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Roots of Wood and Stone (Sedgwick County Chronicles)

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Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more. Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.


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Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more. Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

30 review for Roots of Wood and Stone (Sedgwick County Chronicles)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    'I stopped talking with God altogether. Either he didn't exist, or his purpose was to gut me like a fish. Whichever it was, I was through.' Reading is one of the absolute joys of my life and when I read a book that just ticks all the boxes and moves me greatly, that brings even greater joy. This is such a book. Amanda Wen has written a stunning debut novel, a time slip that will have you falling in love with all the characters. From the 1800s Annabelle and Jack to current day Sloane and Garrett, n 'I stopped talking with God altogether. Either he didn't exist, or his purpose was to gut me like a fish. Whichever it was, I was through.' Reading is one of the absolute joys of my life and when I read a book that just ticks all the boxes and moves me greatly, that brings even greater joy. This is such a book. Amanda Wen has written a stunning debut novel, a time slip that will have you falling in love with all the characters. From the 1800s Annabelle and Jack to current day Sloane and Garrett, not to mention wonderful secondary characters. Wen has that rare gift of being able to create a character that is very nearly a living, breathing person to her readers. I love it so much when I can connect with characters. Wen drops you right down in that story with them! Her book shows that even present generations can learn from the actions of the past. What I loved, well, one thing I loved, because I loved it all, was how strong the spiritual theme here was. And that theme is: trust God with your plans for your life. First. Don't try to do it yourself. He has the best plans. Extremely well written and resonating with God's grace and love, populated with amazing characters, this one is most definitely for the keeper shelf. It's on my top reads list for 2021! Highly recommended. My thanks to Kregel Publications for an early copy of this book via Net Galley. I received no compensation and the opinion in this review is entirely my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    Full review to come. Fans of Christian fiction, you'll want to order a copy of Amanda Wen's debut. She did such a beautiful job! Full review to come. Fans of Christian fiction, you'll want to order a copy of Amanda Wen's debut. She did such a beautiful job!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Raney

    A duel-timeline novel that strikes the perfect balance of time spent with the historical story and the contemporary. Amanda Wen is a writer to watch. I loved this book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This book was awesome! What a story! Ms. Wen has done a wonderful job with a time slip novel that doesn't miss a beat and really I loved Annabelle's story the best. How wonderful to have a family history like that! This book got me to thinking. Do I want to try again to find my real family or do I just go with God's plan? I've tried once before and failed so that was why I felt like I was Sloane. I really loved these characters and I didn't want this story to end. I clapped when good things happ This book was awesome! What a story! Ms. Wen has done a wonderful job with a time slip novel that doesn't miss a beat and really I loved Annabelle's story the best. How wonderful to have a family history like that! This book got me to thinking. Do I want to try again to find my real family or do I just go with God's plan? I've tried once before and failed so that was why I felt like I was Sloane. I really loved these characters and I didn't want this story to end. I clapped when good things happened in the story and my heart was sad when the bad things in life got my favorite characters. Things that happened in the 1800's really aren't so different than today. But I love how the author reminds us that we can't do things ourselves and that God has a bigger and better plan for us. God's way really is best but sometimes we forget that myself included. This book was so awesome and the cover is just beautiful! Made me want to jump in the picture with Annabelle and Jack. Yes, land, house and loved ones are precious but there is no love that is greater than God's. He is the one who leaves your heart feeling full and satisfied. Without Him we'd be nothing. This is why I loved this story so much and this one will also be added to my 2021 list of favorites at the end of the year. This one spoke to my heart. This one is a gentle reminder of those things that we take for granted. Even in today's world we need God. I highly recommend this book. My thanks for a copy of this book. I was NOT required to write a positive review and all opinions are my own. 5 stars!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Chiavaroli

    From Endorsement: A moving, enchanting story of love and loss. Amanda Wen takes readers on an adventure that weaves past and present together in a beautiful tapestry of skillful storytelling. I was blown away by this book and its timeless message. So well done!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Roots of Wood and Stone is a poignant, warm, debut novel that left me pleasantly surprised...with a mysterious time-slip storyline that leaves ripples in a stream for years to come. I wasn't certain I could read this because I'm suffering from Covid, but the author wrote with such clarity I had no problems at all with comprehension. Amanda Wen is an impressive debut writer, whose future books I am indeed looking forward to! *I received a complimentary copy of this this novel from Kregel Publicati Roots of Wood and Stone is a poignant, warm, debut novel that left me pleasantly surprised...with a mysterious time-slip storyline that leaves ripples in a stream for years to come. I wasn't certain I could read this because I'm suffering from Covid, but the author wrote with such clarity I had no problems at all with comprehension. Amanda Wen is an impressive debut writer, whose future books I am indeed looking forward to! *I received a complimentary copy of this this novel from Kregel Publications via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and I received no compensation.*

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Fabulous debut. I so love novels steeped in the history of the author. This lovely dual-time book is a prime example. Ms. Wen draws on extensive research into her family tree to give us a exceptional story of life, love and lessons learned. It is a fabulous story of Sloane Kelley who is adopted and feels the loss of her own history. She is a curator at a historical museum in Wichita, Kansas when Garrett Anderson brings in an artifact discovered when he was clearing out his grandmother’s attic. L Fabulous debut. I so love novels steeped in the history of the author. This lovely dual-time book is a prime example. Ms. Wen draws on extensive research into her family tree to give us a exceptional story of life, love and lessons learned. It is a fabulous story of Sloane Kelley who is adopted and feels the loss of her own history. She is a curator at a historical museum in Wichita, Kansas when Garrett Anderson brings in an artifact discovered when he was clearing out his grandmother’s attic. Little did Sloane know how God would use an old satchel to answer her longing heart. Garrett is a planner but he has forgotten to enter seeking God into his plans for the future. Together, Sloane and Garrett pour through old diaries and find their life answers. There are a lot of surprises along with laughter and tears. This author knows how to write romance and sizzling kisses! Past and present meld in a fascinating way. And at the root of it all is a lesson both generations of characters learn: we all have worth in God and He can give us more than we deserve or expect. *A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Kregel through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Geaney

    Anyone who appreciates a good time-slip novel or who dabbles in genealogy will relish Amanda Wen's debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone. In the story, museum curator Sloane Kelley feels inextricably drawn to Annabelle Collins (1800s) through the words penned in her diary and the home she once shared with her husband Jack. As Sloane helps the grandchildren of the home's current owner sort through family archives, she discovers a clue to her past. In looking back, she's able to find the courage an Anyone who appreciates a good time-slip novel or who dabbles in genealogy will relish Amanda Wen's debut novel, Roots of Wood and Stone. In the story, museum curator Sloane Kelley feels inextricably drawn to Annabelle Collins (1800s) through the words penned in her diary and the home she once shared with her husband Jack. As Sloane helps the grandchildren of the home's current owner sort through family archives, she discovers a clue to her past. In looking back, she's able to find the courage and the faith to move forward. Providence and adoption are two major themes Wen tackles in her novel. Of the two, providence was the message that resonated most with me. I liked how the author allowed a few of her characters to reflect back on their trials and see how God was working all things for their good. What a great reminder! The theme of adoption does take on a more spiritual element but in the beginning, it's tied closely to feelings of abandonment and unworthiness.  Roots of Wood and Stone is a rich and emotive story about family, faith, and healing. 

  9. 5 out of 5

    Abby Breuklander

    Love love and love this story!! We all have times in life where we wrestle with the questions of who am I? Why am I here? No matter what the details of our stories may be we can be certain that God has woven each and every single piece for a reason. We are not here by accident, there is a specific purpose for every one of us. We may not fit into other people's plans, but we are certainly a part of His. Love love and love this story!! We all have times in life where we wrestle with the questions of who am I? Why am I here? No matter what the details of our stories may be we can be certain that God has woven each and every single piece for a reason. We are not here by accident, there is a specific purpose for every one of us. We may not fit into other people's plans, but we are certainly a part of His.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Scott

    I totally enjoyed this brilliant debut novel by Amanda Wen. I was immediately intrigued by the nineteenth century journal and all the secrets it held! While the heroines were separated by more than a hundred years, both their journeys were incredible and moving. This story also held several surprises I did not see coming. I loved how seamlessly the dual timelines blended to create one amazing book! *I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn S.

    This book sounded like a charming, small-town story of history, research, genealogy, caregiving, and searching for where a body belongs in this world of ours . . . and it delivered all that and so much more. This is a split-time book, and in order for me to really get into it and enjoy it, all the elements of a good story must be present in both time periods . . . in essence, there must be two completed stories in the book, and this book delivered that wonderfully! I enjoyed both parts, although This book sounded like a charming, small-town story of history, research, genealogy, caregiving, and searching for where a body belongs in this world of ours . . . and it delivered all that and so much more. This is a split-time book, and in order for me to really get into it and enjoy it, all the elements of a good story must be present in both time periods . . . in essence, there must be two completed stories in the book, and this book delivered that wonderfully! I enjoyed both parts, although my favourite was the historical view point, which isn't surprising, considering I do tend to read more historical novels than contemporary books. I enjoyed the way the two parts melded into one, and how the history was slowly revealed through the parts. I also enjoyed the surprising discovery of the relatives of Annabelle, even though I was kinda thinking that it would be cool if *that* were the case. In the contemporary parts, you had a researcher, Sloane, who was searching for her roots, trying to figure out where exactly she belonged in the world. Being adopted, she didn't have much information. The emotions she experienced throughout the book, and the emotional issues she dealt with were all so realistic, I could imagine that those who are adopted could actually really relate to her in that way. The way she lit up with each discovery of another piece of the puzzle was so sweet, and I loved the way Amanda Wen brought her to life. She was enthusiastic, sweet, uncertain, and stubborn, but by no means perfect. Garret and Lauren had such a sweet brother/sister relationship. Sure, they argued, but they also admitted they were wrong, hugged each other, talked with each other, had fun with each other . . . their relationship was one of my favourite aspects of the whole story. It is so rare in fiction to see an accurate portrayal of a sibling relationship, and I really, really appreciated it. The way they worked together to care for their grandmother with Alzheimers was really sweet, as well, and I loved the way Garret was always teasing and picking at her, while still being encouraging and not taking it too far. The many comments about her cooking without gluten, sugar, eggs, using paleo ingredients, and his many complaints were hilarious, but the way he was always eating her food and enjoying it was too precious! The relationship between Garret and Sloane was a bit of a downer for me, personally. To start off, they were great. It was a relationship built on working together to figure out the puzzle pieces in history. The wit and sarcasm were perfectly timed, and the the friendship developed slowly, but steadily. In the latter 1/3 of the book, all of a sudden it seemed as if they just became way too intimate way too quickly . . . but it could be me, 'cause I don't really appreciate romance like that. If you do, you may find it sweet. Me? I found it a bit much and there were several scenes that I skimmed through. I didn't like the fact that it was a Christian novel and it seemed throughout the whole book as if they were only Christians because the reader had been told they were, if that makes sense. There was no evidence of being a Christian in their lives, only evidence of good morals. There were several times I was thinking, "Now would be a really good time to stop and pray and ask for God's guidance" but they just plunged on making their own plans anyways. Later in the book, toward the latter 1/8 of the book, Garret *does* realize he's been plunging on ahead without ever thinking about consulting God, and he does make amends . . . so that may have been a deliberate thing Mrs. Wen consciously decided to include/not include. The historical aspect was my favourite. You have a very feisty heroine, Annabelle Collins, who is determined not to be left behind again. She leaves her nice, comfortable life to head west in the wagon and teach young children on the frontier. But she is SO much more than a cliched heroine, and I loved it. To start with, she is faced with severe difficulties and trials. Every time she turns around, something happens, and it all drives her closer to her Lord. As we read through her journals, we were able to watch her grow up, marry, have children, and deal with everything life threw at her, in the best ways. There were so many surprises along the way that it was absolutely lovely to read through! I never saw the end of Sloane's story happening the way it did, and it was pretty neat to see all the ends tied up in a nice, neat package. In conclusion, I'd say that because of some details that are mentioned (abandonment and the reason behind it, kisses I skimmed through, etc.) that this would be a book for adult (18+) readers. *I'm thankful to have received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications through the Read with Audra program. All thoughts are my own.*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Alfveby Crea

    I absolutely love "Roots of Wood and Stone" by Amanda Wen. What an excellent debut novel! History, genealogy, and an excellent story in the past and present are woven together in this exceptional novel. The characters are well-developed, lovable, and I chuckled at their funny banter. I enjoyed every minute of it. I would love to read more about them! I highly recommend Roots of Wood and Stone. Amanda Wen is an author to watch! I absolutely love "Roots of Wood and Stone" by Amanda Wen. What an excellent debut novel! History, genealogy, and an excellent story in the past and present are woven together in this exceptional novel. The characters are well-developed, lovable, and I chuckled at their funny banter. I enjoyed every minute of it. I would love to read more about them! I highly recommend Roots of Wood and Stone. Amanda Wen is an author to watch!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Powner

    If you love inspirational romance, this is a great book for you. I loved both stories in the split time, and especially loved how both heroines were driven by their desire to find belonging. A fun read and a sweet story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Raechel Lenore

    This was a lovely debut novel! I really enjoyed getting to know both Sloane and Garrett of the present day story, and Annabelle and Jack’s story from the late 1800’s. I especially loved how the two timeline stories wove together to create a truly beautiful story. The characters were realistic, and the setting came alive in both parts. “Roots of Wood and Stone” is a rich story full of history and meaning. It was easy to cheer on Sloane as she searches for her own unknown family history. I really a This was a lovely debut novel! I really enjoyed getting to know both Sloane and Garrett of the present day story, and Annabelle and Jack’s story from the late 1800’s. I especially loved how the two timeline stories wove together to create a truly beautiful story. The characters were realistic, and the setting came alive in both parts. “Roots of Wood and Stone” is a rich story full of history and meaning. It was easy to cheer on Sloane as she searches for her own unknown family history. I really appreciated how each of the characters had to come to the end of themselves and then ran into the arms of God. Life is often like that, and our strength can only truly be found in Him. Looking forward to seeing what this author writes next! *I received a copy of this book from the publishers as apart of I Read With Audra Tours. I was not required to write a positive review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Carter

    I love split-time/time-slip fiction. Amanda Wen's debut novel proved to be a wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyable characters with relatable dilemmas—both contemporary and historical. Wen paints a vivid picture of 19th century Kansas pioneers and their 21st century descendants. Well done. Masterfully crafted. I look forward to future books from this fine author. Lisa Carter, Daphne award-winning author of The Stronghold I love split-time/time-slip fiction. Amanda Wen's debut novel proved to be a wonderful read. Thoroughly enjoyable characters with relatable dilemmas—both contemporary and historical. Wen paints a vivid picture of 19th century Kansas pioneers and their 21st century descendants. Well done. Masterfully crafted. I look forward to future books from this fine author. Lisa Carter, Daphne award-winning author of The Stronghold

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    What a beautifully written story! The author did an excellent job of weaving the past with the present. I loved every thing about this book especially the main theme which was to trust God with the plans for your life and how important forgiveness is. I highly recommend this book, it was an excellent read. Thank you Independent Publishers Group and Kregel Publications via NetGalley for the ARC copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mimi

    You know how you feel when you start a book by a new author, right? A bit of trepidation? I'm not alone with that am I? When I agreed to read Roots of Wood and Stone I had the thought of, "what do I do if I don't care for her writing and she's just starting?" Insert a * cringe * face here. Well, well, well, my friends, let me tell you right now, that I had no need to worry. I'm going to start off my review by letting you know that this was a 5 star read for me! I already reached out to Amanda tel You know how you feel when you start a book by a new author, right? A bit of trepidation? I'm not alone with that am I? When I agreed to read Roots of Wood and Stone I had the thought of, "what do I do if I don't care for her writing and she's just starting?" Insert a * cringe * face here. Well, well, well, my friends, let me tell you right now, that I had no need to worry. I'm going to start off my review by letting you know that this was a 5 star read for me! I already reached out to Amanda telling her I knew I wasn't going to be able to put how I feel about this story into adequate words. So, she already knows. HA! With that out of the way, I'm going to give it a go! This is a time-slip novel. We go from the mid 1800s to current day. I'll tell you what, I've fallen in love with this genre! We meet Sloane - a woman who was abandoned at birth on a bus - who has a fascinating job, which leads her to meeting Garrett. Garrett, the guy who's only in town on weekends as he helps his sister go through their grandma's belonging. Sloane seems to have a rather neat and tidy life. She researches and organizes historical items and has a side gig that is rather surprising given her somber life. Garrett has a well planned life. Aside from his grandma's Alzheimer's, his mom's death, and his dad creating a new life with a new family nowhere near them, it's well planned. And then he drops off a diary with Sloane and the ball rolls from there. Let me just say that I love Lauren, Garrett's sister in this story. She's a snarky, little cuss and I think we'd get along splendidly. I think she gets it from her grandma. Lauren has been living with grandma since her health started going downhill. And let's talk about the past. Annabelle. Oh my word, I loved her part of this story so much. Well, her and Jack that is. I'm going to note here so that I'll always remember where to go back to... if you want a romantic scene that will cause you to fan yourself and consider swooning WITHOUT a single touch you'll find it about 1/3 of the way through the story. Someone get me a fan! I love looking back to my own ancestors and seeing how people were connected through this story as well as the legacy to the land and the house just made the story incredibly deep and heartwarming. To read the legacy of Annabelle's family was incredible. I'll have to admit, I welled up with tears, laughed, and got shivers as I read this part of the story. It was wonderful watching Sloane grow and work through her pain of abandonment from her birth mother and always feeling like Plan B to everyone who comes into her life. And then watching Garrett struggle with his plans coming unraveled while he tries to line them all back up was rough. I think I can see a bit of myself in him. I'm not a planner, but I like to have my ducks in a row. I'm telling you, I'm not giving this story its due. There's a lot I CAN'T tell you because it would ruin the story. We can't have that. Let me just say that you won't be disappointed if you read this story! *I received this book for review. This is my opinion.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    "If he stopped, the pain would catch up with him." "She was just a diversion they were forced to deal with. The unexpected wrinkle in their carefully ironed plans." When Garrett Anderson dropped by Sloane Kelley's office to donate an old satchel he'd found while cleaning out his grandmother's house, neither of them knew their lives were about to change. Sloane, annoyed that he assumed the museum would accept any old items with ties to local settlers, tries to give it back. But then the diary tucke "If he stopped, the pain would catch up with him." "She was just a diversion they were forced to deal with. The unexpected wrinkle in their carefully ironed plans." When Garrett Anderson dropped by Sloane Kelley's office to donate an old satchel he'd found while cleaning out his grandmother's house, neither of them knew their lives were about to change. Sloane, annoyed that he assumed the museum would accept any old items with ties to local settlers, tries to give it back. But then the diary tucked inside catches her attention, and the adventure begins. Sloane preserves history because she doesn't know her own. Abandoned as an infant, she's always sought answers to her roots. Websites devoted to helping connect adoptees with their birth parents haven't yielded any clues as to why her mother might have left her on a bus that spring morning thirty years ago. Garrett is a frazzled financial planner trying to get things squared away for the long-term care of his grandmother, who is slipping away more and more with dementia. While his sister has given up much to care for Grandma, it's getting to be more than Lauren can handle. As the numbers guy, Garrett realizes that they are going to need to sell Grandma's house in order to afford her care, but it's hard to get the place ready to sell when it's been in his family for generations. The discovery of Annabelle Collins's diaries brings delight to the heavy task of cleaning out Grandma's house. Annabelle, a nineteenth century pioneer, started recording her thoughts as a 9-year-old left at her aunt's house while her father went off to fight in the Civil War. The diaries trace Annabelle's life through her journey west, her marriage, motherhood, and beyond. Annabelle's story draws Garrett and Sloane together, and some of the very truths they seek may be found within those yellowed pages. I loved so much about this story. The themes are sweet and relatable—family, difficult decisions, seeking answers to questions which may never be answered. Amanda Wen brings the Wichita, Kansas, setting vividly to life, both in the contemporary and historical settings. All the characters are well-rounded, the romances will make your toes tingle, and the faith element will stir a desire to connect with God more fully yourself. An extremely well-done debut—I will be watching for more from this author! I received my copy of the book from Read With Audra. All thoughts in this review are my own. This review originated at http://reviewsbyerin.dreamwidth.org

  19. 5 out of 5

    Connie Saunders

    This is an amazing book on so many levels. It is Amanda Wen's debut novel but it appears to have been written by a seasoned author. Roots of Wood and Stone is a split-time story that tells of two young women divided by 150 years and Wen has beautifully laced their stories together until it's easy to forget which one you're reading. Sloane Kelley's love of historic preservation puts her in possession of the diaries of Annabelle Collins and, from the first 1861 entry, Annabelle proves to be an ama This is an amazing book on so many levels. It is Amanda Wen's debut novel but it appears to have been written by a seasoned author. Roots of Wood and Stone is a split-time story that tells of two young women divided by 150 years and Wen has beautifully laced their stories together until it's easy to forget which one you're reading. Sloane Kelley's love of historic preservation puts her in possession of the diaries of Annabelle Collins and, from the first 1861 entry, Annabelle proves to be an amazing young girl and woman who knew joy and grief but never failed to credit God's presence in her life. These entries inspire Sloane as she searches for love, acceptance, and connections to her own heritage. I was very moved by her assertion that she was "Plan B"; that she was always "Unwanted. Unloved. Not Enough". Watching her find God's presence and her own self-acceptance was a true joy! Garrett Anderson has his own struggles with honoring the past while moving toward the future and Sloane proves to be a major player with his decisions. Will she convince him to save his grandmother's home from destruction, thus preserving the house where Annabelle once lived? Is Annabelle Collins's legacy connecting them? Wen has crafted amazing characters, realistic situations, and two beautiful relationships. One, a love story that ended much too soon and the other, a special friendship that could turn into so much more. Roots of Wood and Stone will make you smile and it may make you cry but it is never depressing...instead, it is a story of hope, joy, and faith. It is also a reminder to treasure your past as you navigate your present and future! This is a book that will surely be nominated for awards and I am so looking forward to more Sedgwick County Chronicles! I received a copy of this book from Kregel. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews

    The first line in the author's notes sums up this book beautifully: "Family is at the heart of this book."  I honestly loved this book. It was the perfect book at the right time and I enjoyed every written word. I think one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most was the genealogical hunt for Annabelle Collin's descendants and also Sloane's history since she had no idea who her blood relatives were since she was adopted. I really enjoyed the diary aspect that shared Anna's life in the 1800s and how The first line in the author's notes sums up this book beautifully: "Family is at the heart of this book."  I honestly loved this book. It was the perfect book at the right time and I enjoyed every written word. I think one of the aspects that I enjoyed the most was the genealogical hunt for Annabelle Collin's descendants and also Sloane's history since she had no idea who her blood relatives were since she was adopted. I really enjoyed the diary aspect that shared Anna's life in the 1800s and how she came to live in Kansas and what it was like for her. We saw her fall in love, have children, lose family, and so much more. Jumping to the present, we have Sloane and Garrett. Neither necessarily looking for their soulmate but ultimately finding it within each other. Not that the road was easy, there were quite a few bumps. But the journey was enticing and they definitely bonded over Annabelle's journals. It was like a treasure each time they found one and I enjoyed how both really enjoyed finding out more about this woman. But don't go into reading this book thinking it is all sunshine and roses. There are bumps, heavier topics, and a few major twists that pulled me even further into the story. The supporting cast of characters includes Garrett's sister, Leah, and their grandmother. Grandma is a hoot despite her Alzheimers. There are a few "evil" types of characters that add even more dimension to the story. While this book jumps between the past and the present, it is done seamlessly. I couldn't ask for a better transition between the time periods. If you are looking for a book about family, history, faith, and love, then look no further. A wonderful debut novel and we give it 5 paws up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    June Jacobs

    A powerful split-time family story filled with faith, love, and emotion . . . This complex and well-crafted story features two strong women, present-day Sloane Kelley and twentieth-century Annabelle Collins. It turns out the women have a lot in common, and yet the two are unique in their life experiences and personalities. The amount of historical detail introduced by the author is astonishing, and yet each piece of information works together with the others to build a strong foundation for the A powerful split-time family story filled with faith, love, and emotion . . . This complex and well-crafted story features two strong women, present-day Sloane Kelley and twentieth-century Annabelle Collins. It turns out the women have a lot in common, and yet the two are unique in their life experiences and personalities. The amount of historical detail introduced by the author is astonishing, and yet each piece of information works together with the others to build a strong foundation for the contemporary and historical plot lines of this book. The characters and settings are well-developed and varied and are presented in such a way as to keep the reader's interest throughout the story. I love historic homes, so the family home featured in this book was of great interest to me. I lived in Kansas for a few years as a young child, so I had a connection with the climate and prairie landscape presented in the story. The faith thread is strong throughout this book, and I was inspired by the varying relationships the characters had with God and how they followed His teachings in their own lives. The characters discussed their faith and the challenges along life's journey in a realistic and candid fashion. I read a lot of Christian historical fiction, and Amanda Wen's debut is among my favorite books of all-time for this genre. I literally did not want the story to end . . . I highly recommend this book for fans of Christian/clean historical fiction, fans of Christian/clean romance, and fans of Christian/clean family sagas. This book is completely clean in language and content. I received a paperback copy of this book from the Kregel Publications through I Read With Audra Blog Tours. All opinions expressed are solely my own. ###############

  22. 4 out of 5

    Create With Joy

    Do you enjoy discovering new novelists and new series? Are you ready to get lost in a really beautiful story that’s rooted in both the present day and the past? If so, then Amanda Wen’s debut novel, Roots Of Wood And Stone, the first book in the Sedgwick County Chronicles, will be right up your alley! This split-time story introduces us to Sloane Kelley – a museum curator who was abandoned at birth and wants more than anything to discover her family roots – and Garrett Anderson, a guy who is doin Do you enjoy discovering new novelists and new series? Are you ready to get lost in a really beautiful story that’s rooted in both the present day and the past? If so, then Amanda Wen’s debut novel, Roots Of Wood And Stone, the first book in the Sedgwick County Chronicles, will be right up your alley! This split-time story introduces us to Sloane Kelley – a museum curator who was abandoned at birth and wants more than anything to discover her family roots – and Garrett Anderson, a guy who is doing his best to care for his grandmother and fund her medical care in any way that he can. Sloane and Garrett’s lives become unexpectedly intertwined when Garrett drops off a dusty old satchel containing a nineteenth-century diary and Sloane begins to dig into the diary’s past. Roots Of Wood And Stone is beautifully written and filled with so many themes that speak to the human experience… love, loss and longing… our search for identity and our place in this world… the fragility of life…our responsibility to those we love… and the faithfulness and providential care of our great God. It’s a perfect choice for readers who like elements of multiple genres in their books. If you are looking for a heartwarming story to curl up with, then Roots Of Wood And Stone is your book! This excerpt is taken from the original review that is published on my blog. (February 2021 Giveaway Opportunity posted there too!) To read my review in its entirety, please visit Create With Joy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    There are so many God Things in the book, they give heart tugs, and thus it became a page turner. I'll say I "loved this book", yes, all of it. We flash to the eighteen hundreds and back again, and all the while you become very involved in what is Annabelle's story, and then present day dealing with the challenges life presents. We are given a brother and sister, having recently losing their mother, are not cleaning out and taking care of their grandmother. She lives in the family homestead, but There are so many God Things in the book, they give heart tugs, and thus it became a page turner. I'll say I "loved this book", yes, all of it. We flash to the eighteen hundreds and back again, and all the while you become very involved in what is Annabelle's story, and then present day dealing with the challenges life presents. We are given a brother and sister, having recently losing their mother, are not cleaning out and taking care of their grandmother. She lives in the family homestead, but is deep into alzheimer's and they know the time is coming and hard decisions have to be made. We also meet Sloane Kelley, a young woman who has always felt she doesn't belong, but is working at the Historical Museum, when a dusty satchel is dropped off. In this bag is a diary that is about to change everyone's life, and we are about to be drawn into the Collin's Family, and I didn't want to leave. This book is rich is love and history, a bit of sweet romance, both in the past and present, and a deep love of God! I received this book through the Publisher Kregel and Read With Audra Blog Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cover Lover Book Review

    I love time-slip novels! There is something so special about watching two parts of a story from two different time periods become stitched together into a single beautiful tapestry. Roots of Wood and Stone is a Christian time-slip stitched with threads of love, loss, hope, faith, and restoration. It is difficult to stop reading at the end of each chapter. There is no lull in these pages, the story pulled me in quickly. It is easy to connect with Sloane and Garrett (the contemporary side) and An I love time-slip novels! There is something so special about watching two parts of a story from two different time periods become stitched together into a single beautiful tapestry. Roots of Wood and Stone is a Christian time-slip stitched with threads of love, loss, hope, faith, and restoration. It is difficult to stop reading at the end of each chapter. There is no lull in these pages, the story pulled me in quickly. It is easy to connect with Sloane and Garrett (the contemporary side) and Annabelle and Jack (the historical side.) They are smartly crafted characters that feel real. I was intrigued by their mysteries and fascinated by their histories. A heartwarming and satisfying read. Amanda Wen’s writing style is engaging, and the story is heartwarming and satisfying. I look forward to reading more from this debut author. Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hallie Szott

    4.5 What a delightfully captivating story. Not knowing her own history, curator Sloane Kelly spends her days wrapped up in uncovering and understanding the histories of others. A donated nineteenth-century diary piques her interest, and she determines to find out more about Annabelle Collins. This, of course, leads her to a historic farmhouse—and Garrett Anderson. Neither Sloane nor Garrett expect the story that unfolds in Amanda Wen’s Roots of Wood and Stone, but rich in family, love, and belongin 4.5 What a delightfully captivating story. Not knowing her own history, curator Sloane Kelly spends her days wrapped up in uncovering and understanding the histories of others. A donated nineteenth-century diary piques her interest, and she determines to find out more about Annabelle Collins. This, of course, leads her to a historic farmhouse—and Garrett Anderson. Neither Sloane nor Garrett expect the story that unfolds in Amanda Wen’s Roots of Wood and Stone, but rich in family, love, and belonging, connecting the past with the present, it proves to be exactly what they both need. I so enjoy this type of timeslip story, and Wen writes with such heart that I could not help feeling all the emotions of it. I cannot recommend this book enough—read it. This review is also posted on Hallie Reads. I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lifeofliterature

    Amanda Wen is definitely an author to watch! I greatly enjoyed her debut novel as she brings history to life amid the pages and ties in the past to the present during the split-time story. The author handles the topic of adoption well and also incorporates the theme of God working everything out for good seamlessly in the story. The plot drew me in with its rich telling of love and loss. There are a few twists that I did not predict which further made the novel engaging. I highly recommend this Amanda Wen is definitely an author to watch! I greatly enjoyed her debut novel as she brings history to life amid the pages and ties in the past to the present during the split-time story. The author handles the topic of adoption well and also incorporates the theme of God working everything out for good seamlessly in the story. The plot drew me in with its rich telling of love and loss. There are a few twists that I did not predict which further made the novel engaging. I highly recommend this book and look forward to more by this author! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Winfield

    This was the first book I read by this author and I could not put the book down. I loved this story. I am really getting to like these stories that have a story within a story. This was very emotional and inspirational. I loved that the past and the present intertwined. Sloan and Annabelle learned a lot of things about their life. This made me feel great in the end. I received a copy of this book from Read with Audra for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becca-Rae Weidel

    If I didn't already know that this was Amanda Wen's debut novel before opening up to read, I never would have believed it. This was an incredible novel that sucked me in right from the beginning and held me captive until the very end. The characters were well developed and were each unique in their own ways to truly make them come to life throughout the pages. I liked that their personalities and reactions to life's stressors were not all the same and that they really had to get to know each othe If I didn't already know that this was Amanda Wen's debut novel before opening up to read, I never would have believed it. This was an incredible novel that sucked me in right from the beginning and held me captive until the very end. The characters were well developed and were each unique in their own ways to truly make them come to life throughout the pages. I liked that their personalities and reactions to life's stressors were not all the same and that they really had to get to know each other on deep levels in order to be able to speak each other's love languages--and in more ways than just romance. The relationships felt real, with all of the ups and downs that come with them. In a world that's currently upside down with many currently starving for connection, it certainly made that theme stick out even more than it might have if I'd read it a year ago. This story tackles some tough topics like adoption, loss of loved ones, Alzheimer's, abandonment, and more. It's not sugar coated. Instead of allowing the characters to move past the tough stuff, the author makes them go through it, so that they are better able to see the Lord at work in their lives the more they grow and mature through life's hardships. For me, I want to feel something when I read, and this one certainly had a whole lot of feels. It didn't take long for my heart to connect with the characters, but it's not so easy for me to let them go now that I've closed the back cover. I'm thrilled that there will be more coming in this series, and cannot wait to read more from this author. I highly recommend having some tissues handy, but this one is absolutely worth the read. *I received a copy of this book through I Read With Audra Book Tours. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)

    Oh y’all. This book. I smiled. i laughed. I swooned. I cried (even sweet-reason ugly-cried at one point). I actually gasped out loud a time or two. It gently embraced some sore places in my heart and healed them a little too. And I drank in every word from beginning to end in one sitting, unable to put it down until the end – and then immediately regretted that my time with these characters & this story was finished for now. Sloane and Garrett – and their respective journeys – are relatable and e Oh y’all. This book. I smiled. i laughed. I swooned. I cried (even sweet-reason ugly-cried at one point). I actually gasped out loud a time or two. It gently embraced some sore places in my heart and healed them a little too. And I drank in every word from beginning to end in one sitting, unable to put it down until the end – and then immediately regretted that my time with these characters & this story was finished for now. Sloane and Garrett – and their respective journeys – are relatable and easily loved. Readers will adore them as individual characters but even more so together, as their friendship develops and begins to shift into something more romantic. I also found so poignant the juxtaposition of Sloane longing to discover where she came from even as Garrett struggles to preserve what he can of his own family history while also trying to do what’s best for his grandmother (more on that in a moment). As far as the historical thread, Annabelle’s story is so captivating and Jack is quite yummy. He’s the cause of most of my swoons in Roots of Wood and Stone – and some of my tears too. Sloane & Garrett both become so invested in unearthing Annabelle’s story that it’s difficult for me to separate the story threads for review purposes. Instead, the author seamlessly weaves the past & present together in such tender and beautiful ways that you really can’t have one storyline without the other. As much as I loved solving the mystery of Annabelle along with Sloane and Garrett and watching them fall in love, I wanted to touch on the two elements to Roots of Wood and Stone that really set this novel apart for me. Garrett’s grandmother has Alzheimer’s, and typically I steer away from stories with this as a plot because of how deeply my family’s life has been touched by this horrible disease. Both of my own grandmothers (whom I was very close to) suffered from it. Watching Garrett and his sister interact with their grandmother touched a part of my heart that I’ve basically avoided since my grandmothers’ deaths. One scene in particular between Garrett and his grandmother and hymns had me sobbing with sweet memories of similar scenes with my own grandmothers, and I know this sounds odd but it was just such a soothing release, a release I didn’t know I needed. The mix of absolute tenderness and realism with which the author depicted Alzheimer’s Disease is one of the most accurate & honoring portrayals I’ve read in a novel. I’m so glad I decided to read it anyway! The other element that I connected so strongly to is the theme of researching family history, of knowing where you came from and who helped shape you into who you are. My grandfather was a family history buff and nurtured that same bug in me, and I have had such fun over the years digging into my family tree and unearthing the stories that go with the names. This quote from the book is one I’ll include in my research materials, as a reminder of why I’m so passionate about genealogy work: “A few names get all the attention, but the ones who don’t show up in the textbooks are just as important. We owe it to them to learn their stories. Sometimes it helps fill in our own blanks.” Bottom Line: Roots of Wood and Stone is a phenomenal, touching debut that will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Wen delivers a tender message of hope and restoration, while never overwhelming the story with preachiness or cliches. Tough situations and justified emotions are handled with grace, wisdom, and aptly-placed moments of joy and love. The past and present combine organically in this story that’s full of romance, family, and faith, and it has a firmly-secured spot on my top reads list for 2021! Very much looking forward to more time with these characters in future books. (I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book) first seen at ReadingIsMySuperPower

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen Back of the Book: “This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more. Garrett Anderson just w Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen Back of the Book: “This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary. Now she's on the hunt to find out more. Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane. A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined. This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations” Impressions: The author did a lovely job with this dual timeline of historical and contemporary romance. Going between the stories was smooth in transitions and each part was appropriately spaced so as not to get lost jumping from one person to the next. Rated: Kissing Liked: I liked the author's personal history that went into this book. I’ve always wanted to know more about my family history and this re-sparked my own interest. Disliked: I don’t always like a happy ending. What I mean is when everything in the book ends up nice and tidy with a bow on top just to give a conclusion, it ruins the story for me. The ending wasn’t rushed but it did have all loose ends tied up to make for a nice neat ending. I think Sloane’s romance at the end could have been vaguer to give something to the imagination. Quotes: “To this hard, wonderful adventure of a life. The Lord had indeed wrought beauty from her life’s most bitter moments.” – The more I grow, the more I see God working in my life’s ups and downs and I could relate to this statement. “The Lord broke his silence. If there ever was a silence. Maybe it’s that I finally stopped shouting at him and started listening.” – Have you ever felt this way? I know I have. It’s like when a child throws a tantrum and the parent is there the whole time trying to help calm the situation. Once the child looks up and realizes they are ok and you are there they calm down and you can work through the situation. I think I am like this with God. I get so worked up in my mind and start spewing out my frustration in my actions and words without going to God. It’s not until I go to God that I realize that he was there the whole time waiting for me. Did I just compare myself to my children’s tantrums… yes. “But the Lord himself promised there’d be trouble. Life is hard.” – truth drop I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review shared here.

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