The Artisan’s Wife, by Judith Miller, is the third book in the Refined by Love series. This is a wonderful stand-alone story, even if one has not read the first two novels. It touches on many of the social issues of its setting, West Virginia 1876, such as women’s roles in business and the treatment of those with mental disorders.
Ainslee McKay is shocked and devastated when her twin sister secretly elopes, leaving her to go to Weston, West Virginia to fulfill their obligation to run the family’s new tile works alone. Nervous even with her brother’s temporary presence, she agrees only with the stipulation that the business be sold as soon as possible. Levi Judson arrives to apply for a job, bringing designs for new decorative tiles, and Ainslee is fascinated by his talent and ideas for expanding the business. When she discovers that Judson has a brother in the local insane asylum, a new approach to treating those with mental issues, she is unsure about how to proceed.
I enjoyed this book very much. Ainslee’s hesitation to take charge of a business and to deal with those with mental issues is something people can relate to even today. I especially enjoyed Mrs. Brighton, the cheerful owner of the boarding house.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian historical fiction.
I received this book free from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.