Dreaming of a Father's Love is women's fiction that is worthy of our attention.
This book spins a grand tale, of several young ladies growing up in Ohio in the 1970's. All their lives intersect at Alexanders, a large plant nursery owned by Birdie's family.
Birdie wants nothing more than to tend her plants, prove her worth as a worker beside her brothers and uncle, and earn her father's respect.
A valedictorian with a bright educational future, Birdie doesn't want to go away for four years of college. She wants to attend local Packer University and learn more about horticulture, so she can become even more skilled in the nursery. Surely her father can see that Alexanders is her world, and she never wants to leave it!
Alexanders secretary is Sara Brubaker, adopted as a small child into a German Baptist family. Sara is 24 and trying to find herself amidst the craziness of those days. On one side of her heart are her adoptive parents, the only mother and father she has known. They are kind and loving, yet seem afraid of losing her when she begins to question who her biological parents were. Mr. and Mrs. Brubaker insist the records are sealed, that she will never know who she came from, but on the other side of her heart is a desire to find why she was given up.
Should she settle into life as Sara Brubaker, should she join her family's German Baptist Church? And what should she say to Jason, Birdie's brother, home from college for the summer, who complicates Sara's life even further?
Then there is Irene West, one of Birdie's best friends. The Wests run a landscaping business that requires them to be in close contact with Alexanders nursery, something Birdie enjoys.
Irene's brother Luke West would like to marry Birdie, has wanted to for years. Maybe the first step toward such a reltionship could be asking for her help on a large landscaping job at a beautiful old house. Birdie could help him do a stellar job for Mr. Billingsworth, the owner, and at the same time Luke could prove that he cared for her.
Irene would be delighted to have Birdie as a sister-in-law, even though the two old friends seem to be growing apart these days. Irene is dressing wild and flirting even more wildly, and Birdie is glad to say she never has done either. Birdie finds it hard to be kind and understanding with a girl like Irene who is pushing all decent boundaries. Can't she see what she is doing?
And then there is Kathy, a girl none of them three expected to meet but whose life will tie into theirs in an unexpected fashion, bringing a chance for healing and joy after tragedy.
When I began this book, I never imagined how deeply I would connect with all of the main female characters. Each one let me into her story, asking questions and making discoveries that resonated with me. The 400+ pages of this book flew by, and the theme was woven so skillfully and naturally that when the answer was presented at the end the revelation surprised me as much as it did them.
The theme of this wonderful read is one we all need to fill hearts with: in all of us is a desire for a father's love, and we struggle and strive to keep, earn or find that love. This book holds up the truth like a mirror, and when we look into it we see ourselves held fast in the Love of our Heavenly Father, whose love is given freely, richly, everlastingly. Infinitely.
Thank you Sharon Lavy for sending me this book through Bookcrash.com's review program.