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Then Came Faith, Civil War Trilogy Series #1
Emerald Pointe Books / 2006 / Paperback
$11.99 (CBD Price)
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The War Between the States may be over, but America is still in turmoil. Determined to show mercy to the ravaged South, Boston abolitionist Elizabeth travels to New Orleans, where she falls for the handsome Andre---a naval officer, and a Confederate through and through. Given their opposing loyalties, does their love stand a chance? 384 pages, softcover from White Stone.
The Civil War is over --she wants to help the South heal and repent of its past --he swears never to forgive the North for what they did to his family. When Elizabeth Harris lands on the docks of New Orleans from her prestigious home in Boston, her welcoming party has been diverted and only a rough and raucous throng greet her. She is rescued by the handsome Andre Beauchamp, who quickly recognizes her predicament--and her remarkable beauty--and makes sure she is safely escorted to her new home. Elizabeth has traveled to this war-ravaged city to minister to the people devastated by the conflict--having been a strict abolitionist who was part of the Underground Railroad--she seeks to help the South understand the transgression of slavery. Andre and Elizabeth's attraction is immediate and obvious, but they quickly discover how diverse two people can be in their values and beliefs. Andre, a Confederate naval officer, returns from the war to discover his father has been hanged by the Yankees, his brother has died of disease and deprivation, his mother is mentally incapacitated and institutionalized, and the glorious and beloved estate of his youth smolders in ruin. His rage against the North knows no bounds--and he has rejected the God whom he blames as allowing the marauders from the North to rob him of his family and inheritance. The question is whether these two strong-willed individuals will be able to swallow their pride and discover a common path to rebuilding the city--and their own lives.
Louise M. Gouges Then Came Faith is the story of a courtship, as a man and woman fall in love but are nearly separated by circumstances. Also woven into this tale is a social commentary about a war-torn nation trying to regain national identity. Then Came Faith is both a romance for the American history lover and a history lesson for the romantics.
Using deft but lively language, Gouge shows readers the hard road faced by America after the Civil War. She evidences a good grasp of what the issues were, and how they could have been dealt with by different people in different ways. Both sides have a say in the story, as the author places two young people together who come from opposite ends of the political spectrum. They portray a very real picture of the issues between their viewpoints, as they live a romance that the reader experiences along with them.
The remarkable point about Then Came Faith is not the writing or the storyline, though they are both well done. It is the Christian faith that Gouges characters embody and inspire in each other. Books in which prayer sounds natural are few and far between; however, this book does it well. Christian readers will appreciate the genuine faith depicted in each character.
Gouge has written award-winning books in the past, so it is no surprise for this one to be well-written and complex. Interest in her characters holds steadily throughout the novel, all the while historical details teach readers about the time period.
Christian readers, especially lovers of romance and history, will enjoy this novel. Gouge has united the story and the history together with the faith of the characters in a way that is seamless and natural. It is a first in a series, so readers can expect more where this came from. It would be hard, indeed, to make a more interesting beginning. Linette Yoder, Christian Book Previews.com
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