“If Annie had fully understood what power she could have been calling on all along – the power of God – she could have avoided the long, lonely, dark trek she’d traveled up until she felt God’s light shining on her face at her bedroom window,” Cindy Thomson writes in her novel, "Annie’s Stories." Part of the Ellis Island series, this three hundred and eighty-nine page paperback targets those that enjoy Christian historical fiction with romance in the early twentieth century. With no profanity, subjects of abuse both physically and sexually may not be apropos for immature readers. The ending includes a dozen discussion questions and an author’s note. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. In this tome set in 1901, twenty year old Annie Gallagher has tried to forget her past in Ireland after her father died. Sent to live at the Magdalene Laundry, a place for unwanted or orphaned Irish girls, she hides her secret pains and dreams until she is wondrously sent to America to live at the Hawkins House in New York City. One of her cherished possessions is the wooden writing lap desk that her storyteller father gave her, with its hidden compartment that contains a dozen of her father’s unpublished children’s stories. As she tries to blend in as the housekeeper at Hawkins House, the good-looking but shy postman, Stephen Adams, enthusiastically delivers the mail, hoping to visit and talk with the lass about anything, especially the love of reading they both have. When Annie is given Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, not only does she feel related to the characters, it is another topic Stephen can discuss with her. Divulging her father’s charming stories to him, the young woman tries to establish herself while he encourages publishing her father’s writings. With characters from her previous book and a new tenant that has troubles that include being tracked by the Pinkertons, a detective agency, both Annie and Stephen work together to solve a crime. While the young Irish girl learns that she is not a sinner of the worst kind that God has abandoned, Stephen must focus on God and others instead of debts owed. Written with compassion for literature of the era, Thomson engages readers yearning to know about authors, publishing, and society along with God’s forgiveness and grace. Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.
Annie’s Stories by Cindy Thomson is a delightful book. It is interesting & has realistic characters, albeit ones who sometimes make poor decisions. It’s a little long, but God is present
Annie's Stories is a heartwarming, interesting piece of historical fiction. Worth reading!