Blowing on Dandelions

“Do Dandelion Wishes Actually Come True? Katherine Galloway knew this moment of calm wouldn’t last, blown away like the dandelion seeds she scattered as a girl. In 1880, three years after her husband’s death, she struggles to run an Oregon boardinghouse and raise two girls alone. Things don’t get easier when her critical, domineering mother moves in. Katherine must make the situation work, but standing up for herself and her family while honoring her mother isn’t easy. And with a daughter entering the teenage years, the pressure on Katherine becomes close to overwhelming. Then she crosses paths with Micah Jacobs, a widower who could reignite her heart, but she fears a relationship with him might send things over the edge. She must find the strength, wisdom, hope, and faith to remake her life, for everything is about to change.”

I requested this book through NetGalley and they very graciously accepted my request, and I am so glad they did!

“Blowing on Dandelions” is an incredibly good book.  I immediately connected with Katherine, as having raised two daughters of my own I could empathize with the struggles she was having dealing with her own daughters! Even though life in the 1880’s was quite different from what we experience now, relationships between parents and children remain the same, with many of the same issues arising again and again.  Choosing how we deal with those issues is what makes us good parents or exceptional parents! Katherine is often torn between her love for her daughter and making the right choices for her, even if her daughter doesn’t appreciate them. And making those choices despite her mother’s constant interference and apparent joy in putting Katherine down whenever possible often puts Katherine’s faith to the test.

The book has a religious tone to it, which is fitting considering the time it was set in, but nowhere does it take on a “preachy” tone where someone who wasn’t particularly religious could take offense. Coming from a religious background myself I found I could relate to many of Katherine’s internal struggles as she tried to deal with her mother’s constant hostility towards her while maintaining the teachings of “honor thy mother” that she had been brought up with.

There were many times as I read this book that I found myself laughing out loud at a particular comment or tearing up over an especially poignant moment. A book that can evince emotions in its reader is a wonderful find, and I feel that Blowing on Dandelions is just such a book.

The story mostly focuses on Katherine’s relationships with the two most important women in her life–her mother Frances, with whom she has had a tense, abrasive relationship all of her life, and her 13-year-old daughter, Lucy, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind despite Katherine’s attempts to quell her. Trying to balance raising her daughter with love and firm discipline while counteracting her mother’s thoughtless and hurtful remarks causes Katherine to fall back on her friends from the church’s quilting group for moral support and her faith in God for daily strength.

There is also the gentle blossoming of love and romance as Katherine finds herself drawn to the handsome widower, Micah Jacobs, which adds a wonderful sweetness to the story. Her need for her mother’s approval clashes with her growing desire for this strong man and Katherine is left feeling torn as she struggles to make the right decision for herself and her family, even if that means letting go of the one man who has finally awakened her heart after so many years of pain and emptiness.

I truly enjoyed this story and read it in one sitting! I was very excited to see that this is the first book in Miralee Ferrell’s  Love Blossoms in Oregon series, which means I will get to continue to read about all of the characters I fell in love with in at least two more books!  It is scheduled to come out on June 1st, 2013.