WHILE LOVE STIRS, the second book in Lorna Seilstad's historical fiction Gregory Sisters series, is a light romance set in the 1910 Minnesota Twin Cities. Headstrong Charlotte Gregory, a recent graduate of the Fannie Farmer School of Cookery, is set upon a food industry career. Her schooling has left her overflowing with ways to improve the sanitary and nutrition aspects of both restaurants and hospitals, but she can't get anyone to give her a chance, not even the young, good looking Dr. Joel Brooks, her sister's doctor.
When Charlotte's younger sister shows her an ad for a cooking contest sponsored by the local gas company, Charlotte enters. Gas stoves are the new technology of the day, and Charlotte has the advantage of being familiar with them. Soon the gas company offers her a job giving cooking demonstrations across Minnesota. Traveling with her is an older chaperone and the young, talented musician Lewis Mathis who entertains at each lecture.
This book is one of those easy reads that although there is nothing unexpected within the pages, it is just plain entertaining to read. Sparks continually fly between Dr. Joel and Charlotte, while it is clear that Lewis is growing fonder of Charlotte each day they are on the road. From the time I was young, I've always been drawn to books in which the female character was a bit of a rebel, someone who pushed society's barriers for women. Charlotte does that, as do her two sisters. The story of older sister Hannah journey to becoming a lawyer and Charlotte's decision to study cookery are told in WHEN LOVE CALLS, and I am sure we'll see younger sister Tessa's exuberance and daring take her on her own adventure in the next book.
Seilstad's decision to set this story in several Minnesota cities and then to include local sights/activities pertinent to the time is one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much. At one time, Charlotte travels the oldest city in Minnesota, the river town of Stillwater. I've traveled those old river streets and seen the buildings that were probably "newer" in 1910. On another of her lecture tours, Charlotte visits Red Wing, long famous for its pottery and selects several crocks for her demonstrations. Today, those same crocks are prized finds for antiquers.
Want a fast, easy read for the beach; or perhaps a gift for a reader of Christian fiction, but you're not sure just what they've already read? I think you can safely choose WHILE LOVE STIRS or its prequel WHEN LOVE CALLS. I received a copy of WHILE LOVE STIRS from Revell publishing for my honest review.
If you are interested in learning more about Lorna Seilstad's writing check her http://www.lornaseilstad.com/