Honestly I'm not really sure how I felt about this book.
Bad things, were there were several spelling errors and in one place the paragraph repeated itself. There is just no excuse for that many mistakes.
Ok now for the book itself. While it wasn't your typical happy every after ending, I personally thought it ended well, and the reason was because it ended realistically. To have it end any other way I feel would have taken Hayward out of character.
Eliza, like most of us have typical idea of what love looks like. She based her opinions on a "worlds view" of love and while I truly think that she loved Hayward, she failed to see that his idea of love was conditional and when she couldn't live up to that she was rejected. It wasn't until the end that she finds the kind of love that God gives us which is unconditional love. And sometimes God gives us back the people/things that we have lost, back usually not in a way that we would expect.
As far as the ending goes, I personally didn't have a issue with it, but I can see where other people could. It could have been a bit clearer.
I would have really like to give this a four star, but with all the spelling and editing mistakes, I do have to give it only a three star. I hope the next book is better edited.
As a busy author/speaker myself, I almost never have time to read for pleasure, but I'm so glad I made time to read Before the Scarlet Dawn. By the time I was done, I was thrilled to realize book two, Beside Two Rivers, had just released, and I ordered and read it immediately. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed it every bit as much as the first book. I am now anxiously awaiting the next installment. Great stories, believable characters, beautiful narrative!
Before the Scarlet Dawn is the first in a Trilogy and it is apparent at the end that the next book in the trilogy needs to be read in order for you to get the whole story. This is the only reason I have given this 4 rather than 5 stars. The story itself is definitely worth 5 stars. I loved the feisty heroine Eliza, who after losing both her father and brother in the same day, marries Hayward and moves out to the colonies with him. Her husband on the other hand can appear quite arrogant. However, this makes him appear all the more real. The story is well written, you really get the sense of America at the time, and how the American war of Independance impacted on ordinary people. You also get to know a lot about the English class system, which seemed to continue free and unfettered in America. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this trilogy and hearing some more of their story.
The year is 1775. There's this pretty girl, see, the daughter of a vicar in England, Eliza Bloome. Respectable, but not exactly an heiress. Then there's this guy she's had a thing for since childhood--Hayward Morgan. Son of landed gentry. They've got a lady picked out for him, Lilith Marsden.
Well, Hayward is all in favor of Lilith. But he's also in favor of living in America. He has a piece of land and a home there. And Lilith? Well, frankly, she'd love to marry him. IF he'd stay in England on his father's property. She has no interest in the colonies. She refuses to marry him and go so far away.
Eliza accidentally hears the conversation between the two and Lilith's refusal to go with Hayward. When Hayward discovers Eliza sitting in the darkness in the same hallway, she tells him Lilith is not worthy of him. That if Lilith loved him she would go anywhere with him.
Boldly, Eliza tells him she loves him and he should marry her, that she would go with him anywhere.
And thus begins her journey to Virginia. She's plunged into colonial life at the beginning of the Revolution with a man who doesn't love her, among colonial women who disdain her, and in the midst of wild Indians and wilder weather. And a neighbor who admires her too much.
How will she overcome? There are some obstacles almost insurmountable.
Before I begin this review I must tell you I became involved in this epic story. I've read many fiction books, but it is rare for me to become entangled in one. I began reading this book on Tuesday afternoon, 336 pages later I finished at two o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday. I could not put this book down until I'd read the last sentence. Of course now I have to wait until October to find out how my beloved characters will proceed in their tale.
Eliza Bloome age twenty-one is the daughter of Vicar Matthias Bloome. They live in Darbyshire, England. The time period is 1775. Matthias is ill and expected to not live long. Eliza's only sibling Stephen is far-away at Fort Erie, New York. Their mother died when Eliza was young. A Mr. Langbourne wishes to marry Eliza, promising her wealth and a lifestyle of ease. Eliza considers this proposal because she wonders what will become of her after her father's death. Hayward Morgan is a handsome and proud man. He is independent, stoic, and demands respect. He has bought property and a home in an American Colony. While he is back in England he and Eliza become reacquainted. Eliza makes a bold decision. A decision she bases on faith. A decision that will have long-term consequences.
Eliza is a person that stands firm in decisions she feels strongly about. She wants to marry for love. Yet, she is young and inexperienced, and at a moment in her life when she is left reeling from grief, she chooses what appears to be best. I believe when we are young we make more decisions based on our emotion, and less on our what our mind tells us. I know I've been guilty of this.
She is both lovely on the exterior and lovely in her inner person. Although not all people (men) are interested in her inner person. She is unprepared for the magnetic appeal she has on some people.
She laughs off what other's say of her, yet deep down she is hurt and troubled.
Eliza is hard-working, intelligent, loving, kind, respectful.
As bold as she is at times in speaking her mind, she respects maybe to a point of allowing inappropriate behavior.
She is a heroine in that when life's piercing arrows dart at her, she clings to the One that is her Creator and Savior.
Hayward Morgan is a proud man. He is defiant in his pride. He is stoic. He is reserved and is intolerant.
I had a difficult time with his character throughout all of the story. I just don't like him. Yet, I care about what happens to him. It is marvelous when an author can create an unlikable character and yet the reader cares what happens to him!
Characters are probably the most important aspect for me in a good story. Yes, the theme and setting is important, but the characters are the icing on the cake.
I loved the history of the Revolutionary War in America. I loved the author presenting the feelings of the families of those that were in the war.
Often I was moved by the mood of the story, and by the use of words that stirred my heart.
I loved the symbolism used in this story.
"Besides, I want to feel the grass beneath my feet...our grass. It is how it should be...at least for today. Say you understand." page 92
Eliza was feeling in the green grass a newness, a beginning, a growth in this new life. We are shown through this image her hopes and dreams. We see a freshness of youth and of possibilities.