The first thought that strikes my mind as I sit to write this review is -it's different, something unique and a refreshingly different storyline. It has all the elements that encompasses a self-contained love story. Sweet-innocent and very 'real'. That being said, it ends in a cliffhanger and somehow that made this story as a whole -incomplete. I'll get to that part later in the review.
What made this good - The settings. This story takes place away from the buzz of city life and the tone of the book together with the vivid descriptions made for a good visual treat. I loved how the author seamlessly incorporated the lifestyle of the lifestyle of the cult and their beliefs in the narrative without diving too deep or merely skimming it. I had a good understanding of the Lancaster tribe and that made me connect with Myra's character. If the author hadn't taken the pain of making us understand how those people function, I would have a very tough liking Myra. She's a far cry from the kind of female protagonists I prefer, but still, I could empathize with her and though I never managed to 'love' her, I did appreciate her willingness to learn new things and try to 'grow' in the real sense, but I wish she were to do it more for herself rather than doing it as a means to get close to or impress 'her husband'. Overall, she is a sweetheart ( a little tooooo innocent) and I was cheering for her the entire time.
Coming to Abe, he's a brooding hero with a heart of gold. I really liked his character. He is matured, understanding, patient and a very compassionate person. He really makes this book a joy to read. I could completely connect with him and his actions (or restraints). Another aspect of his character that really appealed to me was his resolve to fight for Myra and trying to see thins form her perspective. (For guys especially, it's easier said than done). Adding to that, his portrayal was realistic in the sense that - Having been brought up in Lancaster, he had the ideas grilled into his head about how he is 'supposed' to be and how he should treat his 'helpmeete' and though he had grow 'out' of such beliefs, there were these urges at times (mainly thanks to Myra's submissive nature), but he showed restrained and always talked himself out of it. I really like how those parts were portrayed.
Special mention to all the prayers to Jesus - That was also written very beautifully and it was so...pure and sacred? Brought out Myra's character in a good light.
It's a slow burn romance and takes quite some time for these two to 'actually' get together. At times, the pace may seem slow, but it's essential for the growing arc of Myra's character and she is the central plot for this book.
But ending was very abrupt and nothing added together. I was left scratching my head about what actually went wrong for her to take such a drastic step (unusual for her). I couldn't come up with a reasonable explanation for this, and though I understand it's supposed to be a cliffhanger, a little more clarity could have helped.
Overall I would give it '4' wonderfully different stars.