- Book: Mud River Weddings: Novella Collection
- Author: Emily Yager
- Genre: Historical Romance / Novella Collection
- Release Date: February 5, 2020
Follow the Walgrave siblings as they find love on the banks of the Mud River in Grygla, Minnesota in the early 1900’s.
Every Beat of My Broken Heart – Pine Walgrave believes everyone deserves a second chance. When he meets broken-hearted Della Maie Striech, he sets out to prove friendship can heal anything. Can past mistakes be overcome by a gentle gesture?
My Kind of Crazy – Balsam Walgrave lived life enjoying life as it came. Living for the enjoyment of the day was enough, until a charming neighbor, September Thrain, challenged that there could be more to life.
Love Walked In – Cedar Walgrave had a plan and knew what he wanted to do in life – Falling in love with Nurse Florentina Duerr was not one of them. Will the Influenza epidemic ruin his new plans?
Hear My Voice – Lindon Walgrave has spent her life quietly caring for her siblings, when Anton Duerr’s surprise marriage proposal with the purpose of needing a mother to help care for his young family. Can she accept a loveless marriage to feel useful again?
Stead My Heart – Oak Walgrave is haunted by dark memories and struggles to get back into normal life after the war. He doesn’t feel he deserves to find happiness; that is until February Thrain shows him kindness and that everyone has their own regrets.
Falling Slowly – Ash Walgrave has known the troublesome Danny Barr her entire life. When a misunderstanding happens, and she gets into trouble, he was the last person she ever expected to help her out of her mess.
I enjoyed the themes in these novellas of faith, forgiveness, and family. I am not sure if the copy I received was the finished version or went through another edit before publication. There were a number of errors and it lacked important or interesting details at times. But the stories are sweet.
Every Beat of My Broken Heart
When Della immigrated to the United States, she met a man on the boat. He flattered her into joining him in forming a band and touring through the United States together. He never kept his promise to marry her.
Della visits her aunt and uncle after the final betrayal broken financially and emotionally. If she can forgive herself, she may be able to trust and love again.
She becomes friends with her neighbor Pine Walgrave and his unusual bunch of siblings. Each member of this family are named for a different tree and are highly independent. Pine and Della begin to fall for each other and consider courting.
A brother and sister named February and September come through town and have no place to stay until Della’s aunt takes them in as borders. They become great friends and their lives intertwine with Della’s and the Wallgraves throughout the rest of the book.
Love Walked In
Della’s cousins, Florentina (Ren) and Anton, get to America near the end of the first story. Ren begins working at the town’s hospital as a nurse. Pine’s brother Cedar is quite taken with her. He finds excuses to see her until a major influenza epidemic occurs.
Ren becomes ill and must stay home to recover. Della is also forced into quarantine by her husband to protect her and their unborn child.
I was surprised to read about this epidemic and quarantine. I am sure Emily Yager had no idea when she wrote it that there would be a nationwide quarantine only a month after her book released because of COVID-19 but God did. I think he often inspires us ahead of time.
This short story was my least favorite. I thought the main conflict was unjust. My family assures me though that for the time and location it was possible. I might be a little too passionate about injustice.
Ash knew Daniel when they were just children. Unfortunately he liked to tease her a lot so she took a dislike to him. Now he has returned to town and lives with his aunt. Since Ash is his aunt’s paid companion, they see each other a lot. Even though Daniel is much handsomer and nicer spoken than before, Ash’s not interested in him…yet.
Daniel intercedes when Ash is accused of vandalizing a widow’s property. He involves himself in the investigation to help Ash. The story ended charmingly.
My favorite aspect of this collection are the themes of kindness and forgiveness. Sometimes the forgiveness came a little too quickly to be realistic but was still inspiring. You may want to read Mud River Weddings if you enjoy short stories with a sweet message.
I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.
About the Author
Emily Yager is the author of several books including Chasing the Hunter, Pursuing Voyageurs Series. She writes Inspirational Romance novels set among the lakes, rivers, and north woods of Minnesota.
When Emily is not writing, she is doodling over her notes, listening to music, searching for a new history book to explore, or dealing with the dramas of a bi-polar prima donna canine and writing puppy sidekick, Xian. She lives on the family farm in northwestern Minnesota.