Title of Book: Tressa
Author: Barbara Cerny
Publisher: Strategic Book Group
Release date: 10/01/2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Length of Story: Novel (above 70K words)
Escaping an abusive husband and the tragic loss of her newborn child, Tressa O'Daire leaves her home of Dublin, Ireland, for the unknown shores of New York City. There, she finds work in the powerful Langley family as a nurse-maid to a baby girl. The Langleys allow Tressa, a master baker by trade, to use their baking oven and she starts a business and a new life.
Ethan Langley, crippled in a riding accident that left him bound to a wheel chair, has spent the last eight years in his room escaping the embarrassment to his family and the hatred of his brother, Heaton. The only bright spot in his life is his sister, Sarah; until a certain Irish baker arrives and turns his life upside down.
Their very lives are threatened when the head of the Langley household dies unexpectedly leaving the business and family fortune to Heaton. As Heaton and his wife, Victoria, bring the family to the brink of ruination, Tressa and Ethan must save whatever they can, including the budding love between them.
Long time Readers! Sorry. Was wool gathering and in such a hunt I came across another book from my favorite author Barbara Cerny. Tressa.
The name itself conjured a picture of a woman from the bygone era, floating white gown and long tresses of auburn hair. Shy, diminutive. Boy! Was I wrong!!!
During the ages when the women folk was just supposed to cater to the wants of men, Tressa is all set to became an entrepreneur. Strongly supported by her family she learns the art of being a master baker from her uncles and cousins. And when the time comes for her to settle down she does it with all naivete that only comes from total trust that life can never go wrong with good people. Now I must say – Boy! Was she wrong!!!
The love of her life turned into a marital rapist who only only broke her spirits but also her dreams for her future. After losing her newborn baby, she escapes in a ship and lands up in America. But she lands with a child in her arms. How? [You really think I am going to tell you? [Tch tch…..]
But after reaching the land of opportunities, though she is a free woman unlike the other indentured servants, she is taken in as a nursemaid by the Langley family. There she meets the disabled younger son Ethan Langley.
Ethan Langley is the youngest son of the Langley family. Crippled due to an accident, he had become a recluse till he is forced to face life by Tressa. A beautiful friendship develops between them where both bring out the best of each other.
Tressa leaves her loveless marriage behind as she covers the expanse of the ocean to reach America. Her dream of starting a new life is beautifully depicted as she transforms herself from being a nursemaid to an owner of a bakery. Her business acumen makes her different from other women. That along with a fierce sense of loyalty makes her a very charming character.
She is a very strong woman who always stands beside the man she loves. So much so that even when she is tortured and humiliated by her husband, she does not tell her own family but rather braves the ocean to reach America to start a new life.
When Ethan faces eviction from his own home, she stands by him, supports him and fights for him. She is one woman who even in today’s world would be considered admirable.
What I liked….
The flow of the story is beautiful with each character being very much the part of the story. The evil Heaton versus the goodness of Ethan is beautifully depicted.
Tressa is a beautiful person who is sensitive to all the relationships around her. She is gutsy enough to start her own business, foresighted enough to plan her future and sensitive enough to care for the less fortunate.
Not to forget she was damn smart- planning the escape, landing in America and starting her business could not have been done if she did not have a sound head over her shoulder. A beautifully depicted strong character.
Ethan was an equal partner. Though crippled at an early age he was the motivation behind her actions. He too comes out as a strong character as he moves out of his father’s house and makes his own living. He could have depended on Tressa, but he chose to make a life of his own.
The best part I loved was the relationship between them. A sweet understand, a camaraderie which encouraged the goodness in each other.
What I did not like….
The only point I can think of is not about the author’s depiction of Tressa leaving her family behind. Agreed that her situation was difficult but her parents loved her, her cousins adored her, so why did she not contact them later. Or did she.. maybe if I let my imagination run wild I can imagine that she might have contacted her family……
Well, that sure seems like I would have wanted more in this story.
If I wanted this story to continue… do I have to give a reasoning? It was a beautiful read and when I read about her father crying for her at the dockyard, I had tears in my eyes too. So Barbara,can you please send Tressa back home……..?