Sarah’s Choice by Wanda E. Brunstetter is the third book in the series, Brides of Lehigh Canal. It is a historical romance that follows Sarah Turner, a widowed mother of three, and her encounters with people she meets while tending the lock on the canal. This includes her meetings with Elias Brooks, who left his job at a newspaper to captain the boat left to him in his grandfather’s will. Sarah must decide who, if anyone, she should marry when her goal is to get her children away from canal life. Will she be able to see past the ugly red birthmark on Elias’s face and his new boatman vocation? Will she decide to marry for love or for the opportunity to leave the canal?
The book is told in the third-person narrative style, mainly through the eyes of Sarah and Elias. The relationships described are present but not so strong as to make the plot entirely predictable. This is a crucial element when Elias flees after Sarah’s rejection; will Sarah change her mind about Elias or choose the handsome blacksmith who likewise has shown interest?
The story mostly centers on the search for a person’s true character. Brunstetter’s theme verse is 1 Samuel 16:7, which says, “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” The characters of Sarah’s Choice must look past superficial appearances and search for the truth of others’ hearts.
Most of the characters, like Sarah, seemed entrenched in their ways; others changed so suddenly it was a shock. The characters weren’t very well developed, and some seemed so concerned with superficial qualities that I began to question their seriousness.
Overall, I thought the book was entertaining enough, though not a must-read. The ending wasn’t quite realistic, but Brunstetter wrapped things up nicely. I would recommend this book for more mature women or those looking for some light reading. – Katherine Sozansky, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Slip into romance in this eagerly anticipated book 3 of bestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter’s Brides of Lehigh Canal series. Widowed Sarah Turner has her hands full, raising three young children, tending the lock on the canal, baking bread, and washing clothes for boatmen. Although she’s not looking for love, she’s vowed not to lose her heart to a boatman. Yet she didn’t count on meeting Captain Elias Brooks. Will she follow her heart where it leads or accept the proposal of a handsome land-loving blacksmith?