In 1850, Mellicent "Mellie" Blanchard takes a job at a mill in Manchester, New Hampshire, to help support her family. In search of additional earning opportunities, she approaches a daguerreotype shop owner with the proposal that he hire her to make paper cuttings or silhouette portraits for those who can't afford an expensive daguerreotype.
When a particularly charming customer--whose broad smile and twinkling eyes catch her off guard--asks to escort her home, the seeds of romance begin to blossom. All the pieces of her new life seem to have fallen perfectly into place, but when her new venture brings her an unexpected opportunity, she is confronted with the truth that all is not as it seems. Will Mellie, who is keeping secrets of her own, find happiness in the new life she has carved out for herself in the busy mill town?
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I really enjoyed this book, and although I thought I figured out the ending early on. While there is a bit of romance here, there are so many subplots going on, like real life, you will never get bored, and it will keep you page turning.
We get an up-close look at the mills that were an important part of the economy on the East Coast, and also see how unpleasant it was to work there. Wonder anyone had hearing left, or lungs, and the humidity and heat!
We get a glimpse of life as the workers living in a boarding house, gulping their meals and trudging back to work to do it again.
This is a story to get lost in, a great clean summer read!
I received this book through Net Galley and Bethany House Publishers, and was not required to give a positive review.