The Covered Deep
Worthy Publishing, Oct 14 2014, $14.99
In 1877, Bianca Marshal fears she is doomed to be a spinster as the book she reads claims women between eighteen and twenty-four years old have a 52% chance of marriage; twenty-five to thirty the odds drop to 18%. Bianca is about to turn twenty-five and realizes her prospects of finding a husband who meets her seven criterion in Portsmouth, Ohio are much less than what the book states.
When she wins a contest that includes a trip to the Holy Land, Bianca’s mood dramatically improves as she believes Jesus steers her towards her soul mate. At the London home of her host, Sir Adrian Hartwith, Bianca meets another contest winner British historian Paul Emerson; both immediately feel they met their life-mate. They have fun in the city together before they journey to the Holy Land. All seems perfect until Paul confesses his sins to his beloved Bianca; she eliminates him as a husband due to his violation of her number one consideration.
This is an entertaining Christian historical romance based on the premise that a deep faith in Jesus includes forgiving sinners as "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." The 1870s in the Holy Land is vividly described to armchair readers delight and the stopover in London amusing. Although rigidly religiously moralistic Bianca’s desperation for a husband seems to contradict her belief in the Lord (though I may be committing historiographical sin by bringing twenty-first century values to the late nineteenth century), fans will want the heroine to learn in time Alexander Pope’s admonition: “to err is human; to forgive, divine.”