Book Reviews: All About Arrangements
November 19, 2015
The Book: Indignities: The Arrangement
The Authors: N. E. Brown
The Story: The epic journey of Catherine Merit Matthews continues in N. E. Brown’s fifth book of her Galveston, 1900, Indignities series. Twenty-six year old Catherine Merit Matthews is beautiful, confident, newly married, and mother to four children. Although life appears to be perfect, old memories and scars from the past continue to haunt her. Her new husband, Trent Matthews, knows she is hiding shocking secrets from her past, and is greatly concerned now that she is pregnant with their first biological child.
Coping with the everyday struggles of life in the early 1900’s is not easy, especially since Trent’s job as an oil scout causes him to travel often gone weeks at a time. Catherine, the only doctor in the small town of Rosenberg, hires a French couple to assist in caring for her family. But all is not as it should be.
Without warning, two trusted friends turn their backs on Catherine’s family and even her husband cannot protect her from these unscrupulous people. Three months after their son is born, a tragedy surfaces when he is taken during the night while she and Trent are celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Galveston. As Trent joins forces with the Texas Rangers in the pursuit of their son, it cracks open a vast baby-selling scheme that will impact the lives of many people. Catherine’s faith is sorely tested. Will she find her baby? Alive?
The reader of N. E. Brown’s latest novel, The Arrangment, book five of her Galveston:1900 Indignities Series, will again fall in love with Catherine Matthews. She has graduated from Galveston Medical School and has moved to Rosenberg, Texas, with her husband Trent and her children from a previous marriage.
The two lovers have begun a new life, the kind that Catherine has always dreamed of having – a home filled with love and laughter. Both are excited as they await the birth of their first child.
In addition to living in a family-centered neighborhood, they are privileged in that they are able to afford a maid/nurse/baby sitter as well as a French cook named Martin Boudreaux. Their lives appear perfect. But appearances can be deceptive. Just when everything is going well, tragedy strikes. Someone kidnaps their three-month-old son.
The stress of not knowing how to cope with the loss of the baby takes its toll on their marriage, but Catherine’s faith is strong as she and Trent, along with the judicial authorities, try to locate their son and try to mete out justice on the culprit(s) responsible for such a dastardly deed.
Just as Catherine and Trent are unable to rest, the reader, too, will be unable to sleep or carry on a normal routine until the last word on the last page has been read.
The Book: An Unlikely Arrangement
The Author: Patty Wiseman
The Story: Young and rebellious, Ruth Squire defied her parents to live the high life of young people in 1929 Detroit. Handsome and responsible, Peter Kirby worked diligently to make his family’s life easier.
Rich and powerful, Eric Horton held the fates of many families in his hands. These three lives intertwine through the differing worlds of high society, middle-class life, and organized crime, culminating in an engagement, a kidnapping, a misunderstanding … … and a murder.
Patty Wiseman is a skillful writer, one who keeps the reader on the edge of her seat. There were many twists in this book.
An Unlikely Arrangement centers around Ruth Squire, an only child who has been spoiled by her parents. She is a mischievous seventeen-year-old who at the beginning of the story is locked in her room as punishment for one of her pranks.
She rebels against her parents. She does not know why her mother treats her so harshly, but just when she does begin to understand, her world is turned upside down.
A kidnapping, two murders follow before Ruth can refocus. The ending leaves the reader wanting more.