The Headmistress of Rosemere, written by Sarah E. Ladd and published by Thomas Nelson (2014), takes place in Darbury, England in 1816. For Jane Austin lovers, this book is perfect. Just imagine yourself in a huge sitting room with a roaring fire on a cold night. You are wrapped in a warm robe and slippers, finding enchantment in this romantic and suspense filled story, full of spiritual truth. This book is suited to women, aged 18 and above.

Patience Creighton’s father has died, her mother, filled with sorrow, is spending her days in bed. Her brother, Rawden, has left for London. That leaves twenty-five year old Patience to run the girl’s school her family has operated for many years. Her family has long rented Rosemere.

Rosemere’s landlord is William Sterling. William, whose father has also passed away,  has been unwise in the past, and his gambling debts have rendered him unable to pay his bills.

In the beginning of the story, he ends up on his tenant’s doorstep, after being assaulted by his creditors’ henchmen on the road home from a tavern. George, the stable man, finds him in the early hours of the morning and asks Patience to tend to his wounds. This she does, and finds that even in his sorry state, and despite some of the unfavorable rumors she has heard about him, she is still taken with the young man, several years her senior. Embarrassed to be found in such a condition, he leaves the house. Yet, he can’t forget the lovely woman who cared for him.

The rest of the story reveals William and Patience’s developing romance and their search for a more meaningful relationship with the Lord. Struggling with decisions, they both come to realize that in order for their dreams and goals to succeed, they will need the Lord’s intervention. They must also relinquish past failures and forgive themselves as God has forgiven them.

Patience’s brother, Rawden, finally returns with Lydia, his new wife, and Ewan O’Connell, a past suitor of Patience’s. Rawden hopes that Mr. O’Connell can start up a boy’s school in addition to the girl’s school. Six years ago, Ewan proposed marriage to Patience, but she turned him down, caring for him only as a sister would. He left in a huff, and now he has returned. He still fancies himself in love with Patience.

The novel ends well and happily, with all the pieces fitting into place. The Headmistress of Rosemere is especially well written, and therefore, quite fun to read. It is sure to keep your interest, while making you think about your own faith in the Lord. You will see how much God’s help is needed with each new day.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”