The Carousel Painter

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There are many ways to relax, drinking tea, reading a book, writing, sitting outside…I love browsing the shelves at my library. Just walking and seeing hundreds of books, to me is very fun and interesting. I never know what I am going to find.

Though you are not supposed to judge a book by the cover, or in this case, the spine of the book. If the spine has bright colors or a unique font, chances are, I’m going to stop and look at it or check it out if it sounds good.

Some of those finds were fails and some were good. I have a “rule” when I am reading a book; if I don’t get pulled in, let’s say in the first 5 chapters or so, I don’t read it.

This one pulled me in and was a good pull.

Most books that take place in the 1800s have the same plot or theme. Rich girl meets rich boy, fall in love, end of the story.

This one was not like that, it was different, and was not your typical 1800s book

Carrington Brouwer needs to support herself, since her father a skilled but poor painter, dies and leaves her without money or home.

She receives an invitation to live in the home of a close friend, Augusta. She accepts and moves from France to the state of Ohio. Unfortunately, she clashes with Augusta’s mother and their rich ways and decides that she must move on. But jobs for women are rare, and she knows little beyond painting and art.

But then she is given a rare opportunity to use her artistic skills and find employment. 

Augusta’s father owns a carousel factory and offers Carrie a job painting the elaborately carved animals.

But the men at the factory are not happy that a woman has been given a very desirable job, including Josef, the factory manager. He is wary of letting a woman into the factory, and worse yet, they find themselves living at the same boarding house.

Soon they start to develop a friendship, and Carrie thinks that maybe she will find herself more welcome at the factory, but soon her dreams are almost dashed.

She finds herself the main suspect in a jewelry theft at Augusta’s home. As the struggles in the factory mount and suspicion swirls, she finds strength in the Lord and kindness in unexpected places.

Judith Miller has an amazing and clear way with words. I enjoyed the German accent she gave Josef, she made him a very sweet hero with a quiet strength and a passion for hard work and truth.

Carrington was a relatable and lovable heroine, and her slow-growing relationship with Josef was very well and cleanly- done.

I loved that she had to learn to unscramble his backward sentences and reiterate what he said to make sure they were on the same page!

I loved this book and the different look it brings to working in the factories in the 1800s.

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