to commute daily. This also meant that their farms were too far from town to attend church on Sunday, and that was unacceptable. So, many families lived on their farm but built tiny "Sunday Houses" in Fredericksburg. They'd come to town on Saturday to take care of business, stay over in their Sunday House, attend church, and then return to the farm for another workweek.
This collection of 4 novellas covers the history of the town. In "Hope's Dwelling Place" by Connie Stevens, Amelia Bachman arrives in Fredericksburg in 1897 to teach school. She chose this profession because teachers can't get married, and she can't handle the thought of a loveless marriage like that of her parents. She lives in the Sunday House of the school board chairman, so endures the family's invasion every weekend. Meanwhile, Hank Zimmeman has moved into his family's Sunday House (next door to Amelia) against his father's wishes. He is to be a farmer like his father, not a carpenter. Above all, Hank wants a family. Too bad the pretty teacher has no desire for marriage. . .or does she?
"A Shelter from the Storm" is the second story, by Marjorie Vawter. It's 1918, and Mildred Zimmerman is returning from nursing in the war only to find that Fredericksburg is under siege from the Spanish Influenza. Mildred had expected to have her family's Sunday House to herself but finds she must take in patients, as the local clinic is overflowing. A war hero, Dr. Nelson Winters, has arrived to help the town's overworked doctor and Mildred can't help but admire him, though she has no intention of falling in love.
Another war has arrived to take Fredericksburg's young men away. In "Letters from Home" by Lynette Sowell, amateur photographer Trudy Meier yearns for adventure, but is, instead, needed at home on the farm. She rents the family Sunday House out to a reporter, Bradley Payne, who's here to write a series on the town's greatest war hero. If only she could travel as he does and see the world. But Bradley has come to Fredericksburg to find his roots. Who will stay, and who will go?
"A Hint of Lavender," a contemporary story by Eileen Key, rounds out the collection. When Gwen Zimmerman's dad has a heart attack, her family needs her income from a job in town more than they need her at the farm's peach stand, so she moves into the family Sunday House and works at her aunt's antique store. Next door, geologist Clay Tanner is recovering from an accident that injured his leg, and Gwen's aunt has promised him meals. She shouldn't be falling for Clay. He doesn't share her faith or her love of farm life. But momentous things are happening in Clay's life. Will it be enough?
I enjoyed all four of these stories, but particularly the contemporary one at the end. I loved Gwen's deep roots into farming soil and her dreams of creating her own business on the farm. Throughout all four stories, I learned interesting tidbits about Texas and especially the fascinating concept of the Sunday Houses!