“Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it’s Ewan’s job to get the company up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner’s daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she’s being courted by another man – a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he’ll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job. But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?”
The Brickmaker’s Bride is the first novel in the Refined by Love series. I really enjoyed reading this novel. Judith Miller does a fantastic job in providing a few history lessons within her storytelling and it isn’t that noticeable. For example, I have never heard of how a brickmaking company worked but after this novel I feel as though I have gained some knowledge of that operation. Yet the novel didn’t focus too much on the process. I really liked how her topic was different from other novels that I have read set in the same time period. Her characters within this novel were greatly developed and had a superb sense of humor. Even if you are not a huge fan of historical novels or even Christian fiction I still recommend reading this novel. It provides a great deal of laughs throughout it’s pages just from well placed remarks. Aunt Margaret was one character that seemed to constantly get on my bad side. Ewan mentioned some of her past and that it was the reason she was the way she was but nobody, absolutely nobody, has the right to be as mean and nasty as she was to others. I will admit thought, without her the novel might not have been as funny as it was. She was a great target for the intelligent and honest remarks, even if they weren’t always made to her person. The way Mrs. Woodfield and Laura, as well as Ewan, tried to treat others was a great reminder for us. Luke 6:31 states “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” It’s a Golden Rule that we should all follow, especially Christians. Jesus set an example for all of us by treating everyone the same, no matter what their past or social status was. We are all equal in His eyes. Besides, if one wants to be treated kindly it just makes sense to treat others kindly. If you’re nice to someone then they will most likely be nice to you as well. Great novel! Hope ya’ll enjoy it!!