Book Review: Dreams of Savannah by Roseanna M. White

About the Book-

Cordelia Owens can weave a hopeful dream around anything and is well used to winning the hearts of everyone in Savannah with her whimsy. Even when she receives word that her sweetheart has been lost during a raid on a Yankee vessel, she clings to hope and comes up with many a romantic tale of his eventual homecoming to reassure his mother and sister.

But Phineas Dunn finds nothing redemptive in the first horrors of war. Struggling for months to make it home alive, he returns to Savannah injured and cynical, and all too sure that he is not the hero Cordelia seems determined to make him. Matters of black and white don’t seem so simple anymore to Phin, and despite her best efforts, Delia’s smiles can’t erase all the complications in his life. And when Fort Pulaski falls and the future wavers, they both must decide where the dreams of a new America will take them, and if they will go together.

My Review-

Similar Reviews:

tw // rape and sexual violence

This was an interesting book! I have read many of Roseanna’s books before (and have even met her in person once!) and loved them, so I was excited to read her new release. It was very different from her previous books, and while this one was also good, it wasn’t my favorite.

First of all, this book was set in the Civil War era, in the Confederate states. The main characters, Cordelia and Phineas, are members of two families who own slaves/plantations, who have liked each other since before the book started, and get into an “understanding” fairly early on into the book. Since Phineas, or Phin as he likes to be known, is a Confederate soldier, most of this book details the time that they are apart, and the individual struggles and growth that they go through.

With that premise, it makes sense that this book is very white focused: both Cordelia and Phineas have slaves (although they call them servants), and despite being more open to the fact that black people aren’t merely animals, they still treat their servants as below them for the vast majority of the book, which is my main concern with this book. Despite the main characters being more sympathetic to the black people working for them, they still treat them in a “less than” fashion. With that, I did like the parts of the book narrated by the black people in the story, as well as their portrayals in general: as the story develops, the humanity of the black people comes to light. Although I understood why this story was told the way it was, I’m kind of wondering what a black reader would feel like reading this book.

Moreover, this book felt quite “preachy” for a lot of it. There were a lot of “spontaneous” sermon-conversations, a la characters randomly breaking into song during a musical. There were some really /interesting/ conversations meant as “the message” that was intended to be conveyed, such as one at the beginning where Phineas asked a tall black man, essentially, “if you weren’t made to work in the fields, why do you look like that?” Again, as the story progresses, both the main characters (as well as some of the white side characters) begin to learn the value and importance of black people, which somehow wasn’t really made clear in the beginning? As someone who is not black, I can’t say whether or not that is a fair portrayal, and I understand why the story was told how it was, but at the very least, it bears mentioning.

Not only that, there was a LOT of just . . . violence. Nothing actually portrayed, but there was a lot of suggestions towards sexual violence, especially towards slaves. There was one particularly sleazy character, who was very interested in (marrying) Cordelia. While Cordelia understood that he did not have good intentions, she didn’t really try to do anything about it, other than pawning her sister off on him (since she already had a love interest)??? SO that was something that bothered me, although it was only mentioned once. Someone important to the story had also taken advantage of a black slave woman, and the resulting child was also not treated well by the man. There was also several scenes where aforementioned sleazy character pulled a girl into a secluded room and attempted to kiss her (and it is suggested that he would go farther than kissing, although it never happened). There was just a LOT of implied sexual violence that was not only unnecessary, but also A Lot to read.

As for the characters, I was honestly not a fan of the main (white) characters. The protagonist, Cordelia, was simply unlikeable, not in any particular way, but I never really connected with her. She had a very vivid imagination, and wrote a ton of stories, but that was pretty much her only character trait. Her parents were also selfish and generally terrible people (both to her, as well as to their slaves), and she really did not question it until the very end of the book. Phineas was a slightly more likeable character: his growth development was incredible, and more noticeable starting midway through the book. He did start out the book being very much a “woo confederacy” type, being excited to go into the Confederate army and kill the “Yankees that are ruining everything.” His view on slavery was very much ‘it’s bad but there’s nothing I can do about it’ and he used the excuse that Georgia didn’t allow people to free their slaves as the reason why he kept them so that was . . . Not Great. He was more likable than Cordelia, and I connected more with him in general, but he’s nowhere near my favorite fictional male characters.

The black side characters–Selina, Luther, River, and all the servants–really made the story much more enjoyable. Their characters were somehow more fleshed out than Cordelia and Phineas, and their motivations, personalities, and beliefs, were significantly more enumerated, and thus, relatable. I found myself more invested in them than the main characters, and their story was just . . . better (than overcoming racism, which was what Cordelia and Phineas were going through).

The spiritual content was very well done: there was a lot of mentions of God, and references to prayer, and just an overall spiritual focus throughout the book. Scripture was quoted several times, and in that regards, I do like it.

Overall? This was a very deep and heavy story. It meant to cover both sides of the Civil War, and to tell the story of humanity on both sides. I think it did achieve that purpose, however, I think the way it did so was lacking. There was a lot of violence and unsavory characters and situations, and while it is mostly resolved in the end, it does not mitigate the generations of suffering of black people at the hands of white people, and this portrayal is more harm than good in my opinion. Quite honestly, as I was starting this book, I expected that I would not like it as much as the author’s other works (which are among my favorite books), and I was right.

My Rating-

3/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano (The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency #1) || Celebrate Lit Blog Tour

About the Book

To-Steal-a-Heart-662x1024

Book: To Steal A Heart
Author: Jen Turano
Genre: Comedic Historical Romance
Release Date: November, 2020

After spending her childhood as a street thief, Gabriella Goodhue thought she’d put her past behind her until a fellow resident at her boardinghouse is unjustly accused of theft. Using her old skills to prove her friend’s innocence, Gabriella unexpectedly encounters Nicholas Quinn, the man she once considered her best friend–until he abandoned her.

After being taken under the wing of a professor who introduced him into society and named him as heir, Nicholas is living far removed from his childhood life of crime. As a favor to a friend, Nicholas agrees to help clear the name of an innocent woman, never imagining he’d be reunited with the girl he thought lost to him forever.

As Gabriella and Nicholas are thrown together into one intrigue after another, their childhood affection grows into more, but their newfound feelings are tested when truths about their past are revealed and danger follows their every step.

Amazon || GoodReads || Barnes and Noble || Book Depository || Christian Book

My Review-

Similar Reviews-

This was a really fun book! I’ve read a ton of Jen Turano’s work previously and I have enjoyed them all a lot. Turano’s characters are always so witty and fun, and it is just always a good time all around. I was really excited to see that there was another series from her coming and to meet the cast of new characters. As usual, it was humorous and bantery and all the characters were a lot of fun: I particularly enjoyed Gabriella’s friendship with the other girls who lived at the boardinghouse: they were all so unique! Like usual, it took me a little bit to get into the story, but once I started figuring out who was who, it all made sense.

This book was very similar to Roseanna M. White’s Shadows Over England series, in that the characters were from a street thief background. As per typical Jen Turano style, the book was set in New York society in the late 1800s, with The Four Hundred featured, but with a twist of wacky events that just seem to happen that require a tiny bit of suspension of disbelief, such as things that could have happened, but just seemed to work out *just so*, or little character traits that probably couldn’t happen in real life but just did in the book (like a dog that only listens if one speaks in pirate).

I wasn’t a huge fan of either of the main characters, and there didn’t seem to be a ton of chemistry between them, but I enjoyed them plenty. The fact that they were childhood friends called back to the “Shadows Over England” series (is it a call back if it’s a reference to another series by another author?), and I do like that trope. I did enjoy one of the side characters, Daphne, though! (and little birdies tell me that the next book is about her which I’m super excited about!). The Bleecker Street Inquiry Agency was SO MUCH FUN (think: women in the late 1800s forming a tiny little detective group) and I’m super excited to read more in the series because of it.

It felt like the storyline moved a little bit slowly in the beginning, but it definitely picked up as the book moved along. The wrapping up of the storyline was really interesting: I think it really added to the “suspension of disbelief” aspect of it, since it didn’t really feel like things should/could have happened the way they are.

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot and I’m really excited to see where the rest of this series goes!

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author

Turano_Jen1

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by Booklist, Jen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author, known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from Romantic Times, and praise from Library Journal. She’s been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado.

Giveaway-

To Steal a Heart Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jen is giving away the grand prize package of copy of To Steal a Heart, plus all three books in the American Heiresses series and a 30 second mystery kit!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Enter Here.

For more information about this blog tour, and an exclusive interview from the author about To Steal a Heart, as well as more stops from the blog tour, click here

Book Spotlight: Tales of the East by Faith Blum || plus exclusive Author Interview!

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with a super exciting blog post: I’m part of the release team for Faith Blum’s retelling collection, Tales of the East! I’ve reviewed a couple books of hers in the past on the blog, and this collection of novellas sounds super interesting! I’m excited to share the details of it with you all! Not only that, but Faith is doing an exclusive interview here, which I’m super excited about!

About the Book:

Five fairy tale retellings…

Go back in time to Old Testament times for imaginative retellings of Hansel and Gretl, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, The 12 Dancing Princesses, and Cinderella. Love Lifted Me is also a retelling of the Song of Solomon.

Three kings…

Trust and Obey is set during the end of King Saul’s life, Lo, How a Rose, Rock of Ages, and The Haven of Rest are set during King David’s reign, and Love Lifted Me is set as Solomon starts to take over for King David.

One volume

All five books are now in one volume for a limited time! Don’t miss out!

This is a limited time volume that will go out of stock at midnight, December 31, 202. Purchase now on Amazon*

Link is affiliate

My Reviews-

While I haven’t read all of the books in the series, I was able to read and review two of the books in the series, Trust and Obey, which is book 1, and Rock of Ages, which is book 3. I enjoyed both of them and look forward to reading the rest from the collection!

Exclusive Author Interview-

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?

My favorite part of the writing process is writing the first draft. I love working out what is going to happen in the story.

What are ways that you have learned to adapt to writing with a baby?

Write whenever there is a free moment. Usually this means after David goes to bed.

What is your ideal writing situation?

Right now after 7pm has been the best time of day to write. I like to make sure I have my water available and have some classical music or soundtracks going.

Do you prefer reading or writing and why?

That’s a tough one. Reading is obviously easier because the book is already written, but writing means creating new stories. I think it’s a tie.

I noticed that a lot of your books share titles with classic hymns. What was your inspiration for that?

When I was coming up with the title for my first book, I noticed that the hymn A Mighty Fortress was predominant in the novel, so I decided to go with that for the title. After which, I decided to make that as part of my brand

About the Author-Author Headshot

Faith Blum is a small-town Wisconsin girl. She has independently published over 25 books in over five years. Most of her books are Christian Historical Fiction with an emphasis on Westerns. During an eBook sale, she was #2 overall in Kindle eBooks on Amazon. Faith resides in Central Wisconsin with her husband, son, and their cat, Smokey. When not writing, you can find her cooking, doing dishes, sewing, reading, or spending time with her husband and son. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her on her website: https://faithblum.com.


What is your ideal writing environment? Do you prefer reading or writing? Leave a comment and let me know; I’d love to hear from you!

Book Review: A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White (Codebreakers #3)

About this Book-

Zivon Marin was one of Russia’s top cryptographers until the October Revolution tore apart his world. Forced to flee to England after speaking out against Lenin, Zivon is driven by a growing anger and determined to offer his services to the Brits. But never far from his mind is his brother, whom Zivon fears died in the train crash that separated them.

Lily Blackwell sees the world best through the lens of a camera and possesses unsurpassed skill when it comes to retouching and re-creating photographs. With her father’s connections in propaganda, she’s recruited to the intelligence division, even though her mother would disapprove if she ever found out.

After Captain Blackwell invites Zivon to dinner one evening, a friendship blooms between him and Lily that soon takes over their hearts. But both have secrets they’re unwilling to share, and neither is entirely sure they can trust the other. When Zivon’s loyalties are called into question, proving him honest is about more than one couple’s future dreams–it becomes a matter of ending the war.

My Review

Similar Reviews:

This book was so good! I feel like I’ve said this about every book I’ve read in 2020, but I’ve felt like I’ve been in a reading slump for a while and this book was such a good one to read to get me out of it!

I’ve been reading this series for a while, as well as the Shadows Over England series and the Lost Heiress series, which tie into The Codebreakers series, so really it feels like a whole series (ugH I love books that do that thank you Roseanna M. White), so finishing this book felt really bittersweet. I loved seeing characters from other books making an appearance in this one.

As for this book, I really loved both the main characters! Zivon was a ~dark and mysterious~ type, but half of the chapters were written from his perspective, so that his thoughts were revealed and it helped him feel more personable. I actually feel more connection with him than Lilly, the main female lead and I really liked his introspection and his faith.

Lilly was also really fun to read! I loved reading about her work (and of course, like I have mentioned MANY times, I LOVE reading about women who have had “real” jobs throughout history and this was no exception). In addition, I loved reading about her relationship with her sister, as well as her family overall! Her romance with Zivon was also so sweet, and I loved reading it.

The alternate perspective that was given in this book was also super interesting and added a bit of a suspense element to the book (I can’t say exactly what because it’s not mentioned in the blurb and would be a spoiler), but I did really enjoy the secondary storyline as well!

The historical setting in this book was excellent: I remember learning about the Germans and Russians in World War I during high school, but it didn’t really sink in until I read this book. There was also a lot of historical pieces scattered throughout this book, such as the flu pandemic (which . . . was Certainly Something to read in 2020, especially when wearing masks were mentioned!), the end of WWI, as well as Lilly and Zivon’s work in the British Admiralty office. The line between historical brain dump and including enough facts to make a story feel authentic is thin but Roseanna does it so well, in this book, as in all her other books.

The faith topics in the book were also really good! Zivon was a Russian Orthodox, and Lilly was a ~standard Protestant~ and both of them contributed to the faith discussion in the book, which were really good. There was also a good discussion about using one’s skills and talents to benefit the overall good of the world, which I found really insightful.

Overall, I really really enjoyed this book! It tied up the series very well with the end of the war, and while I will be sorry to see this story wrap up, I’m glad I’ve read it! It’s probably one of my favorite Christian fiction series, and in a way, it changed my life and my reading habits.

My Rating

9/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jamie Jo Wright

About the Book-

1928
The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day
The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than even an abandoned train depot could portend.

My Review-

This was such an unexpectedly good book! When you think of a Christian fiction book, a book about a haunted circus is not what comes to mind. This book was super creepy and suspenseful, and in a good way: it would be a great falltime/Halloweentime read!

First off, the plot is split between 1928 and present time, which took me a while to get into. As a matter of fact, this whole book took a while for me to get into. I don’t think I have read any other books by Jamie Jo Wright, so I’m not sure if this is a feature of her writing, but reading reviews, it seems like it. The plot didn’t start picking up until page 250 or so, and before that, it was very slow reading.

I enjoyed the writing style, even if it was quite slow. The scenes are very vividly described, sometimes to the detriment of the actual plot, which I wasn’t super into. There were a lot of small actions that were described closely, and overall the writing style was pretty dense. With that, though, it was very easy to picture the scene and what is going on all the time.

As for the characters, I really liked the cast! There were a lot of characters, which I’m not very good with, and I was pretty confused by who was who pretty much all the way until the end of the book. As a matter of fact, I completely forgot about the antagonist until they were revealed, which made it confusing, to say the least. I really liked both Pippa and Chandler. I related more to Pippa and her struggles, but I’m not sure if that was because of how they were written: there was more insight into what Pippa was thinking, whereas for Chandler, it was more reactionary (if that makes sense: “she looked for x, so she did y” vs “she looked around frantically. she needed to see x”). I think overall I related to Pippa’s struggles more and we are in a more similar stage of life than I am with Chandler.

Like I mentioned earlier, this book was not what I expected! The story very much based on ghosts and Bonaventure Circus, which is rumored to be haunted. It was a lot spookier than I expected it to be, which was nice. It was always just an unexplained happenings scary, not actual scary scary, and it was fun to read. I think the story did a pretty good job of explaining what happened, without explicitly saying whether or not ghosts are real.

Overall, I really liked the story! I enjoyed the plot a lot (finding a serial killer, especially a historical one, is so interesting to me), and while the story took a long time to get into, it was very good once it started moving!

My Rating-

7/10

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Blog Tour: Ivy Introspective by Kellyn Roth || Book Review

About the Book-

Cover

In a world that doesn’t understand her, how can she grow?

Ivy Knight lives her life in a blur of confusion as the world passes her by in a tumultuous melody. She isn’t the perfect daughter or student, but as long as she can be with her family, she doesn’t mind watching rather than living.

Mrs. Chattoway treasures both of her granddaughters now that they’re reunited. When Ivy’s parents enroll her in a Scottish school for unique children, she’s happy to chaperone.

In a new place with a new guardian, Ivy discovers a special talent that helps her see the blurred world in a new way. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and Ivy becomes determined to find it—and help others do the same.

GoodReads || Amazon || Website

My Review-

Previous books in this series:

This was such a sweet book! I didn’t know how much I would like reading a book from the perspective of Ivy, since I enjoyed Alice’s so much; however, it was done super well! It never felt slow or stilted, and I actually really fell in love with Ivy’s narration style!

Overall, I think I liked this story line better than Alice’s (from book 1): the storyline and narrative was a lot more internal (i.e., happening inside Ivy’s head, rather than spoken by Alice). The overall growth and development was also really satisfying to read, and I just really liked it overall! Ivy is just so precious and 🥺 I just love her story.

I also really liked the perspective of Mrs. Chattoway: Ivy’s grandmother in this book! We didn’t really see much of her in the previous book at all, and it was so nice to get to know her! Hopefully she makes an appearance in future books, because I would love to see her life continue on.

Just like the last one, this book covered some pretty serious topics with a lot of tact and compassion: this one included talks of suicide, domestic abuse, and mental health, which is so so rarely discussed about in Christian fiction! I enjoyed that so much and I think it is so needed in this space!

I also loved the Christian message presented in the book: it was fairly deeply presented, which I’m not always a fan of (sometimes the Gospel is presented, but it feels unnatural and stilted and written for the sake of having the gospel in), but this one was well done and I loved it!

Finally, I lOVVVVVVVVVVVVED Violet’s character and Violet and Ivy’s relationship! Their friendship was just so sweet, and Ivy is just so pure and I just love the two of them together! I can’t wait to see Violet come back in book 4.

Overall, this was a really sweet book! Again, it’s in the women’s fiction genre, which I like, because there is a bit of pretty serious content that might not be suitable for young readers, but I really enjoyed reading it! I look forwards to seeing where these characters go in the future!

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

About the Author-Kellyn Roth - Author Photo

Kellyn Roth is a Christian historical women’s fiction & romance author from North-Eastern Oregon who loves border collies. A ranch girl with a love for storytelling, she’s been writing since she was seven and published since she was fourteen.

Kell lives in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon with her family, cat, and three puppy-dogs. When not writing, she teaches writing and talks about writing, but she also enjoys other things. She just can’t think of any right now.

Website & Blog || Email List || Facebook || Instagram

Book Review: A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden (Hope and Glory #2)

About the Book-

Caroline Delacroix is at the pinnacle of Washington high society in her role as secretary to the first lady of the United States. But beneath the facade of her beauty, glamorous wardrobe, and dazzling personality, she’s hiding a terrible secret. If she cannot untangle a web of foreign espionage, her brother will face execution for treason.

Nathaniel Trask is the newly appointed head of the president’s Secret Service team. He is immediately suspicious of Caroline despite his overwhelming attraction to her quick wit and undeniable charm. Desperate to keep the president protected, Nathaniel must battle to keep his focus fully on his job as the threat to the president rises.

Amid the glamorous pageantry of Gilded Age Washington, DC, Caroline and Nathaniel will face adventure, danger, and heartbreak in a race against time that will span the continent and the depth of human emotion.

My Review-

Similar Reviews-

This was such a good book! I thoroughly enjoyed book 1 in this series, The Spice King, and I so enjoyed reading this one as well. The Hope and Glory series follows the story of the Delacroix siblings: Grey, Caroline, and Luke, which I really like. In book 1, the story follows Grey and his love story, and in this one, Caroline’s story is told. They were so different, but the way the story was written made it feel cohesive and I really liked it!

Caroline is a smart and capable woman working for Mrs. Ida McKinley during the McKinley presidency, and she is in charge of all the duties of “managing a household” that women typically have, except she is managing it all for the White House, which was super interesting to read about. The ins-and-outs of life in the White House definitely isn’t something I’ve thought a lot about in the past, so it was really interesting to read about it! In addition, she is also worried about her brother Luke who is in a dangerous situation, and her job at the White House is the best way to help him. That story line carried over from book 1, which I really liked because it ties the books together so well!

Nate is a secret service agent, who wants to do anything but be a secret service agent: what he really likes is counterfeit detection and taking down counterfeit rings. However, he is the best person that can neutralize threats against President McKinley as he runs for reelection and as he takes a cross country trip across the United States. His character was really well rounded and emotionally mature, which was really good to read.

The chemistry between Caroline and Nate was super strong: they fit SO WELL together and made such a good couple! Their romance was very fast, but it all felt realistic, which doesn’t happen often in Christian fiction in my opinion. (Though more sensitive readers might want to note that they kissed several times before they declared their intent for each other: nothing too graphic, but it did happen). Both characters talked openly about their faith and their emotions, and their relationship was a joy to read.

The storyline was well paced, though the book is more character focused than anything. There was so much history packed into this book, most of which I was aware of but didn’t know, and it was really interesting to learn about. I really liked seeing Grey and Anabelle from the previous book reappear in this one, and like I mentioned earlier, I really liked the overarching storyline about Luke stretching throughout the trilogy. His story is next and I’m really excited to read it!

Overall, I really liked this book, and I’m really loving this series so far: not only are the stories interesting, but also the historical aspect is so well done and it really adds to the story. I think I still like her Empire State series more, but that’s simply because I really love her Empire State series, haha!

My Rating-

4/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.

Book Review: Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

About the Book-

Lucy Clairmont’s family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it’s Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she’s discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers–and the healing–they so desperately seek.

My Rating-

Similar Review: Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Where do I even start with this review?! I first read Amanda’s other novel a year or so back, and it was INCREDIBLE and so I was really excited to start this one. Amanda is one of my new favorite authors: her books are incredible & the storytelling is immaculate.

As with the first book, the story is told in two separate parts: one set in the past, and one set in the present. As the story progresses, the link between the two sets of stories and characters gets stronger and stronger, until they merge into one. While Dykes’ two novels are not in the same series, the way they are presented are very similar.

In this book, the story is set split between the early 1800s and present time (2020), and there are two storylines. The historical line covered the story of Fredrick Hanford, while the modern storyline covers the story of Lucy and Dashel, the girl within a loving family and the parentless boy they took in. The two stories seemed to be separate for the first half of the book, but by the second half/last third, the way they would come together started becoming clearer and clearer, until by the end, the way the storylines intersected and it’s incredible!

I was personally partial to Lucy and Dash’s storyline, but I also just as invested in Fredrick’s storyline: both were so vividly told, and the relationships, characters, and story so well developed that it was just so good to read. My favorite character was probably Lucy’s dad, who was a watchmaker but who also told stories & encouraged Lucy and Dash to pursue knowledge and to tell stories.

The writing style was also incredible: it was so poetic yet not slow at all (it was a little bit slow to get into at the beginning, but only for the first 3 or so chapters). The imagery is incredible and the writing is so weighty and rich and the whole book was just so good. While it’s a Christian fiction book, I would consider this more an “adult novel” than Christian fiction (at least in my mind, it’s not a “girls on the cover romance” kind of Christian fiction but rather some adult person who reads a chapter or two from a book on their nightstand kind of book if that makes sense lol).

All in all, I LOVE this book, and I also highly highly recommend Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes. The storytelling in them are incredible & they are for sure books worth reading

My Review-

5/5

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion; I was not required to write a positive review.