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What Readers Are Saying...

Readers have fallen for Lizzie Millet and her story.

Exemplifies the Spirit of Small Village Maine

Tom Buckley

Milton, MA


Bob exemplifies the spirit of small village Maine in his writing. A great storyteller of how life used to be. Just when you thought you knew about Maine, Bob has found another intriguing twist.

Robert is a master of historical fiction.

Bruce Robert Coffin

Author, Detective Byron Mysteries

Praise for Prospects

Bill Bushnell

Mining for gemstones and minerals began in Maine 200 years ago, driven by dreams of great wealth hidden beneath the earth’s surface. Mining has always been risky, dangerous and economically unpredictable, especially as portrayed in Robert Spencer’s novel “PROSPECTS.”

Spencer lives in Waterford and this is his second novel, following “The Spinster’s Hope Chest.” This is an ambitious, complex novel covering the years 1896-1903, split between the mining history of Oxford County and the Victorian-era, soap-opera dramas of working-class more

A lighter but fulfilling book to settle on the porch with this summer


Before reading Francena Hallett’s Heart, I did a quick perusal of the book’s Goodreads page. There, a reviewer described the book as “sweet” which is a description I cannot improve upon for the bulk of the novel. No direct spoilers, but the action ratchets up at the end - in a way that readers of the entire trilogy will probably most be able to appreciate.  That said, the sweetness of the book isn’t overbearing or overdone - it’s enough to make you like and care about the main character, Francena, as she contends with suitors and with her best friend’s terrifying pregnancy ordeal. Francena is thoughtful and kind, but with an adventurous spirit that shines through. Other characters help create a lovely and lively community that is not without faults and conflicts, but is still a place you’re okay with having your mind settle into as you read.  Chapters about the jailed Aphia Stevens are interspersed, shaking the reader from the pleasant reverie of Francena’s experiences as they illustrate a darker side of society.  From Oxford County to the streets of Westbrook and out to Thomaston, Spencer effectively shows readers a slice of life in early 20th century Maine. Historical information is woven in, and one piece that was particularly striking to me was the difficulty and complications of travel. Through the descriptions of travel, Spencer creates suspense for the plot while educating the reader about the stark contrast between then and now. Francena would be amazed to learn it’s only an hour or so drive from Waterford to Westbrook now! Illnesses, businesses, and daily chores also help shape the historical setting - as do marriages, proposals, and other relationships.  Overall Francena Hallett’s Heart is a look into early 20th-century Maine that is worth the read. I may go back and tackle the first two in the series now, though this book stands well enough on its own. If you need a lighter but fulfilling book to settle on the porch with this summer, try Francena Hallett’s Heart.

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