book review

Book Review: In Times Gone By, by Tracie Peterson

Blurb courtesy of Amazon:

After getting left at the altar, Kenzie Gifford flees to San Francisco to start her life over, determined never to love again. She’s made new friends and has a good job in the office of her cousin’s chocolate factory. The only thorn in her side is Dr. Micah Fisher, who insists on pursuing her despite her constant rejection.

Then the Great 1906 Earthquake strikes the city, and everything changes. The devastation all around her makes Kenzie reevaluate her outlook on life–and possibly even her feelings for Micah. But then her world is rocked again when her ex-fiancé appears, full of apologies and determined to win her back. But Arthur already broke her heart once. Does she dare trust him again? The sudden arrival of a hidden danger will expose the motivations of all involved, but it could cost Kenzie her life–as well as her heart.

From the Inside Flap

Cousin George was still missing, and Kenzie had encountered little luck getting anyone to let her go into his burned-out chocolate factory to search for him. It was terrible to imagine poor George pinned in the debris. So many had died that way.

Judith patted Kenzie’s arm. “I’m sure he’s fine.”

“Who?” Kenzie had said nothing of her worries about Cousin George, although everyone knew he was still unaccounted for.

“Micah. I’m sure he’s safe.”

Kenzie felt her mouth go dry. Even though she had discouraged him repeatedly, Dr. Micah Fisher had pursued her since her arrival in the city. At least it felt that way. Tall and handsome, Micah was a sought-after bachelor and Caleb’s best friend. Truth be told, she was worried about him, despite her determination not to think about him.

“I’m sure he is.” Kenzie hoped her voice didn’t sound too clipped. She didn’t want to discuss Micah. She cared about his well-being, of course. But nothing more. Nothing.

My thoughts:

The setting of this book was well done. Even in the aftermath of an earthquake, the beauty of San Francisco could still be seen. Peterson did a fantastic job of making you ‘see’ the destruction of the city without it being overwhelming. Her descriptions of the ways everyone’s lives were changed, how some rallied together to help while others resorted to looting and thievery, rang true for humanity’s typical response to disaster.

The fact that this is the third book in a series, and I have not read either of the first two, was never a problem. That in itself speaks of a well written book. I could get a sense of what the first two books were about without it taking away from Kenzie and Micah. The feeling of family that wraps around these six essential characters plays an important role in how the conclusion plays out.

It was a joy to get to know these characters and feel myself step into the past. Their strong sense of faith in God and love for one another was an unshakeable bond. While this book is focused on Kenzie and Micah, we are allowed to see the perspective of several other characters. I always find that interesting since you experience a fuller range of emotion as everything unfolds. There are plenty of characters to love, and a good number that I wanted to ‘bless their heart’ right up to God’s doorstep. (Arthur Morgan, I’m talking about you)

Trouble and conflict affect each of our couples in different ways but their response is unanimous. Prayer is their answer… Prayer and faith that God will see them though. It was nice to delve into a book where all the main characters were already Christians. This opened the door for a slew of conflicts that would test their faith and their love for one another. My favorite part of the book was when Micah explained to Kenzie what true love is. For me, that was the heart of the book.

Oh! And the cover!! I love the vibrancy of colors and crispness. It just throws itself at you in the best possible way.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to leave a review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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