Book Review: Maureen, by Mary E. Trimble

Maureen by [Trimble, Mary E.]
Maureen Gardner picks up the Seattle newspaper one evening, longing to escape bitter memories of betrayal and lost love. A help-wanted ad for a housekeeper-caregiver tugs at her heart. Within days she crosses the Cascade mountains to the ranching country of eastern Washington and finds herself the answer to the Cahill family’s deep need.

Still grieving the tragic loss of their mother, seven-year-old Leslie Cahill and her teen-age brother Wade become the children Maureen knows she will never have. Over the course of nine years, she becomes an indispensable part of the family. From the beginning she feels attracted to their father, John, although she stifles that emotion, thinking the only way to continue doing her job is to maintain a professional detachment. Through the ups and downs of family life, Maureen fills a vital role as supporter, encourager, and counselor for all the Cahills. But when John seems to be building a relationship with someone else, Maureen wonders how she’ll handle another woman in the household, especially if the other woman is John’s wife.


When the object of Maureen’s long-held bitterness dies, John insists on taking her to the memorial service. He helps her come to a place of forgiveness, and with the forgiving comes freedom . . . to embrace all that life can hold as they look to the future, together.


I liked the way Ms Trimble expands the stories told in Leslie’s viewpoint in Rosemount and McClellan’s Bluff, retelling them from Maureen’s point of view. I enjoyed learning about ranching along with Maureen. The book is populated with a cast of varied characters who could have easily stepped out of any ranching neighborhood and onto the pages of the story. Maureen’s wisdom and thoughtful way of interacting with the young people in her charge make me wish I’d have had her example when raising my own children.


The happy ending was worth waiting for.

Heart Lifters for Difficult Times

Diana Savage’s 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times (Harvest House) is the perfect Valentine for my sweetheart! The pastel colors, the delicate daisy on the front cover, might indicate a  book intended for a feminine audience, but a look at the table of contents indicate that the pithy devotionals inside apply to either gender. Here’s a sampling: Who is God’s Interpreter, starring an absentminded, umbrella-snatching professor; In the Shadow of Tradition, featuring Punxsatawney Phil, the groundhog weather prognosticator; Wisdom for Overwhelmed Fathers, about parenting challenges; and the piece that sold the book to me, one for Valentine’s Day called Like…Fantasy Football Games. 

Every devotional begins with a humorous story, followed by unique and thought-provoking applications of God’s principles to our own lives. Each is tied up with a ribbon of humor at the end, making 52 neat and memorable gift packages to encourage either man or woman…or in our case, both of us. For what could be more romantic than sharing one of these devotions, perhaps as part of a weekly date night?

photo credit: France1978 via photopin cc