17 May 2011

Book Review – Head in the Clouds

Head in the CloudsReview by Carrie Fancett Pagels

By: Karen Witemeyer

Published by: Bethany House, October, 2010

Review by Diana Flowers top and by Carrie Pagels bottom

DF:  A highly entertaining read!!
Quality: 5 out of 5 .Value: 5 out of 5
This book far exceeded my expectations!

I read some great books in February, with alot of substance, so I thought I would pick something out that would be light, relaxing, and fun to read for a change. I saw the title "Head in the Clouds" and looked at the front and back cover (which was amusing) and I decided to read it. I felt like it would be your typical young lady becomes governess to ranch owner's child, she bumbles her way through, alot of laughs...and they lived happily ever after after! Was I ever wrong! Adelaide, the main character, finds herself in a shameful situation, so she quickly answers an ad to become a governess to the child of a sheep rancher. Typical storyline, right? Not quite... Adelaide finds out that her new little charge has not spoken since she witnessed the unspeakable murders of her mother and father. My eyes teared up continually with pity for this child and the first time she laughed I smiled. The author has a way of making this story so realistic you can't keep yourself from turning page after page, and not wanting to put the book down. 

There are some amusing things in the book that made me smile, and when a near sexual assault occurs my heart was pounding. The author was descriptive, but not offensive in this part of the book, and I could feel this woman's pain. My eyes teared up when a near fatal injury occurs, and does this child ever speak again?...you'll have to read this book and find out. There is alot of intense action at the end when an unscrupulous relative comes to kidnap the little girl. 

This book embodied real life...joy, grief... laughter, tears... fear, courage. This is not the typical type of book I normally read, but then again, I guess it was! Fantastic job, Karen Witemeyer! 

CFP: I would give it four and a half stars.
Disclaimer: I received my copy from the publisher. There is no requirement to post a favorable review. I met Karen online in a historical Christian writers group.

Link to Amazon:

Link to CBD:

Bibliotherapy aspect: Mute child due to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Karen’s profile shows her have a B.A. and a Master’s degree in Psychology. Having done therapy with children left mute from tragedies, I was somewhat surprised at the longevity of the child’s silence. Of course the child character did not have a therapist, either! This is Karen’s second published book, the first being the delightful A Tailor-Made Bride, which I loved. This current book is getting rave reviews from readers on both CBD and on Amazon and quickly went to multiple formats (see the following).

Disability Friendliness: The book is available in audio CD (which I wish I had) but I read it in the paperback version. This is also available as an e-book with Kindle having it in text-to-speech format enabled. Large print, hardcover also available at Amazon. I would recommend it in audio because there are few current Christian historical audiobooks out there at any time.  This would have been a great listen. 

Head in the Clouds had an unusual hero – an Englishman who raises sheep in Texas. Ms. Witemeyer’s heroine was most sympathetic in the beginning as a young woman being strung along by a traveling (married! Interesting twist!) salesman. She did a good set up on the romance between the hero and heroine. I found the characterization and storyline gripped me better as A Tailor-Made Bride did but it was still a very good book.

As a psychologist with over twenty-five years experience working with children and adolescents, I found the mute child storyline to not be as realistic as it could have been. However, the average reader would not be a psychologist and as mentioned, this book has been receiving very good reviews. I would have enjoyed this better as an audio listen as it was a tad slower than the first, particularly in the middle, which is not an issue for me with audio listens. I am going over to see if her newest release is available on audio!

Giveaway:  Leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win my gently used copy of this book.


  1. I checked this book out from my local public library and really liked it! I would love to have a copy to donate to my church library. Thank you for the opportunity to win this one.


  2. I would love to read this book! Thank you for doing this giveaway :-)


  3. Wonderful review, Carrie. Again I loved hearing things from a pshycholical standpoint, which most of us are unfamiliar with. It's very interesting, as I have read the book and was unaware as I was reading it, the things you brought out. Really good review and book!

  4. Great idea, Anne. Lora, I will put you in for the drawing!

  5. Great review. I wold love to win this book. If I win, I will post my review at gather.com

    villageanne AT yahoo DOT com

  6. Welcome to Overcoming Through Time, Villageanne. Thank you for your comment and we will enter you in the drawing!

  7. Thanks for the review. I have enjoyed all of her books so far and this is the only one missing from my collection. Would love a chance to add this to my library.


  8. You're welcome, Sheri! You'll enjoy this one as well. Thanks for coming by and we'll put your name in the hat!

  9. LeAnn Cleveland tried for 1/2 hour to leave a comment, but her phone wouldn't let her, so here is her comment: Please enter me in the drawing, can't wait to read this one! Thank you, LeAnn for your persistency, and you will be entered in the drawing!!

  10. Sounds like another wonderful book I can't wait to read. Thanks for the chance to win. tsmathews61@gmail.com

  11. We have four other comments posted on my previous blog. May have to have the comments link moved to the bottom! Ms. Diana, thanks for letting me know about that!

  12. You're quite welcome, Ms. Carrie. I'm thinking I stumbled upon them quite by accident...

  13. Congrats to LeAnn Cleveland, who, bless her heart, tried so hard to leave a comment. She wins for sheer persistence, a quality I admire (see my Mother's Day post!). Blessings!

  14. Congrats to LeAnn...persistency pays off! Thank you all for visiting and leaving your great comments. Come back by again soon...more fun, more giveaways!


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