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Title: The Measure of Katie Calloway
Author: Serena Miller
Publication Info: Revell 2011
Genre: Historical: American
The Civil War has ended, but in Katie Calloway's Georgia home conflict still rages. To protect herself and her young brother from her violent and unstable husband, she flees north, finding anonymity and sanctuary as the cook in a Northwoods lumber camp.
The camp owner, Robert Foster, wonders if the lovely woman he's hired has the grit to survive the never-ending work and harsh conditions of a remote pine forest in winter. Katie wonders if she can keep her past a secret from a man she is slowly growing to love.
And here is JoyceG's review:
This inspirational historical romance, set in the deep woods of northern Michigan in the years following the Civil War, is a realistic telling of the story of a battered wife, Katie, who flees an abusive husband and heads north, accompanied only by her younger brother and a handful of stolen coins. When Katie lands in Michigan, her first priority is finding work, but work finds her in the form of Robert Foster, a lumberman who needs a camp cook. Katie takes the job, and the adventure begins.
A varied cast of characters, from the crusty camp cook Katie replaces to a preacher with a mysterious past, fills out this compelling story of a woman on the run. Katie is happy working for the men, a raucous crew who are more than a little rough around the edges, but who all become devoted to the cook who has brought so much light to their camp. The characterization of the men in the crew does much to remind readers of the historical period: these are men who have seen Andersonville first hand, have held soldiers as they died and who have left behind loved ones once more to earn a living in the dangerous lumber camps.
The story has a solid foundation in the strength of the characters, their resilience of body and mind, their faith in each other, and for at least some of them, their faith in God. That faith is challenged in many ways, but Katie draws on hers, knowing that she has not left the past behind her simply by moving away. The story alternates between Katie and her husband, Harlan, balancing the security of her life in the camp with the ever present threat of Harlan’s appearance.
The romance between Robert and Katie is a revelation for both of them, for different reasons, and that is the main strength of this novel. Historical facts and vivid descriptions of the forest and logging camp round out a very well written, heart-tugging romance novel that readers will find hard to put down.