All Things New  -     By: Lynn Austin
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All Things New

Bethany House / 2012 / Paperback

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The Weatherlys were among the richest families in Virginia before the Civil War took its toll. Now that her father and brother are dead, Josephine and her mother struggle to survive on their ravaged plantation---and rely on their faithful servant, Lizzie, for help. Can the women rebuild White Oak---and regain their lost faith and happiness? 416 pages, softcover from Bethany.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 416
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764208977
ISBN-13: 9780764208973
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

New Historical Novel from 7-Time Christy Award Winner!

In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.

Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.

With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.

Author Bio

Lynn Austin, a former teacher who now writes and speaks full time, has won eight Christy Awards for her historical fiction. One of those novels, Hidden Places, has also been made into a Hallmark Channel movie. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and make their home near Chicago, Illinois. Learn more at www.lynnaustin.org.

Product Reviews

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  1. Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Impressive
    July 19, 2014
    Army Mom
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    All things new is set in post -civil war Virginia and is the story of how God's grace and forgiveness can heal the deepest of wounds.

    Josephine Weatherly, is oldest daughter and has survived the toughest four years of her young life. With the loss of her father and oldest brother Samuel, she knows that it will take all of her family working together if they are to survive and she is willing to break all the rules and traditions of her mother's to make that happen. In an unforeseen event her world is turned upside down when she meets an ex-yankee soldier on her property and as their friendship develops, he begins to challenge her entire way of thinking, from the traditions of the south to her belief in God.

    Eugenia Weatherly is stuck in the past. She longs for her family and the days of where there was only parties and a life of ease. She has almost convinced herself that things could be that way again. But soon she realizes that her son Daniel does not understand what it takes to run a plantation and she begin to understand that she must take control if her family is to survive.

    Lizzy is an ex-slave who while continuing to work at the White Oak plantation, begins to explore her new freedom. Encouraged by her husband to take baby steps, Lizzy enjoys watching her children being able to go to school and to take a break from her work when she decides. In many ways Lizzy was my favorite character in this book.

    I found it interesting that all three of these women found freedom and eventually the courage to discover the life that God wants for them.

    While the biggest part of the story revolves around these three women, there is a great number of secondary characters that where just as interesting. Otis, Lizzy's husband, is such a man of faith. He believes and trust in the Lord to do what's in the best interest of his family even when things do not seem to be going well. Daniel Weatherly and Harrison Blake, two confederate soldiers who return home, but not the same men as when they left. While injured in different ways both men carry deep hatred and bitterness. Alexander Chandler a Yankee soldier who at the Holy Spirits prompting comes to Virginia to try to help its people rebuild. As his friendship with Josephine grows, Alexander begins to find a peace in his spirit, something that he has not felt in four years.

    It is a rare thing that I can find a book that involves such a huge cast of characters that keep me interested throughout an entire book. I thought it was very interesting the way the author ended the book. In some ways it left it open for additional stories, and in other ways it closed the pages. Overall a truly impressive book.
  2. nomer15
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    January 11, 2014
    nomer15
    Gender: female
    "All Things New" by Lynn Austin is set in post-Civil War-era Virginia and focuses on the months immediately following the end of the war. The Confederacy has just lost the war, the citizens are facing poverty and attempting to pick up the pieces of shattered lives, and deep prejudices continue to come to light.

    Josephine Weatherly lost her father and one older brother in the war. Her family may lose their plantation as well with limited resources and no real ability to bring in a cotton crop. Josephine begins to see that life needs to revolve around basic survival, not trying to keep up a facade of life as it was before the war. Her mother, Eugenia, is appalled at the idea of her daughter expressing interesting in tending a garden, sewing, and learning to cook, and she tries to forbid Josephine from having anything to do with "manual labor".

    Lizzie is a freed slave who continues to live at White Oak plantation with her family after the war, primarily due to the promise of her children receiving an education thanks to the newly established Freedman's Bureau, run by a former Yankee soldier named Alexander Chandler. Lizzie and her family embrace their newfound freedom, but begin to experience a taste of the extreme difficulties that the freed slaves will face in this new phase of life.

    This was a wonderful book that takes a look at different aspects of life during Reconstruction from three different perspectives. I loved how Austin showed the effects of war, bitterness, and hatred, and how the remedy is found in God's healing love and forgiveness. The characters were well-developed and there was just enough suspense to keep the reader engaged to the end. Overall, a good fictional read that focuses on an important and challenging part of American history.

    (I've received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers through the Book Blogger program in exchange for a review. A positive review was not required and the views expressed in my review are strictly my own.)
  3. pianolady
    Long Beach, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Good characters, as always.
    June 17, 2013
    pianolady
    Long Beach, CA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    As usual, I liked the characters. Civil War era also one of my favorites. Although this was not quite as deep as this author usually goes with suspense, her writing is a great read. I look forward to her next book.
  4. Anna
    Freelton, Ontario
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Couldn't put it down!
    June 12, 2013
    Anna
    Freelton, Ontario
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    This is another GREAT book by Lynn Austin! She makes history come alive with this great historical fiction. I couldn't put it down!
  5. beckie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    all things new review
    June 8, 2013
    beckie
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    "All Things New" by Lynn Austin is a novel about post Civil War in the South. The Weatherly's are the historical Bluth's only not funny, but just as delusional. The Weatherlys are an antebellum family that has lost everything following the Civil War. They have lost everything all the way down to one slave family and one horse and a few chickens. And they have no clue what they are doing. They don't know how to survive or take care of themselves in any way, nor do they want to. The Weatherlys must change as well as the entire South if they are going to survive.

    This book follows two family's points of view: the Weatherly's and the Otis's (former slaves). It explores the frame of mind the two families have in order to deal with change. The whites on reforming an entire way of life and the blacks on losing their slave state of mind. The book is pretty good, but it runs long. A lot of the middle could be taken out. The pace could have been a little quicker too. The idea of the novel is good. It shows how mending the repercussions of slavery takes so long. I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers.
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