Book review: Beggar’s Solution by Jan Sikes (@JanSikes3) #historical love story #farming post-WW II

I always look forward to Jan Sikes’ books. She has such a gentle and heart-warming way of telling a story that the reader feels that all’s right with the world when they’re done reading.

Layken Marin returns home to his family’s farm in Missouri after serving in the Army during WW II. Both his parents died while he was away but he had promised his father he would make the farm prosperous again. What he finds is a house in disrepair, fields baked by the sun, and a foreclosure notice on the door. Layken appeals to the banker, a thoroughly odious character, who refuses to give him the time needed to rebuild, plant and harvest a crop. Instead, he offers him a two-year extension on the loan if Layken will marry his daughter, Sarah Beth. The banker is a widower and wants to remarry, but his fiancée wants Sarah gone.

Faced with two awful choices, Laykin decides to marry Sarah Beth. And Sarah Beth changes his life. Carefully treading around each other, they first discover their mutual tolerance for hard work and then each sees in the other their exceptional qualities. Tolerance begets affection. Together they begin to rebuild the farm, adding other members to their family: Uncle Seymour, a black man who had tended Sarah’s father’s land for years and who was fired after Sarah Beth left; Tad, a young boy living in the woods as a runaway from his father’s abuse; a barn cat and a pregnant stray dog.    

Where the neighbors first regard Sarah with distrust, they come to help whenever help is needed and Sarah comes to realize that in the country, your neighbors are your support. And hers and Laykin’s are kind and thoughtful.

This is the story of the growing love between the unlikely couple set against a hard scrabble farm with seemingly endless setbacks to a successful harvest. But as always with the author, the story is told in such a warm and gentle way that the reader knows Laykin and Sarah Beth will survive.

The farm and its occupants are drawn in a compelling way and the story is a testament to hard work, determination, love, acceptance, and the strength of community.

I highly recommend this book. Readers will love the experience of it.

Five starts

About the author:

Jan Sikes has been an avid reader all her life, but oddly enough she had no ambition to be a writer. But she wound up in mid-life with a story that begged to be told. Through fictitious characters, the tale came to life in not one, but four books. Then she released music CDs of original music matching the time period of each book, and finally a book of poetry and art. The story ideas keep coming, and she has no plan to turn off the creative fountain. She loves all things metaphysical and often includes those aspects in my stories.

She is a member of the Author’s Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Story Empire, and the Paranormal Writer’s Guild. I am an avid fan of Texas music and grandmother of five. She resides in North Texas.

You can reach her at



27 thoughts on “Book review: Beggar’s Solution by Jan Sikes (@JanSikes3) #historical love story #farming post-WW II”

  1. Congratulations to Jan. It sounds like a delightful novel. Thanks for your review and recommendation, Noelle. And happy weekend!

  2. petespringerauthor

    I’ve got Jan’s book in the overflowing TBR pile. Having read several of her other books, I’m sure it’s a winner.

  3. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Noelle, for taking the time to read and review A Beggar’s Bargain. Your review has me dancing on sunshine! Thank you isn’t good enough words to express my gratitude.

  4. Hi Noelle,
    Hope you are well?

    I love reading your reviews of other people’s books. In just a few paragraphs you paint a detailed and interesting picture of the story and its characters. Jan was right to praise your review, it is always great to get such a positive review from a fellow author.
    Best Wishes

    1. You are too kind, Kevin. Thank you! It’s easy to review good books by good authors. The hardest part is when I choose book to review for Rosie’s book review site that isn’t quite up to snuff.

  5. Your blog is a constant source of inspiration for me. Your passion for your subject matter is palpable, and it’s clear that you pour your heart and soul into every post. Keep up the incredible work!

  6. Your blog is a breath of fresh air in the often mundane world of online content. Your unique perspective and engaging writing style never fail to leave a lasting impression. Thank you for sharing your insights with us.

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