While Love Stirs, the latest from Lorna Seilstad cooks up some little known history about Fannie Farmer. Our story unfolds in Saint Paul, Minnesota with our heroine, Charlotte Gregory is about to apply for a position in the kitchen of the Million-Dollar Hotel. She is a recent graduate of Miss Farmer's School of Cookery and can't wait to meet the chef, who no doubt will hire her on the spot. It is 1910, an era where special decorum was observed by young ladies entering hotels unescorted! When she finally has the chance to enter the kitchen, she is shocked by the unsanitary conditions and even more appalled at the arrogance of the chef who will, under no circumstance, have a woman working in his kitchen! After a ruckus, she is tossed out and runs into a handsome young man with bottle green eyes....
She is soon causing a stir when she visits her sister at the hospital....and as fate often has it, Charlotte encounters this young man again, as the doctor who delivered her niece. Hannah is eating a thin broth that barely has any nutrition for a young woman convalescing childbirth. On a mission to ensure patients are fed nutritious meals, she butts heads with Dr. Joel Brooks, who won't budge on menu plans. He is a controlling personality who seems to be set in his ways for someone so young.
Determined to find a job using her education, she enters a contest using the latest kitchen innovation, the gas range. She lands a job traveling around Minnesota by train, demonstrating how this marvelous stove can revolution the lives of the average housewife. She has colorful experiences with her traveling companions; a young singer named Lewis and her chaperone Molly, including being schedule in the midst of a strike against the gas company!
Through it all, she continually runs into Dr. Brooks, a man who she begins to understand is much more than a controlling personality. Just as she begins to understand him, he begins to see that she is more than a woman who surrounds herself with trouble and chaos.
I liked this book because it is a lesson in why we need to take people with more than just what we initially perceive. How often do we just see one side of a story? While Dr. Brooks seems aloof to better nutrition for patients, there is another side to his story that reveals his personality. We may see Charlotte as impatient for change, we learn what motivates her. Can these two stop long enough to see what the other person is truly about? Read While Love Stirs and find out. This second volume in the Gregory Sister's series leaves me ready to search for book one...When Love Calls....coming soon to my library.