Martha Rogers in her new book, "Love Stays True" Book One in The Homeward Journey series published by Realms brings us into the lives of Sallie Dyer and Manfred Whiteman.
From the back cover: Can Sallie and Manfred overcome the distance that the war has put between them and find love?
In April 1865, the day following the surrender at Appomattox, Manfred McDaniel Whiteman and his brother, Edward, are released in an exchange of prisoners. They are given a few provisions, and they begin a long journey to their home in Bayou Sara, Louisiana.
At home Sallie Dyer is waiting word of her beloved Manfred. Though just a young girl when Manfred left, Sallie has grown into a caring young woman who is determined to wait for her loveÃ¢â¬âdespite her father's worries that she is wasting her life on someone who may never come home.
On their journey Manfred and his brother encounter storms and thieves and are even thrown in jail. Will he make the journey home before someone else claims Sallie's hand?
Ms. Rogers has given us real history not only in the events that happen after The Civil War but in the lives of Sallie and Manfred, who not only are real persons, but happen to be part of her genealogy. Manfred and his brother, Edward, were captured by the North and imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland. After the surrender at Appomattox they are released and begin their journey home, on foot, to Bayou Sara, Louisiana. Sallie has no idea that Manfred is alive even though she clings fervently to that hope so that he will return and marry her. There is real tension as neither Manfred nor Sallie know what will happen as the brothers make their way back home. Ms. Rogers has given us a book that deals with faith. The faith that can motivate us or, when it is absent, cause us to waver and lose our motivation. The brothers have no idea of how to get home but they believe that God will see them home. Sallie is a little lost due to an event that she feels God will not forgive her for. How all of this works out is the basis for the story so I will not spoil anything for you here by telling you. "Love Stays True" is a story of love, forgiveness and restoration. I like the way Ms. Rogers writes. She is an accomplished author who knows how to deliver true to life dialog and create characters that you fall in love with. This is an excellent read! I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Realms. 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."
Sallie Dryer has been through a traumatic time during the war between the North and the South. She fears God has turned away from her. In her mind she has done the unforgivable. What if her childhood love, Manfred Whitman is not able to forgive her either? Sallie watches for her sweetheart to return. He is the first thing on her mind when she awakes and then dreams of him through the night. What if he never returns? What if he has been killed? All of these things among others is what go through her mind day in and day out.
Manfred along with his brother Edward, unbeknownst to his loved ones, have just been freed from being imprisoned by Union soldiers. They have a long journey before they reach the their home. They have been through bad and good on their journey home but God has guided and protected them every step of the way. He is anxious to see his family but most of all he wants to see his sweetheart Sallie Dyer. Will she feel about him as he feels about her after all this time apart?
I have no doubt that the author writes from her heart. She gives us many life lessons be learned from reading this story. Most importantly is trust in God which the character Sallie was unable to do therefore it instilled her with doubt and fear. The author is a wise woman in that she creates stories that will encourage the weary and downtrodden soul to turn to God with our every need. I love an inspiring historical romance and that is exactly what the author has given us with much to ponder on in our daily walk with God..
I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Booketeria/Realms for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. This review is my honest opinion.
"Love Stays True" is a Christian historical romance set in the American South from April 4, 1865 to June 7, 1865. I was expecting a deeply historical and realistic novel because the story was loosely based on actual journals from the time. While the situations were realistic enough, there were a number of improbable or inaccurate historical "daily life" details.
I also didn't feel much suspense. Manfred wasn't worried about making it home due to his deep trust in God, he was patient during any delays, and any danger was quickly over. Sallie's troubles (corsets, parties, being courted) didn't seem weighty compared to what others were dealing with. Also it's hard to have a romance when the two characters haven't seen each other in over a year and don't interact for most of the story. Their personalities and beliefs were so different that I wasn't actually hoping they'd get together.
The main characters' reactions often seemed too simplistic. Manfred didn't have emotional trauma from fighting in the war and cared only that he was free. All of the main characters basically said, "Oh, well, we lost, but at least everyone's coming home and things will get back to normal!" They quickly dismissed any bitter or mixed feelings about losing the war or the assassination of President Lincoln.
While Sallie did suffer bad dreams after killing an enemy soldier in self-defense, her reaction seemed impossibly naive. She didn't even seem to realize that Manfred and the rest were killing people in the war. Her reaction never moved past "God won't forgive me because I killed. I don't want anything to do with God because he won't prevent bad things from happening to everyone, even my enemies" until the very end of the book.
And Sallie worries that she'll fall in love with a handsome, kind suitor even though she loves Manfred "with all her heart and soul." She tries to stop the suitor from visiting with her so she won't fall in love with him instead. She avoids anything that might make her question the basis and strength of her love rather than maturely considering the situation.
There were frequent mentions of God working things out and of Sallie blaming God for letting bad things happen. There were no sex scenes and no bad language. Overall, I guess I'd recommend this novel to those who like uncomplicated romances with historical backdrops.
I received this book as a review copy from the publisher.
>"Love Stays True" The Homeward Journey #1, By Martha Rogers, book review
April 1985. The War between the states has been going on for so long, and so many have been affected. Sallie Dyer and her family are just trying to keep their family together. The war comes close and she must defend herself and the other women of her family. When their home is damaged they flee to her grandmother's farm and stay until the end of the war.
Manfred and Edwin have fought for the South, but were captured at the battle of Nashville. They now are being held in a northern prison, but only want to go home. When word comes that the war has ended, and they are released, they begin the long walk home. The brothers take word to the family of a fellow prisoner who will be released later , and are given not only food and shelter, but much help on their journey home. On the way, they decide to help as they can along the way.
Meanwhile Sally waits for Manfred. She fell in love with him before the war and has waited all this time for his return.
This novel is well written and shows many of the real troubles that families endured during the terrible war. The characters seemed quite real and believable. The plot moved along well and kept my interest. I look forward to book #2 due out January 2014.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Realms books. All opinions expressed are my own.