Serving Up Love
This is an anthology of four Christian romance novellas, about young women who worked for America’s first restaurant chain, Harvey House, set between 1898 and 1929.
Peterson’s story involves Gretchen returning to New Mexico to be a “house mother” supervising the waitresses, where she runs into the former fiancé who deserted her. Witemeyer’s Rosalind is working at a Harvey House in Texas, hoping to get transferred to California where she might be able to escape becoming notorious for a youthful indiscretion. Jennings’ Willow works as a Harvey girl to support her family back home, and becomes involved in investigating liquor smuggling on the trains that bring supplies to the restaurant. And Turano’s Myrtle, disillusioned with New York society life, has come West to work at the Harvey House at the Grand Canyon, where she becomes attracted to an uneducated yet charming man.
I enjoyed the relationships most in Witemeyer’s and Turano’s stories. Witemeyer’s has a particularly satisfying ending, as Caleb helps Rosalind deal with her indiscretion in a surprising way. And Turano’s class conflict angle is interesting. All the stories are good, however, and the historical tidbits about life as a Harvey girl are fascinating. Recommended.