Dorothy Love returns with her second Hickory Ridge novel, Beauty for Ashes, available now from Thomas Nelson.
She’s a beautiful young widow. He’s a charming Charlestonian with a taste for adventure. Both need a place to call home.
For Carrie Daly, life seems to consist mostly of mourning and ashes. Widowed when her young husband died at the battle of Shiloh, Carrie has spent the intervening years living quietly on her family’s farm with Henry, her older brother. But then Henry marries Mary Stanhope, a difficult widow with two rowdy sons in tow. Feeling that there is no longer a place for her on the farm, Carrie moves to the genteel but shabby Verandah Ladies Hotel and takes a job at Nate Chastain’s book shop, intending to make a new life for herself.
But a chance meeting with Griff Rutledge, a newcomer to Hickory Ridge, changes everything.
It will take a leap of faith on both their parts to redeem the hurts of the past and claim God’s promise of beauty for ashes.
Enjoy meeting Griff and Carrie!
Brief physical description
Carrie: Coppery hair, blue eyes, small and shapely
Griff: Tall, dark, handsome, with a thin white scar above his upper lip
Griff reminds me of a young Gregory Peck only with a Southern accent. In the 1950’s there was a beautiful actress named Rhonda Fleming who has Carrie’s coloring. I don’t pay attention to modern day celebrities, so I have no clue which modern day celebs Carrie and Griff might resemble.
Carrie’s strengths are her faith, her resourcefulness and her independence of mind. Her weaknesses are impatience and sometimes, stubbornness.
Griff’s strengths are his sense of humor, his self confidence, and his compassion for others. His weaknesses are that he is slow to forgive, and sometimes too quick to judge the motives of others.
Your inspiration for the character
Carrie is a composite of the thousands of real-life Southern women who were forced to carry on alone after the losses of the Civil War. I admire their bravery, their resourcefulness, and the great faith it must have taken to keep going. When I created Carrie for the first Hickory Ridge book, I intended for her to remain a secondary character—one of Ada’s friends in the church quilting circle. But the more I wrote about Carrie, the more I wanted her to cast off her mourning and find love and joy again. The lesson of her life is that God is able to give us back our joy, to make beauty from the ashes of our sorrows and failed dreams.
This is the thread running through Griff’s life as well. Feeling like the “black sheep” of his family, he has spent years travelling from one place to the next, claiming to love his footloose and adventurous life while all the time longing for roots and a home. It takes meeting Carrie and her patchwork family to show him what he has been missing.
Background to the story
Widowed when her young husband Frank Daly was killed at Shiloh, Carrie has spent her life keeping house for her bachelor brother, helping him run their family farm. When the story opens in 1876, she has long since given up on finding the kind of heart-stopping love she knew all too briefly with Frank. For some time Carrie has had an understanding with Nate Chastain, the local bookshop owner. But unwilling to settle for what is attainable, she has put off accepting his proposal. Then Charlestonian Griff Rutledge arrives in Hickory Ridge...and Carrie is instantly smitten.
The series wraps up late this fall with publication of EVERY PERFECT GIFT where readers will catch glimpses of Carrie and Griff and their life in Hickory Ridge.
Enter Today and Save the Date-3/20!