Cassie Hendrick was the oldest daughter, but her parents both favored her younger sister, Margaret and didn’t care who knew it. One fateful day, Cassie happened to be accompanying her father when he stopped to talk with a business associate, Josiah Stearns. Cassie, growing bored of waiting in the cab, climbed out and approached her father, essentially inviting Josiah for tea. But her father suffered a stroke, and within a matter of days, died.
Cassie is stunned when Josiah appears and requests her hand in marriage. Her mother tries to refuse, instead insisting that Margaret would be the better choice, the prettier one, the lady, while Cassie is just…nothing. Nothing, but Cassie. But Josiah won’t be swayed. And soon, Cassie finds herself married to Josiah.
But marriage, even with all its benefits, doesn’t bring Cassie what she needs or wants most—happiness or forgiveness. And even though her husband is prosperous, and adoring, Cassie must learn her lessons on her own. What will it take to bring her heart peace?
A Gathering of Finches is the newest book by Jane Kirkpatrick. I’ve read most of her books thus far, and am looking forward to reading many more. Rich in description, I could see the setting, taste the food, and hear the surrounding noises, including the harshness of Cassie’s talking bird.
Written in first person, it was easy to get to know Cassie, and I couldn’t help but feel her pain as her father basically supports her worthlessness in his eyes with his dying words. I hoped that Josiah’s love would help Cassie to realize that she does have worth, and she does deserve to have happiness. Based on a true story, a fascinating letter by the author (at the end of the book) gives dates, and tells the rest of the story. I highly recommend reading that portion of the book after finishing the novel. Previously published in 1997, this is a reprint.