As Ainslee McKay reluctantly leaves all she’s known, the beauty of forgiveness and new beginnings comes to light in a West Virginian town with hidden depths.
Ainslee McKay’s world is upended when her twin sister secretly elopes and leaves Ainslee alone to move to Weston, West Virginia, to fulfill their obligation at the McKay family’s new tile works. While her brother, Ewan, agrees to travel with her and help her learn the ropes, she still intends to sell this business she no longer wants if a buyer can be found.
When the talented Levi Judson arrives to show Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she’s impressed at his skill and passion for the business but feels she must keep her true plans for the business a secret from him. And though Levi hopes for a long, successful career at McKay Tile Works, he’s hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light–or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?
The first book in Judith Miller’s Refined by Love series focused on Ewan McKay, who’d come to America in search of a better life for his sisters back in Ireland. Eight years later, in the final book in the series, Ewan is married and his sisters are now in America and forging their own paths. Twins Ainslee and Adaira have differing personalities; Adaira is adventurous while Ainslee doesn’t like to step out of her comfort zone. Even though plans change, however, the McKay family doesn’t go back on its word and so Ainslee must take a step of faith. At the same time, she needs to find a way to forgive her sister for bailing on her. It’s a lesson Ewan will also have to learn regarding another family member later on.
Obviously, nothing ever goes smoothly in fiction. Ainslee’s pride and stubbornness results in her having to rely on her newest employee who, thankfully, knows almost all there is to know about running a tile works. But he has other things on his mind, which is how the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum comes to play a large part in this novel. Now a haven for ghost hunters, the hospital was once considered at the forefront of psychiatric treatment and Judith Miller explores how patients were looked after in her writing. I found this to be one of the most interesting aspects of the book.
If you’ve enjoyed the previous two books in the series, you’ll enjoy The Artisan’s Wife as well. The characters are engaging, and the detail about the tile making is informative but not tedious. This novel can be read as a standalone, but you probably want to read the other two books first. They’re individual stories about the McKay family, but there is a sense of continuity running through them.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary copy of The Artisan’s Wife, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read The Artisan’s Wife? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)
Publication Date: 02 August 2016
Page Count: 336