The Lord Had Something Better in Mind - Barbara J. Robinson
Magnolia Roussel is a determined community college student and hard worker, wanting only to be as good as the boy her mother Myrtle always wanted but never had. Each spring sees her on the family strawberry farm trying to produce an acceptable crop, but when the Roussell berries are marked unclassified by Louisiana state inspectors Magnolia is forced to sell them on her own. With the Lord's guidance, however, she is not worried.

The Lord Had Something Better in Mind takes the reader through Magnolia's struggles--surviving financially, dealing with her mother's constant superstitions, and (happily) her feelings for Andy Drag. Their romance blooms over steamy days of fishing and camping in the Manchac Swamps, so much that Magnolia's love for God and the man who becomes her husband seems to be able to overpower her mother's clucking over a black cat that once crossed their path.

As the story fast-forwards, Magnolia is the mother of a teenage boy and worried sick about her husband's mysterious disappearance during a hunting trip. In this troubled time Magnolia gives her grievances to God, accepting His will for her future over her mother's lucky charms, and accepts what comes of it.

Reading the introduction of the story (which I would advise skipping if you don't want to be spoiled to some parts of the story), the reader can tell immediately Robinson has put her heart into this story, as some parts are semi-autobiographical. Yet, The Lord Had Something Better in Mind falls victim to similar problems seen in books by this publisher, namely punctuation errors and lax editing (the narrative tends to repeat itself at times, slowing the story in parts). The scenes involving Andy's disappearance and its conclusion draw a number of unanswered questions as well. Despite these pitfalls, Robinson presents an ambitious story suitable for fans of faith.