Knowing the loneliness of being an orphan, Emma Wright cares for the children left parentless by accidents or the recent Civil War. Longing for a Christian man who shares her passion, she thinks carpenter Nate O'Neil might be the answer to her prayers. But will his guilt over the past keep them from future happiness? 196 pages, softcover from Whitaker.
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Emma Wright and her sister Jenni are heading home from visiting their Aunt Stella's grave when they hear a loud commotion in the street. A team of horses hitched to a wagon has been spooked by a snake. John Evans, the black smith holds the reigns tightly trying to get them under control. As the horses bolt tearing down the street, John is pulled from the wagon and then his wife tumbles out of the wagon. Their two sons in the back of the wagon hold on with all their strength but the wagon hits a rock in the road and the youngest boy is thrown from the wagon. From nowhere a man on a horse races toward the spooked horses and jumps onto one of them and finally stops the wagon. He walks back to the wagon and lifts the boy out and carries him across the street and hands him to Emma encouraging her to take Matthew away until they determine how his family is.
Matthew is the first of seven orphaned children that find their way to Emma's home over the next several weeks and months. These children were made orphans during the war and were placed on a train to meet up with the town doctor who has found them homes with good families. Only they do not know his real plans are really to sell them to families. They hear rumors of how mean he is and decide to hide instead of meeting him as they had been told to do. With the help of Matthew they find their way to Emma's, who takes them in and loves them as her own.
Nate O'Neil has returned home from the Civil War and is still war-weary. Setting up a carpenter and blacksmith shop in his home town of Ellicott City, Maryland, he hopes to put the war and the memories behind him. Because he feels that his past is unforgivable he vows to stay away from Emma, but circumstances continually bring them together and he finds himself falling in love with her. But would she care for him if she knew his past?
One day Nate sees a man from his past he did not want or expect to ever see again, a fellow soldier Hank Campbell. What is Hank doing here in Ellicott City? Something is strange about Hank being in town and even stranger that he seems to know the town doctor. He has a bad feeling about the whole thing.
With the story taking place in Ellicott City, MD, (just 36+ miles from my home) and the main character, Emma being a nurse, (I am a nurse too), it captured my attention right off and it was fun to read about nurses in the 1800's and the challenges they faced. Add to that the twists and turns the story takes; unexpected problems they each face and how they deal with them and love and forgiveness from God makes Emma's Orphans a very enjoyable book.
~~ I received a free copy of this book from the author for my review