Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review: Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley

Available @
Fishpond AU 
& Amazon | Kindle
Maggie's Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley
(McKenna's Daughters, Book 1)

Realms, 04 October 2011

Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she's adopted. The spoiled daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed by her real parents and by the ones who raised her. But mystery surrounds her new discovery, and when Maggie uncovers another family secret, she loses all sense of identity. Leaving her home in Seattle, Washington, Maggie strikes out to find her destiny. Will Charles Stanton, who's been in love with her for years, be able to help her discover who she really is?

Maggie is a likeable heroine.  Wide-eyed and innocent, with a passion for dress designing, she easily slips into your heart.  Upon her eighteen birthday, she discovers that she isn't who she thought she was.  This turns her world into turmoil.  As a result, she looks upon her family and the world with a new set of cautious and insecure eyes.

Maggie's parents have always provided for her abundantly, but for the most part, she's been unable to satisfy her mother.  In a bid to find a sense of belonging, Maggie travels over the Rocky Mountains to Arkansas to visit her Grandmother.  She hopes to find a connection there she hasn't felt with her mother.  The journey itself makes for wonderful imagery, and it was intriguing and entertaining to share with the characters their long and difficult travel by rail.  I always enjoy historical fiction that helps me understand what life was really like during the period.

Florence and Joshua - Maggie's parents, seek to redefine themselves, their marriage and family.  This makes for an interesting and heart warming sub plot.  

And then there is Charles Stanton.  A man just making his way in life, he's known Maggie since they were kids.  His journey takes him from his arrogant youth into a mature understanding of God's plan for his life.

This is a novel that deals with love, restoration, belonging and truth, and it does so gently and unobtrusively.  A quiet romance whispers throughout.  This is a lovely, relaxing read which goes beautifully with a nice cup of tea or two :)  I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

Dear readers: Utilising the links found on this blog when purchasing books helps to support this site - a labour of love for two stay-at-home mums.  We thank you for considering us!

Helen's favourite genre is historical fiction with a strong romantic element.  She also enjoys contemporary romance, chick-lit and YA.  She's not caught up in the spell of fantasy fiction, despite The Faraway Tree series being a strong influence in her childhood.

Helen is currently working on her first book, a Christian young adult novel set between two opposite but equally fascinating places in Australia.


  1. What a beautiful cover this book has! I, too, love historical fiction authors who give insight into the realities of life from the time period the author is writing about. It's like putting on 3-D glasses, right?

    Lovely review - I'll share that cup of tea with you!

    Becky Doughty

    1. Hi Becky! The main reason I was drawn to historical fiction in the first place was to learn how people lived in the period.

      Gladly have a cup of tea with you :)

  2. Thank you so much, Helen, for including my book in your blog. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

    Becky, I hope you like it as well.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Lena :) I'm looking forward to reading Mary's Blessing now!

  3. Thank you for this beautifully written review. My first love is historical fiction, but books with real substance can be difficult to find. My "must buy" list is growing; but it is exciting to have books to anticipate purchasing. If you have the space and time it would be appreciated if you could include the publisher's name in your book reviews. Thanks much for the time you give this blog.

    1. Hi Mary! So nice to see you again :) Glad you liked the review! And I do try to include the publisher in most of my reviews - this one has it. It's up the top under the title - has the publisher name and published date (in this case, Realms, 04 October 2011) :)

  4. Mary in Idaho,

    Thanks for dropping by and reading the review of this book. My publisher Realms is giving away 4 copies of the second book in the series on the Goodreads site this week.