Author: Amanda Wen
Genre: Split-Time Romance
Series: Sedgwick County Chronicles #1
Release Date: February 2, 2021
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts
Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.
Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.
A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.
This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.
Reviewer: Debra Webster
I identified with Sloane in the book Roots of Wood and Stone. She was adopted after being abandoned. As a result, she had abandonment issues. I related to her difficulty and wanted to see how, or if, she resolved the angst. She did not know her roots. That theme drew me on. But there were other themes as well. Sloane was researching the history of an old house and its occupants. A series of diaries helped her learn about their lives. Assisting her in this quest was Garrett, whose grandmother was living in the house.
The story went smoothly from the present day to about 150 years earlier, weaving the threads of two eras together until the surprise ending.
Woven throughout is a love story with Sloane and Garrett. They had so much in common and such obstacles to being a couple. Obstacles that turned out to be not listening to God's voice rather than the circumstances they thought separated them. The lessons they learned are foundational to the surrendered life in Christ.
I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews. This has not influenced my review.
Reviewer: Liz P.
I wouldn’t have guessed that Roots of Wood and Stone was Amanda Wen's first book! This book takes you on a wonderful journey of belonging, love, and faith.
If you love old things and past family history, this is the book for you. There are things in life that- to some people- may not have much meaning, but then the story or memory behind it connects you to it. I could relate with Sloane and her love for old, seemingly insignificant things. This book bridges the gap between historical and contemporary Christian fiction. I love time-travel books. This one was like reading two books in one, but the stories were so well connected!
The author did a wonderful job with the characters. You were in their “shoes,” so to speak. You felt their pain, happiness, desires, and longing for love. Although I could have had less details about that. I don’t read a book for all the kissing.
One of my favorite lines in the book was:
“I may have given up on the Lord, love, but he never gave up on me." Good times, bad times, hard times, sad times, no matter what we face, God is always with us and is there to carry us through. That message was conveyed throughout the whole book. Sloane, Garrett, Annabelle, Jack, it was a lesson they all were reminded of. When things don’t go the way we planned, we just trust God. His plan is always perfect.
I was engrossed in this book the whole time I read it. Amanda is a wonderful writer!
I received this book courtesy of Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
A fabulous debut.
I so love novels steeped in the history of the author. This lovely dual-time book is a prime example. Ms. Wen draws on extensive research into her family tree to give us an exceptional story of life, love, and lessons learned.
It is a fabulous story of Sloane Kelley, who is adopted and feels the loss of her own history. She is a curator at a historical museum in Wichita, Kansas when Garrett Anderson brings an artifact discovered when he was clearing out his grandmother’s attic. Little did Sloane know how God would use an old satchel to answer her longing heart.
Garrett is a planner, but he has forgotten to enter seeking God into his plans for the future. Together, Sloane and Garrett pour through old diaries and find their life answers. There are a lot of surprises, along with laughter and tears. This author knows how to write romance and sizzling kisses!
Past and present meld in a fascinating way. And at the root of it all is a lesson both generations of characters learn: we all have worth in God, and He can give us more than we deserve or expect.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Kregel through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
It’s hard to find adequate words to express my delight in this book. I stayed up late at night because I had to know the next thing that would happen, and the next thing, and . . .
Sloan and Garrett’s romance was made even better by their joint research into Jack and Annabelle Brennan. The dual stories of struggle and tremendous faith were well-written, bringing healing to the present through connection with the past, including a few surprises.
All of the characters were real, and my emotions were engaged to the point I felt I was stepping right into the story. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
I was given book courtesy of Kregel Publications through Interviews & Reviews and this is my honest opinion of the book.
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