Sunday, May 12, 2013

Book Review: When Love Calls by Lorna Seilstad

When Love Calls

By Lorna Seilstad
Historical romance
Revel, a division of Baker Publishing Group
May 2013
ISBN 9780800721817
Paper: 14.99

From the publisher:

Hannah Gregory is a good many things, but that list does not include following rules. So when she must apply for a job as a switchboard operator to support her two sisters, she knows it won’t be easy. Hello Girls must conduct themselves according to strict and often bewildering rules, which include absolutely no consorting with gentlemen while in training. 

With historical details that bring to life the exciting first decade of the twentieth century, Lorna Seilstad weaves a charming tale of companionship that blossoms into sweet romance.


I enjoy Lorna’s stories. So far they’ve made the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth-century era come alive in America’s heartland—Iowa.

In this new book, When Love Calls, from the Gregory Sisters series, Seilstad explores the world of switchboard operators on the telephone exchange. I was especially interested since I had written about a similar character. Readers who enjoy history, particularly the plight of working women in the early twentieth century, will find much to appreciate about the depth of detail the author uses to effectively create dilemma for her wonderfully multi-layered characters.

Romances don’t leave much to the imagination, but the journey to the church aisle is often entertaining. From the moment attorney Lincoln Cole shows up at the recently orphaned Gregory girls’ farm to foreclose, the reader knows Hannah is in for a fight for her heart. Having given up law school in order to find work, independent and feisty Hannah sees an advertisement for switchboard operators, or Hello Girls, for the Iowa exchange, and applies for a highly-coveted training position. Not even the dire warning that less than half of them will graduate and only a handful will succeed on the switchboard, Hannah excels in the course, making friends and enemies along the way. Too practical to realize a farm neighbor has been harboring a secret crush, Hannah worries but ignores his warnings about the unrest caused by local union activities for laborer’s rights.

Lincoln Cole, son of a senator, is pushed toward his late father’s political aspirations. Those plans include associating with the right type of people and marriage with the right kind of society woman, not a common switchboard operator who associates with criminals. Lincoln realizes there is more to life when he meets Hannah and her younger sisters, a teenage potential hoyden, and the youngest, a dreamy schoolgirl who’s willing to help him plot Hannah’s romantic downfall.

When Love Calls hit nice highs and lows for all characters during this time of change, of unrest and uncertainty. Told from multiple viewpoints, the story shows what family devotion, faith, love, and respect should look like.

Available May 2013 at your favorite book seller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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