6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
I've never read any of Ginny Aiken's books before (though I have seen them) so wasn't sure what to expect when I beganFor Such a Time as This. I like bible stories being retold in modern or historical times, but sadly I didn't like this retelling as much as I had hoped. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice read--just not the kind of retelling I was expecting.
The characters in For Such a Time as This were fun to get to know, though sometimes I felt their reactions or behavior was a bit unbelievable or exaggerated. I liked Olivia's spunk, daring nature. And watching the attraction grow between Olivia and Eli was sweet--especially as they kept trying to deny it even to themselves. Reading about their nightly chats after the children were tucked in bed was a really sweet bonding time, in my opinion. Those were my favorite scenes!
There was a (very) tiny bit of suspense/adventure. It was a nice surprise to see these scenes pop up, as I wasn't expecting it. The final action scene, especially with Olivia's `heroic' actions to save her husband, seemed a little unrealistic, but that's just me.
All in all, For Such a Time as This was a good one-time read. I would've liked to see more of a realistic resemblance between the book and the story of Esther, but that's just personal preference. I am sure fans of Ginny Aiken's writing will enjoy this new historical fiction by her!
I reviewed this book for Faith Words. Thanks to Sarah Reck for sending me my copy. It was not required that I give a positive review, but solely to express my own thoughts and opinions of this book, which I have done.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Expect a Pippins-good-time with Nanny Olivia as she takes on widower's kids, & Bank Pres Eli himself. Drought and insect famine has not lain to waste Livvy's ingenuity for child steering, nor her charges' their creativity toward mischief.
How could God force Livvy to make such a decision? Should the needs of dozens of others require such a personal sacrifice? Was it as the lamb on the sacrificial alter, or manna in the midst of arid Bountiful, Oregon? If Livvy thought she'd been tested in the fires before the special church service, how could she even imagine the confrontations ahead? Blessings or curses?
Economic turns in any decade can be both a boon and bust. And so it goes with Livvy's family. Just as readers get comfy with the late 1870s pace of life, the story explodes into all manner of mystery and adventure---gosh, even romance. I did find it more a story of pioneer business/life in small towns of the 19th century, than a full-fledged romance. But ladies will like the romantic thread stitched throughout, like a tatting around a bigger story.
Livvy and Banker Eli seem to share this book's protagonist position but at times get a bit off-keltered into more of an antagonist role. Disposition wavering seems to be a factor in the plot as well as the personalities of this book's leading characters. Perhaps we all trend that way in this 21st century, why not in the 19th? At least in the storybook end of "FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS" it all comes up Merry Christmas (a far cry from `Season's Compliments').
Not promoted as a Christmas book, but it could be. And Christmas book lovers will enjoy it. And it would make a good gift book for Christian Christmas celebrants.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2012
Ginny Aiken has written more books than I can count. On top of that, she's written all kinds of books: short and long, humorous and wrenchingly moving as well as filled with suspense. She amazes me because at any length or any depth of emotion, whatever she writes is terrific.
Her first book in the THE WOMEN OF HOPE series, For Such a Time as This, was released Tuesday. In her books in this series, Ginny takes a story from the Bible and set it in more modern times. For Such a Time as This takes place in Oregon in the year 1879. My favorite books by Ginny have always been the short, humorous ones. so I approached this novel with some misgiving which turned out to be misplaced. This longer and deeply touching novel fascinated me and it also had Ginny's trademark humor sprinkled throughout.
The setting of the small town is beautifully described with historical details that made me feel as if I, too, were in Bountiful, experiencing the struggle of the farmers against drought and insects. The characters are artfully and clearly drawn. I loved Olivia's rambunctious family and the children she cares for as well. Elijah and Olivia come across as strong but flawed, often stubborn but loving people. They grow, both as people and together as husband and wife although they can't admit that-until the twist that tests them but not Olivia's faith.
I look forward to the next novels in this series.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 28, 2012
The plot of this book may seem very similar at first to many historical Christian romance novels as it incorporates familiar themes from the classic Sound of Music and the Biblical story of Esther. However, Aiken did a good job of keeping the mischievous pranks of the motherless youngsters unique and fresh as well as bringing in an element of mystery with the ongoing character development of Olivia's love interest, widower Eli Whitman. The protagonist, Olivia, much like the biblical heroine Esther is faced with the heart wrenching choice of choosing whether to "play it safe" with her new husband (i.e. bank owner instead of king), Eli, or to come forward and try to "save her people". It seems this part of the plot is a little bit of a stretch, but, Aiken makes it work through the ongoing back-story development of the difficulties in Eli's first marriage. Though there were some points in the story that did seem to drag, Aiken did a good job of mixing it up with different twists and turns in the relationship development between Eli and Olivia. As in many struggling romances, it seems everything is resolved when yet one more complication is thrown into the growing relationship between the newlyweds. This keeps the plot moving and is done in such a way that it comes across as very believable.
on December 1, 2012
Ginny Aiken in her new book, "For Such A Time As This book" Book One in the A Women of Hope series published by FaithWords brings us into the life of Olivia Moore.
From the back cover: Olivia Moore has been praying desperately to God for guidance. Drought and plagues of insects have devastated her family's farm in Hope County, Oregon and her parents don't know how they'll survive the winter. Deciding to ease their burden, Olivia applies to be the new nanny to the children of handsome widower Elijah Whitman, the president of the Bank of Bountiful. Since the death of their mother, Luke and his sister, Miranda, have been increasingly wild and have driven every governess back East. Having helped raise her brothers and sisters, Olivia convinces Elijah she's up to the job.
As Olivia works to win over the children and settle into the Whitman household, gossip begins to spread throughout the town about Olivia and Elijah. For the sake of her reputation, it seems Olivia will have to leave Hope County, until Elijah proposes another solution: Marriage. It would be a purely business relationship, and Elijah's one emphatic condition is that she promise never to interfere with her work. She accepts, but when the Bank of Bountiful forecloses on the Moore's farm, Olivia is torn between her duty to her husband and her love for her family.
The railroad is coming and it will bring prosperity back to Hope County as the drought is casing havoc with the farms and finances. In an effort to just hold on until the railroad comes in the farmers mortgage their land. Now it is a question of time; will the drought break and the farmers produce a crop or will the railroad line get there or will the bank foreclose? Olivia is married to Elijah, the bank president who is doing the foreclosures, but this is a marriage of convenience and she has no real power and he doesn't want her advice in his business. What is she ever going to do? I think Ginny Aiken did a wonderful job with the names of the places. They live in the town of Bountiful in the County of Hope. That gives you the idea of what the town should be doing and what everybody should have. Ms. Aiken has also done a marvelous job of bringing the Biblical story of Esther to a Western community. Olivia, Elijah and the other characters play out so well on the pages you would think you had known them all your life. "For Such A Time As This" is a great read that I was sorry to see come to an end. The good news is Ms. Aiken has a new story coming next year with new characters that we can grow to love as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from FaithWords. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
on September 28, 2012
I just finished a great book by author Ginny Aiken, whom I had never had the privilege of reading one of her novels yet. For Such A Time As This was a wonderful read that I would (and have already started to) recommend to others to go out and pick up their own copy.
With so many people today facing difficult economic times, the overall theme of the book was so relevant. Despite the historical setting, I was able to relate to the feelings of desperation and sadness that financial pressure can put a person under. In the opening chapter, we are introduced to Olivia and her family and what affect the drought and ascending grasshoppers have had on their land for the last two years. Soon it is evident that the majority of the town is suffering the same plight, so an overall feeling of hopelessness permeates.
Very soon, though, even though the financial burdens have not changed, the focus of the book shifts from being burdened to choosing to trust God and His timing. That is also so relevant in today's society. Trust for their financial future, trust in God's timing to work out all the details, and the self control not to rush ahead of God's plan or fall behind by failing to obey when He calls. The overall message that God's goodness will prevail despite the evil plans of others is introduced and clung too, despite the way circumstances appear.
I felt a bond with Olivia immediately. She had so many traits that I admired. Patience, strength (not in herself but in her Heavenly Father), a sense of humor, and most of all, an underlying peace that emanated from her entire being. The hero, Eli, was easy to fall in love with as well. Despite the issues that he was dealing with, specifically in the area of trust, the author painted a picture of a man who loved his family and his town, and honor was his lifeblood.
The secondary characters really rounded out the novel nicely. I felt like I lived in the home with the children and the cook and was accepted as part of Olivia's extended family from the start. Ms. Aiken wrote so descriptively that I could taste not only the bland soup but also the thick, delicious, warm, homemade bread.
If you love to read books with a little suspense and a little romance that also help to deepen your Christian faith, this is a book I would highly recommend. If you don't normally pick up historical romances, don't let that stop you. This book appeals to those who enjoy historical as well as contemporary reads. It definitely would appeal to the reader who enjoys a reminder that when we release our concerns, even as big as our entire financial future to God and wait for His timing, that we will see huge results. I know I especially need that reminder from time to time.
This story was based on the true story of Esther found in the Bible, which further reinforces that real life problems can have "happily-ever-after-endings" when God is the One in charge!
I, for one, cannot wait for the next book to come out by this author. I am ready to read it already.
on September 11, 2012
Slow to start, but a great ending.
Olivia Moore's family is suffering from the drought, barely able to put food on the table, when Olivia gets the opportunity to work as a nanny for banker Eli Whitman and his two rowdy boys. But when the town begins to speak against her, she finds herself facing marriage to Eli in order to save her reputation. Can a marriage of convenience become a marriage of love?
This book started off in a fun interesting way, but then slowed. I guess I found the situation rather unrealistic, because Olivia's reputation should have been fine because Eli had a cook who was always there. But besides that I liked the book, Olivia was able to form strong bonds with the two kids. For most of the book, I guess I was wondering when Olivia and Eli's relationship would pick up because for most of the book they really weren't together.
The Esther allegory didn't come in till about over halfway, and it was kind of funny because it was like "Aha! That's why its called, For a Time Such as This!" Because for the longest time I didn't really see it.
Overall I guess I would say that this book was slow to start, but had a very climatic ending, full of action. I felt like it took awhile for this book to really get where it was going, but after I got past that I came to enjoy the story. There's a little mystery and I liked how the Esther theme played out. I really liked the way that Olivia handled the kids and how she won their hearts, in my opinion Olivia bonding with teh kids was probably the winning relationship in the story. So in the end a great book, after I got past the slow beginnings and tidbits I found hard to believe.
I received this ebook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
on September 10, 2012
This is a classic Christian romance novel with all of the typical elements. Man meets woman under interesting circumstances, business turns to friendship and friendship turns to love. While I definitely enjoyed reading this book, it was just a little bit predictable. Even what was supposed to be a twist towards the end didn't really surprise me.
Olivia Moore lives with her family of struggling farmers and after years of drought, she takes employment with Eli Whitman as a nanny to help out her family financially. Eli is the town banker and a widower and his lifestyle is the complete opposite of Olivia's. His children are difficult at first and are a bit spoiled by their life of privilege. They test Olivia at every opportunity but they eventually grow to love her in spite of themselves.
Hints of scandal force the couple to marry to make their relationship "appropriate" living under the same roof. What begins as a simple business transaction with Eli in charge of business and Olivia in charge of the home quickly gets complicated. Their feelings for each other grow at the same time that Eli's business ethics are brought into question. The involvement of her family in this leaves Olivia torn between the man she believes she married and then insurmountable evidence against him.
I liked the story and the likeness to Queen Esther's story in the Bible but I was a little bit disappointed in the predictability. I guess knowing that it's supposed to be like her story from the start leaves the ending kind of obvious. This is just a comment from another author on the back of the book but it does kind of lay things out for you.
I think Aiken is a gifted writer and I loved the strength of all of the characters relationship with the Lord making it a Christian novel first and foremost. Anyone who loves a good wholesome romance will enjoy this book.
on September 3, 2012
Nineteen-year-old, Olivia Moore, must exercise her faith in God when she asks local banker, Eli Whitman, for the job as nanny to his two children. Whitman agrees to hire her on a trial basis, so Olivia moves into the beautiful home in Bountiful, Oregon he shared with his late wife, Victoria. Olivia is relieved the funds she earns from her new job will help her contribute to her family's income. She is warned by Eli, though, never to discuss his banking business with him.
Eli Whitman's children, Miranda and Luke, try their best to run Olivia off, but it doesn't work. Having seen her mother raise her younger siblings while supporting Olivia's farmer-father, Olivia has a few tricks of her own, and she soon has Eli's children under control. Eli is pleasantly surprised not only at Olivia's way with his children, but also the haven she creates for him at his home.
Soon, town tongues wag and both Olivia and Eli are made aware their situation is not good for Olivia's reputation. He proposes a marriage of convenience, and Olivia accepts, viewing their union as yet another way she can help her family survive on the farm.
Thanks largely to Eli's efforts, Bountiful is considered for a railroad spur-a development that would bring money to the hurting agricultural economy. Eli promises local farmers he won't sell their land or redeem their mortgages before they can get their crops going again after infestations of insects and a severe drought.
Meanwhile, local farmers receive letters from the bank demanding they pay their mortgages by the end of the year or the bank will foreclose on them. Olivia is approached by her father. He asks her to talk to Eli about the letter. Olivia is reluctant to do so because she gave Eli her word she'd never discuss business matters with him.
Olivia once again turns to her faith in God as she asks Him to guide her into helping her family while not incurring the wrath of her new husband.
In the end, Eli is made aware of a traitor in his midst at the bank, he and Olivia fall in love with each other and the area's farms are saved from foreclosure.
I enjoyed witnessing the love between Eli and Olivia bloom delicately in this book. I also enjoyed seeing Olivia grow spiritually as she was forced to exercise more and more faith in God for her future.
on August 28, 2012
Times have always been tough out west, especially in the 1800's for families looking to make a living and a new start, especially along the Oregon Trail. Hope County, Oregon is definitely no exception, but after years of no rain and now grasshoppers eating whatever farmers can grow, most families are barely able to put enough food on the table for them to eat and have been forced to sell off their livestock.
The Moore family is no exception and it doesn't help Olivia, the oldest daughter, to overhear the anxieties that are facing her family, during the late night talks between her parents. They have already mortgaged as much of the farm as they can and if things don't change soon, they may have to sell everything. It's through a chance encounter on the streets of Bountiful that Olivia feels God's calling to help her family. When a group of wild boys chase and tease a group of girls with a stolen pig, Olivia handles the situation with grace, patience and manners of a lady well beyond her years. Mr. Elijah Whitman, president of the bank, witnesses the entire display and soon learns that his son, Luke is part of the group of boys.
It seems that once again, Mr. Whitman wishes he had someone to help him raise his son, Luke and daughter, Miranda, but he can't seem to find a nanny that will stay and put forth the effort to teach them some manners. Being president of the bank, calls him out of town quite a bit and unless something changes, he has no other choice but to send them both off to boarding schools. Luke suggests that Ms. Olivia Moore would make the perfect nanny for them and soon Olivia believes that God is pointing her toward hope in helping her family out in the process by getting a job.
In the novel, For Such A Time As This by Ginny Aiken, the storyline gets interesting when Ms. Moore takes the position as a child companion, she dislikes the title of nanny and the children believe they don't need one since nanny's are for babies, especially Miranda. At first the children resort to their old tried and true favorite pranks they have used to "rid" themselves of having someone to care for them including "Cooky" the household cook who is used to being ignored. Yet none of them were prepared for the fact that Olivia has had experience dealing with her younger brothers and sisters and therefore, can see a teaching moment in everything. She knows she has to do something they aren't expecting in order for the children to see her as their ally and someone who is there to help them grow. Along the way, the children begin to fully appreciate what Ms. Moore brings to the household but not before the town can begin to gossip and it causes her reputation to be called into question.
I received For Such A Time As This compliments of Faith Words Publishers, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest opinion. I completely feel in love with the character of Olivia Moore. She wants to do whatever she can to aid her family and along the way finds her true calling in helping to raise the Whitman children where none had succeeded before. She relies on God to help her through difficult times when she feels like throwing in the towel and simply going home and that shows the true character of strength and perseverance in trouble times. I rate this one hands down a 5 out of 5 stars as the first book in the Women of Hope series and can't wait to read the next one! Ginny Aiken has answered the called of my heart's genre!