This book held my interest (my criterion) from beginning to end.My favorite genre is historical romance because good authors are meticulous in their research of the time period & customs of which they're writing. This novel certainly reflects that fact. I found myself outraged by the treatment of indentured servants that was actually within the law during this time in history. Looking forward to #2 in this series!
Ann Miller, eldest of three daughters of the widowed saddler, feels torn between the need to help care for her sisters and her desire to marry dashing Eli Bowen, with whom she shares a love of literature. When she travels with her family from Ohio to Pittsburgh, she meets orphaned Will Hanby, a saddler's apprentice enslaved by a cruel master. She longs to help Will, but how could she possibly change his pitiable circumstances? Can Will learn to forgive and be able to find love?
Early nineteenth century America was a tough place to live if you were a slave or an indentured servant. This novel, the first book of The Saddler's Legacy series by debut author Rosslyn Elliott, brings history to lifeâ€”including unpleasant things like beatings, a duel, and harsh treatment of the poor. But the story offers hope for a better life for those unfortunate ones in Fairer than Morning. The author also portrays the life of the middle class and the wealthy as they interact in this touching tale, which is based on actual people.
I don't want to give away all the adventures and excitement contained within this book's pages. Readers can explore this journey to freedom on their own
Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles_but real freedom is sweeter.
In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter's dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she'll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance--and use it to mask her flight.
Ben Hanby, Otterbein College's musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her singâ€”and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.
A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courageâ€”and her voiceâ€”if she is to sing a new song for their future.
Sweeter than Birdsong is a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events.
This is an incredible book. It is written in a beautiful writing style, with lush words and historical detail that put me right in the story. The romance is subtle and sweet, I especially loved the way Dan treated Kate, especially in contrast to her parents' cruel behaviour.
There is a great subplot about slaves and an effort to steal away some of them to freedom, and that is also the part of the story that is based on true facts, from my understanding. This was very interesting, and it added some action to the plot. However, sometimes I thought this plotline was taking over the main plotline of the book, and that's the reason I thought the story was a bit lagging in the middle.
This notwithstanding, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from this author. She has also written Fairer than Morning.
I received this book from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.
Will Hanby is a broken soul. Following the death of his parents, he signs on as a saddlemaker apprentice to Master Jacob Good. Master Good turns out to be a cruel teacher with a thirst for power. When Ann Miller and her father encounter Will, Will is drawn to the kindness and light that he sees in them. As circumstances develop and change, Will flees his terrible master in search of the Millers. When he finds them, he realizes the danger surrounding them all. As a wanted man, he must stay hidden and the Millers could be in trouble. But far more dangerous are the feelings developing between Will and Ann. Can Will overcome his troubled past? Will Ann ever see him as more than a dirty and broken youth? And if Will trusts the future to God, will Ann wait for him until the apprenticeship is fulfilled?
Fairer Than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott is probably in the top ten books I've read this year. The story had my attention from the very beginning. Will Hanby's character transformation from broken apprentice to brave Christian reflected a strong sense of personal healing and growth that added depth to the story. I would have liked to have seen more growth and resolution in Ann's character. If Ann's nightmares had been resolved and an additional scene between Eli and Ann had been added, I think the closure of the story would have been more complete. There is a sequel coming out next year, but it does not appear to focus on Will and Ann. Overall, Fairer Than Morning was a surprisingly enjoyable read that I have no doubt I will eventually read again. I recommend it to fans of Christian romances.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookSneeze as part of their blogger review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
In Fairer Than Morning, debut author Rosslyn Elliott takes us away to Ohio in the early 1800s, an era of indentured servants and runaway slaves; a time of gross darkness and light, prosperity and poverty. Our heroine, Ann Miller, lives with her father, a master saddler, and a good Christian man who helps lead runaway slaves to the underground railroad. As he travels on a business trip to Pittsburgh, Ann, nursing a broken heart from her sweetheart, Eli, decides to accompany her father. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddler's apprentice.
Will has indentured himself to Master Good, to learn the fine art of saddle making, not realizing that he is a cruel man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will is tormented, beaten, and broken in spirit when he meets the lovely Ann and her kind father, and when they return to Ohio he vows to run away and find them at any cost. In his despair, loneliness, and need for love, Will reaches out to an impoverished young lady, Emmie, and compromises her. Feeling tremendous regret and shame, Will is determined to learn the saddler's trade and come back for Emmie, and make things right by marrying her and taking her to Ohio.
Once there, under the tutelage of Mr. Miller, Will learns more than just saddle making. He learns of God's love that reaches down into his dark, love-starved soul, and of forgiveness, and immediately begins to seek God's will for his life. What are God's plans for him, and what happens when Will decides to return to his ex-master and make restitution? When Emmie accepts his marriage proposal, what's to become of Will's attraction to the lovely, kindhearted Ann? And when Ann's ex-sweetheart proposes, what is to become of her overwhelming feelings for Will?
Rosslyn Elliott's first published novel is powerful, realistic, and heartwrenching at times. Her research of this fiction based on factual people and events is impressive and is truly a page-turner! Although there is romance in this novel it is actually more of a historical tale, than a lighthearted romance. With a strong spiritual thread throughout, I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next in the series!
*This book was sent to me by the author and I was not required to give a positive review.