Book Review: Kelly's Chance (Brides of Lehigh Canal #1) by Wanda E. Brunsletter

Life for Kelly McGregor is a daily drudge of driving her overbearing father’s mules along Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Canal. She dreams of one day owning an art gallery where her own drawings and paintings are on display. But these dreams don’t include marriage. . .not after seeing what her father has done to her mother. How then can Mike Cooper, a general store owner, make her realize he is different than her father and wants to support her artistic talent? Will Kelly learn that dreams can walk hand in hand with a love created by God?
Release Date:  January 1, 2010
Publisher:  Barbour Publishing
Age Group:  Adult Christian Fiction
Pages: 224
Source: NetGalley 
I like to mix up my paranormal, YA, mystery, and historical fiction books with some Christian fiction from time to time.  When I saw Kelly's Chance on NetGalley, I thought it sounded like the perfect foil for my heavier reads of late.  I was right.   

Kelly's Chance was the epitome of Christian romance: an unassuming heroine, a young man in search of a Christian wife, and their journey from casual acquaintances to something more.  The feelings between the two were tender and well-described.  This book is extremely clean and appropriate for any age group.

One thing I want to say is that it took me forever to figure out what Kelly's actual job was on the canal.  This may be due to the fact that I was reading at night when I was super tired.  There was probably a good explanation that I either missed or forgot.  Anyway, this is how I understood it: Kelly walks the mules on the canal bank.  The mules are tethered to the boat and pull it down the canal.

Kelly's father hauls coal up and down the canal and Kelly's job is to drive the mules up and down the towpath all day.  She loves to draw, but has no supplies so she has to use old pieces of coal from the fire and scraps of paper.  Kelly dreams of painting with real paints and opening her own art gallery.  The problem is that her father forces her to work for free so she has no money of her own, and no means of getting out of her situation.  Much of the book focuses on Kelly's dream and her hopes for the future.

I would recommend Kelly's Chance to fans of historical and Christian fiction.  It was a very sweet, clean feel-good story.

Just One Gripe: 
No gripes about this one.

The Best Thing About This Book: 
I just love a good happily ever after, and I got one here!

Appropriate for a younger audience: 

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Setting/Imagery: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Total Score:  17/25


  1. Coming from CEP!

    I'm a Christian but I'm always afraid to read Christian fiction because I'm always afraid that it is hokey and corny and not well written! This sounds interesting though! Any other suggestions for good Christian fiction?

  2. I think Christian fiction often has a bad rep for being too sugary-sweet, but I'm glad to hear that this one was so well done. Great review! I'm adding this to my TBR pile for sure! :)

  3. @ Jamie---I have read some excellent Christian fiction that is not at all corny, then I have read Christian fiction that is pretty hokey. Take a look at my Christian Fiction reviews under posts by category. I've listed my recent reads + all time favorites. Anything by Francine Rivers or Liz Curtis Higgs is excellent!

  4. I've read very little Christian Fiction, but this sounds like it would be pretty cute... the kind of thing that makes me wish a parallel of it would play out for me sometime, lol!

  5. Nice review. Might look into this one. Happy endings are always nice. :) CEP
    Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

  6. Sounds good.

    I like to mix it up too :)


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