Honestly, these weren't the best books or even great books. After I read the first I wasn't sure I was going to read the second but I did. The first book is about a girl named Jessie who loves photography. She gets a job in a studio, 1907, and proves that a woman can make her way in the mans profession. But she has a hard time controlling her passionate emotions when it comes to her married boss. I think that I just didn't like the premise of this story. But there is struggle with right and wrong and letting God lead. "Faith, hope and love are the three eternities. To look up and not down, that is Faith; to look forward and not back, that is Hope; and then to look out and not in, that is Love." None of these are easy but I like the simplicity of the statement. Looking up to God and not our circumstances, is having faith. Being able to put the past behind and press on is having hope. And serving others and looking to others interest is love in its purest form. "Kindness and compassion, sturdiness in a storm. These are the qualities that truly marked a man." I love the "sturdiness in a storm". That is what husbands should be to their wives, the one place you can count on for peace when the rest of the world is swirling around you.
The second book Jessie has gained confidence in her photography skills and moves from home to help other photographers in their studios. She hope to put her romantic feelings behind her and pursue her dream. But it seems no matter how far she travels she can not forget her forbidden love. I did not like the way that this book ended. I'm not even sure I would recommend these books. The one thing I did like was the way Jessie pursued her dream even when she was told it was not a woman's place. She never let anyone deter her from her passion no matter how hard the road. "Suzanne was bound by the desire all have when faced with grave emptiness: the yearning to keep the old routines, hoping they might wash away despair. And yet they couldn't because something-everything-had changed." When someone we love is taken from our lives we want to keep the same routine to nothing will change but like this says, everything has changed and so we must change with it. "Memories aren't supposed to hold us hostage. They're meant to transform us, make us different, but in a good way. When someone is missing from our lives, I think the memories of them ought to bring us comfort, a hopefulness that even though they're gone, we have them here. We will know them in ways no one else ever will, so they stay a part of our lives." Memories are supposed to be a good thing, even of one who is not longer with us. They should bring joy of the time that we had with them. "I only meant that it is part of human nature to grieve, and that, at some point, as God sustains us and we hear His words, we are able to move forward. Never forgetting the loss-no, not ever that-but not allowing that absence in our lives to be so great that we no longer see the sunlight for its warmth, or fail to notice snowflakes or forget to listen to the laughter of our children who still walk this earth, who can still put their arms around our necks, seeking comfort." I think sometimes when we lose someone we love we forget to go on living. God says that their is a time to grieve and a time for joy. Yes, there is a grieving period but then there is a time to move on and get on with living, never forgetting but remembering all that one still has to live for. "How could a man reclaim his future when the past held such sway?" If we don't let go of the past we can never look to the future. Our past holds us back from who God wants us to be.