Stardust Romance, Sept. 2013
Reviewed by Diana Flowers
Deeply Moving Debut!
In Heaven Is Not Far, Marian Baay has written an emotive, soul-stirring story of a love that transcends time, distance, and even war...as the reader is swept away from the newly thriving logging country of Michigan, to the atrocious battlefield of Gettysburg.
Filled with hope, the handsome, young Albert Van Ampting has traveled many a mile to begin life anew. Much to his parents' dismay, Albert has left the Netherlands accompanied by his Irish Setter, Jessie, to become a prosperous logger in Michigan and perhaps find a wife in the bargain. During his journey he receives the sad news that war has broken out between the northern and southern states.
While wintering in Detroit, Albert meets the dark haired, green-eyed Michelle Lefevre—a woman who both intrigues and fascinates him with her beauty, charm, and the amusing fact that she always wears something unusual in her hair. As their initial attraction turns into an all-consuming love, Albert must leave his new bride as he feels called by God to fight in the Civil War...much to Michelle's distress. His time with Michelle had seemed like Heaven on earth—in the horrendous battle of Gettysburg does he still find Heaven is not far after all? As she receives horrifying news, the grieving Michelle frantically searches for him on the battlefield. Will she find him amongst the vast number of casualties of this dreadful war?
As I read this debut story I was duly impressed by the storyline and my emotions ran the gamut … from smiles to tears and amusement to great sadness. Once again I was reminded of the atrocities of this terrible war that took so many hopeful young men's lives and I was deeply saddened. This story is far from being dark, however, with such delightful characters as the mischievous, fun-loving Albert, the amusing Michelle, and the jovial antics of Jessie, the beloved Irish Setter. Oh, and I mustn't forget the toe curling romance! :) With a deep spiritual thread of redemption and faith throughout...don't miss out on this heartrending and endearing story by debut author, Marian Baay! Very nicely done!
This book may be purchased through Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.
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