Ever since I read The Wake Up I’ve been interested in the inspirational fiction genre. It’s this sort of “feel-good” fiction about characters on journeys of self-discovery and redemption. I’ve never gone out of my way to check out inspirational romance or books described as “proper romance” because I’m always like–what does that mean? That all other romance is improper? I know that’s not what they are saying, but still.
Our heroine Evangeline Blake is an upper-class woman set adrift after losing her entire family–save one sister–to illness. She is taken from her family estate to the small town of Smeatly by her indifferent aunt who installs her as the new school teacher. On her own for the first time with no teaching experience and still grieving the loss of her family; Evangeline soon forms an unlikely relationship with her neighbor Irishman Dermot McCormick and his young son. Both Evangeline and Dermot are outsiders trying to prove to a town entrenched in poverty and uncertainty that together they can change the town for the better.
Ashes on the Moor is a quaint small town tale that goes pretty much how you would expect. Dermot’s son is presented as being neurodivergent, something that was also in The Wake Up. Is this a common feature in inspirational fiction?
While I was reading up on “proper” or “inspirational” romance, one of the things I learned is that proper romance features feminist elements. The more I thought about Ashes on The Moor, I realized that female empowerment and independence presented in a very broad. The focus is on women going out their own and making lives for themselves in a society where women weren’t leveraged to do that.
Ashes On The Moor is a warm and heartfelt story about found family and the resilience of a community.
Check out the audio review at AudioFile Magazine
Can I just say I like the unique way inspirational romance covers present themselves? Unlike traditional romance, they generally feature period-specific dresses that appear more accurate along with warm colors and detailed backgrounds.