The Brickmaker’s Bride by Judith Miller

As seen on:

ISBN: 9780784212550

About the book: Yearning for a fresh start, Ewan McKay travels with his aunt and uncle from northern Scotland to West Virginia, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial assistance from his uncle Hugh. Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, but it’s Ewan who gets the business up and running again. Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner’s daughter, and he feels a connection with her, but she’s being courted by another man—a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Besides, Ewan has resolved he’ll focus on making the brickmaking operation enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Scotland.
But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan’s hard work may come to naught. As his plans begin to crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. She and her mother may have a way to save the brickworks, and in turn Ewan may have another shot at winning Laura’s heart.
My thoughts: I found The Brickmaker’s Bride interesting in its treatment of Scotch-Irish immigrants and their treatment by society and the general populace during this post Civil-War period.  The story features Ewan, a Scotch-Irish immigrant who had been brought to America by his Uncle Hugh for the sole purpose of purchasing and operating a brick making refinery.

Judith Miller created a complexity of characters for this story. Margaret the brash, rude, and frankly unbelievable wife of Uncle Hugh. Ewan who is a noble man in character, kind, patient, hard working, and knowledgeable about business and the workings of the brick factory. Winston, the banker is courting the leading lady, Laura, and he is a snob, a political wanna-be, and a general clout. And of course, Laura’s mother who is gracious, generous, and kind.

At times during the reading, I grew weary of the characters and their behavior; but as the story progressed, I enjoyed it and grew to appreciate the detail Judith Miller had taken to create their individual temperaments and behaviors.

The story ends rather abruptly and I would have liked to have had some more details fleshed out or resolved. But perhaps the author is planning on revealing those in a subsequent book. We shall look forward to that possibility.


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