Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Series: A Proper Romance
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: Audio, eBook, Print
Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
When Harriet Beecher marries Calvin Stowe on January 6, 1836, she is sure her future will be filled romance, eventually a family, and continued opportunities to develop as a writer. Her husband Calvin is completely supportive and said she must be a literary woman. Harriet’s sister, Catharine, worries she will lose her identity in marriage, but she is determined to preserve her independent spirit. Deeply religious, she strongly believes God has called her to fulfill the roles of wife and writer and will help her accomplish everything she was born to do.
Two months after her wedding Harriet discovers she is pregnant just as Calvin prepares to leave for a European business trip. Alone, Harriet is overwhelmed—being a wife has been harder than she thought and being an expectant mother feels like living another woman’s life. Knowing that part of Calvin still cherishes the memory of his first wife, Harriet begins to question her place in her husband’s heart and yearns for his return; his letters are no substitute for having him home. When Calvin returns, however, nothing seems to have turned out as planned.
Struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with her passion for writing and her desire to be a part of the social change in Ohio, Harriet works to build a life with her beloved Calvin despite differing temperaments and expectations.
Can their love endure, especially after “I do”? Can she recapture the first blush of new love and find the true beauty in her marriage?
I was interested to learn more about Harriet Beecher Stowe and I love this author so I was really excited for it. I studied marriage and family therapy in college and so this was super interesting to me from that viewpoint since basically the whole book is about Harriet and her husband figuring out how to make their marriage work. They had some unique circumstances for the time period. It felt really authentic and realistic and made my heart hurt in some places. They certainly didn’t have easy answers or fixes and I felt like their progress and changes felt plausible. Harriet was definitely not painted as a perfect person and neither was her husband. They both had a lot of improvements to make. Like her previous novels based on historical people, I think the author did a great job of finding the balance between telling a true story and fleshing it out with fictional details. She has informative and interesting notes at the back of the book that tell what was true or embellished for each chapter