The Artisan's Wife is the 3rd book in the Refined by Love series by Judith Miller.Ainslee McKay's world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West... Read More
Ainslee McKay's world is shaken when she discovers her twin sister has not only eloped with a man she barely knows but now Ainslee must fulfill their obligation at a tile works in Weston, West Virginia. Ainslee must learn the ropes and, if she can keep the tile works profitable, her brother will help her sell the business.
When Levi Judson arrives and shows Ainslee his designs for new tiles, she's impressed by his skill and passion for the business. But he's hiding his true reason for coming to Weston. And Ainslee knows he'd be crushed to learn his plans for a long career at McKay Tile Works are in vain since she intends to sell. Can the growing feelings between them survive if the truth comes to light--or is a future together as untenable as the future of the tile works itself?
- Product type: Book
- Format: Softcover
- Release Date: Jul 19, 2016
- UPC: 9780764212574
- Volumes/Discs: 1
- Pages: 336
- Publish Date: Aug 2, 2016
- Language: English
- Audience Age Maximum: 0
- Audience Age Minimum: 0
- BISAC: "FIC042030"
- ISBN: 0764212575
Customer ReviewsWrite your own review
- Charming Read by Bookish Bakes on 11/28/2016
I received The Artisan’s Wife a while back from Bethany House to read for an honest review. I was excited to read this book, since it takes place in Weston, WV not too far from my own hometown. I have read a good deal more of historical fiction this year, and I was thrilled to find a book taking place in my own state. However, I did not realize that it was the third book in a series. The book could be a standalone, and it’s not hard to keep up or put two and two together as you read. I just might go back and read the first two to see things from the other character’s point of view.
I’ll be upfront and honest. I had a really hard time getting into this book. It could possibly be that I wasn’t invested in the story like others that have actually read the first two books. At times, I really wanted to give up on the book all together. However, after reading close to halfway in did I actually start to feel caught up in the characters’ lives. As an artist myself, I could relate to Levi and his passion for creating beautiful tiles. I have been to Weston a few times, and I could easily picture a big building full of tile workers. After visiting museums and old homes around my state, I have this vision in my head of what their homes and small town looked like. For me personally, it was very easy to imagine the boarding house, the hotels, and above all the asylum.
Though I have never been inside the asylum, I have seen it from afar, and heard all the stories revolving around the old historic building from family and friends. It was hard to read the story, knowing what would eventually happen to the people living inside the building. For those of you who don’t know, it is now used for haunted tours during Halloween and offers overnight stays for ghost hunters. The thought of people living inside of it was very interesting and intriguing. It made me wish to see what it looked like all those years ago. I felt my heart break every time someone treated Levi differently because of his brother’s mental problems. I was touched by the way he and Ainslee reached out to those in the asylum with love and compassion. Ainslee learns compassion, and I was moved deeply to see her reaching out to family members as she stood her ground against the stereotypes of mental disorders.
The story does lag at times, but makes up for it, with lively scenes and touching dialogue. The relationship between Levi and Ainslee felt a bit odd. Don’t get me wrong, I could picture them together. I’m not sure if the author not focusing on their growing relationship made it seem all of a sudden and out of character. I’m not sure how much Ainslee grew in the past books, or if she even was a side character, but I feel like her confidence in certain things keeps her character from evolving and growing as the story progressed. While Levi seemed pretty stable and founded from the start, it was Ainslee that made room for improvement. Yet, at times she seemed too confident and perfect. Still, the story line itself was decent and enjoyable.
Overall, this book was a good and easy read. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something different in the typical historical fiction genre. The characters are sweet and very adorable. The way they acted and socialize back then never ceases to amaze or surprise me. It made for a wonderful little read, and I plan on reading more of Judith Miller’s work in the future.
- Third book in Refined by Love series! by Kristina Anderson, The Avid Reader on 8/27/2016
The Artisan’s Wife by Judith Miller is the third (and final) book in Refined by Love series. Ainslee McKay is happy teaching students, but her sister Adaira has an artistic streak. Adaira convinced her brother to purchase a tile works where she could use her artistic talents. Ainslee would run the business end. Shortly before they are to leave, Adaira disappears. She ran off and eloped with Chester Mulvane. The family had no idea she was that serious about the man she married. Ainslee will have to go off on her own to run McKay Tile Works. Ainslee has confidence issues and does not want to leave home on her own (she only agreed to the venture to please her twin). Ainslee gets her brother’s agreement that he will try and sell the tile works so she can return home soon (preferably within six months). Levi Judson has moved to Weston, West Virginia to be near his brother. His brother, Noah, has some mental issues (he is not crazy) and is being housed at Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum. Noah worked at a tile works in Philadelphia and he has some unique and creative ideas. But if the McKay’s are selling the business, they will not be interested in trying out new ideas. As Ainslee settles into her new life and role at McKay Tile Works, she starts to enjoy her new life. Ainslee also gets involved in a project at the asylum helping the patients. When Levi shows her his new designs, Ainslee thinks they are beautiful and unique. They could be a profitable venture for the tile works. But is Ainslee willing to stay in Weston?
The Artisan’s Wife is a sweet novel. I liked how Ainslee grew and changed after spending time in Weston. Her sister leaving her in the lurch was really a blessing in disguise. The tile descriptions sounded gorgeous (I wish there were pictures). The novel is well-written and engaging. It had a good pace/flow. The characters were relatable. They felt like real people and fit into the time period. I completely understood how Ainslee would feel. How nervous she would be going off on her own to a new city, job, and place to live. The romance is very subtle in the book. It plays out in the background (I like how the author did it). This is a Christian novel that teaches forgiveness (something Ainslee struggled with in the book), power of prayer, God’s plan for our lives, and misperceptions (how people viewed the residents of the asylum). I give The Artisan’s Wife 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). This novel is part of a series, but can be read alone. We are updated on the lives of the couples from the previous novels. We get to check in with Rose and Rylan (who run the pottery works), Ewan and Laura (as well as Grandmother Woodfield), and Chester and Adaira. One thing I did find annoying was Ainslee “fainting” episodes. There were too many of them to be believable (women usually fainted because their corsets were too tight and they could not get enough air into their lungs). I look forward to reading more books by Judith Miller.
I received a complimentary copy of The Artisan’s Wife in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.
- To Share or Not to Share by Babbling Becky L on 8/16/2016
Reading one of Judith Miller's books is always a treat. Miller includes a great historical detail, solid Scriptural truth without being preachy, and romance with a touch of impending doom.
The Artisan's Wife, #3 Refined by Fire, could stand alone, but I was thankful to have the background of the previous two books. It made the relationships that much easier to understand.
First to attract a reader is the book cover. The artist does a magnificent job portraying the West Virginia mountains, a sunset or sunrise, plus the beautiful protagonist on each cover of this series. Obviously, the artist has either read the book or at least been well informed.
In The Artisan's Wife, Ainslee McKay reluctantly moves to Weston, WV, to take over the family's newly acquired tile works. Full of resentment and fear, she hopes only to build up the business enough to attract a buyer.
A new hire, Levi Judson, soon proves to be invaluable after an unexpected catastrophe. However, Levi has secrets and dreams of his own. Will they mesh with Ainslee's?Or will the secrets of each destroy their fledgling relationship?
I loved how Ms. Miller showed the start of insane asylums, and how they were populated and run at their onset. She also includes a very informative note at the end, that answered a question in my mind.
I also love how she explains the working of a tile works of the time. Interesting how at least two of the three businesses in the McKay family include great artistic input!
Quotable: "Deep wounds can last for a lifetime;the real achievement is learning to to live a full life even when the scars remain."
A well-written, well- researched book. My biggest question is, can I share this wonderful book,or will I hoard it on my keeper shelf?!
I gratefully received a copy of this book from Revellreads in exchange for my honest opinion