Castle in the Clouds by Myra Johnson

"But if you're too focused on falling, it isn't a leap of faith at all, is it?" (66)

Title:  Castle in the Clouds
Series: Flowers of Eden, Book 2
Author:  Myra Johnson
Publisher:  Franciscan Media
Release Date: August 26, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Historical Fiction

The first book in the Flowers of Eden series introduced readers to Bryony Linwood, an orphan trying desperately to provide for her sisters in the shadow of the Great Depression. In Castles in the Clouds, we meet one of those sisters—Larkspur Linwood, a young woman who has a passion for teaching but yearns for something more than life as a small-town Arkansas schoolmarm.

Young and impressionable, Lark mistakes a college professor’s interest for romantic love. When he offers her the chance to join his efforts to start a school in Kenya, she pictures herself bringing the light of knowledge to hundreds of African children eager to learn. But the menial tasks she’s assigned at the school aren’t so different from life on the farm where she grew up. Miserable and deflated, with her fragile heart broken, she gives up and returns home.

Enter Professor Anson Schafer, whom she met briefly in Kenya. Partially blinded from an eye infection he contracted there, Professor Schafer cannot return to Africa. He has come to Lark’s school to recruit teachers like her for a more modest venture—the founding of schools and relief efforts here in the U.S. for those struggling through the Depression.

Still stinging from her experience in Kenya, Lark is reluctant to risk leaving her familiar surroundings, but she knows how great the need has become, and—although this isn’t the exciting life she’d envisioned—she finally agrees. As they work side by side, Lark begins to realize that the deepest satisfaction comes not so much from what you do, or where you do it, but from the attitude of your heart.

Where does one begin with a story as compelling, yet soft and cuddly as Castles in the Clouds by Myra Johnson. This being the second book of Flowers of Eden series, I'm more than mesmerized by the cover - for this one, and book 1 , The Sweetest Rain.  I have yet the chance to pick it up, but I will. I will and I must, because after reading Castles, I need to read Bryony and Michael's story.  Castles in the Clouds is about having a leap of faith in love and in life, in the injustices, as well as the things that are beyond our control.  Having set in the 1930s, during the Great Depression era, there are plenty of obstacles that come their way as they try to bring education to the masses. Not only financial, but also the burdens of discrimination that have yet to resolve by then. The author have done a marvelously convincing job in weaving in the historical facts of the times as well as her experience with missionary work, overseas and at home in the US. She writes with such grace in capturing your heart piece by piece, progressively until the end, where your heart can't help but care for these characters, their stories, as well as the sorrow of reality.  As the last page turns, I wish I had the next book in the series right in my lap.  I would just jump right in and continue onto Rosie's story.  Not only Rosie's story, but I want to see how the author continues on with Eden as it faces what we know of the backdrop of history.

In the romance department, I liked how Lark and Anson's story was gradual, and the part where we read each of their hesitations and denial. A great counter of realism to the idealism of both characters for continued education, the Schaefer School and society.  Yes, Lark and Anson's story was great, but I'm already particularly fond of what I read between Rosie and Caleb. They add in a slight humor that I can't wait to explore further in the next book.

The Linwood girls, Bryony, Lark and Rosie are females of "strength, courage and stubbornness" just as Caleb said about Rosie. I can tell you that that speaks of Myra Johnson as a writer, and Castles in the Clouds as a book. I'm sure you understand where the strength and the courage are from. As to stubbornness, it is the innate ability of the book to fully seize your heart and mind as you read it. As to the author, her stubbornness resides in the fact that I personally think every author have that quality to present the best of each specific story to readers, and she's done just that with Castle in the Clouds.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Myra Johnson’s roots are deep in Texas, but she now enjoys living amid the scenic beauty of North Carolina. Her debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas, was a delight to readers and revealed an intriguing new voice in Christian fiction. The author of more than a dozen novels, she is a two-time finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award, and the winner in the historical fiction category of Christian Retailing. She and her husband, Jack, have two married daughters and seven grandchildren.

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  1. I'm blessed and honored by your kind words about my story! Thank you so very, very much!

  2. Thank you, MYRA for a great book! I look forward to the others!

    Thanks, CARYL!


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