Review: Her Good Name by Ruth Axtell

The best novels are those that you are surprised when you’ve turned the last page. Not because something unexpected happens, but because you are so absorbed in the story you just don’t pay attention to how much is left. 

I love that my kindle has some wonderful number along the bottom. It tells me with percentage how far I am into a novel, and will also tell me how long it will take me to finish the chapter or the entire book. When I read a paperback book, I quite often flip to the last page to see what page number it is, and then constantly assess how far I am. My number-loving husband has rubbed off on me in this way, I’m afraid. But once in a great while, I find a book that gets me so interested in the story, that I never pay attention to how much I have left. This was one of those novels.

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**I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review**

In the 1890 thriving coastal town of Holliston, Maine, the leading lumber baron’s son, Warren Brentwood, III, returns from his years away at college and traveling to take up his position as heir apparent to his father’s business empire. Esperanza Estrada is the daughter of a Portuguese immigrant fisherman who has grown up surrounded by a brood of brothers and sisters and a careworn mother. Unable to pretend she is anything but “one of those Estradas,” Espy has no chance with Warren, no matter how striking she is. When she overhears of a position to clean house at a local professor’s home on Elm Street, she jumps at the opportunity, hoping to be able to run into Warren Brentwood now and again as well as to imbibe the cultural and intellectual atmosphere of the Stocktons. When rumors about Espy and this respected, married gentleman of the community begin to circulate, the entire church congregation and then the community pronounce judgment on her behavior. The man Espy is in love with, Warren, believes the lie and his loss of faith in her causes Espy to give up without a fight. She leaves her family and hometown for the nearest city with little money and no acquaintances and is forced to spend the night on the street. A man who heads a mission for the homeless finds Espy and offers her shelter. Espy finds the true love of God while working at the mission. Will she be able to forgive the townspeople and return home?

Some novels are the perfect blend of characters, setting, problems, and a message. Her Good Name was definitely one of these novels.

Espy and Warren are complete opposites. Espy follows her heart, is exuberant, and is quite poor. Warren has had his life mapped out for him since he was born, is quite conscious of what people think of him, and is quite well off. This novel explores how perceptions of people impact the way we treat them. It also brings to life how important it is to help those around us and how we should all be a bit less judgemental of other people.

This novel had so many unexpected moments in it. It also had a number of characters I strongly disliked (although I think I was supposed to for the sake of the story). This is a novel with a tight plot and one that had me examining my own life as I turned the pages. I was enraptured with the story and was sad to see it come to an end.

Her Good Name is a novel that is both entertaining and has truths embedded within it that are relevant to our lives. It is a novel that I would highly recommend if it isn’t already on your bookshelf.

I would love to hear from you! Do you keep track of how much you have left in a book? Or do you just read until it is finished?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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4 thoughts on “Review: Her Good Name by Ruth Axtell

  1. Oh I love this book too! Definitely a favorite!
    As for keeping track of my book progress, I keep track of how long the chapter is, and how many chapters I have left, not quite down to the pages, but I guess it counts 🙂
    Great Review!


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