For the most part, I liked this story. There were some interesting twists to the plot and most of the characters were likable. Little Violet was sweet and Grandmother Hays added wisdom. Nate was an admirable hero who had strength of character. Maggie was the one I had trouble with. Though she had tragedies in her life that would certainly affect her, she continued to hang on to bitterness, pride, and just plain stubbornness. She would finally make some progress, then something else would happen and she'd be right back in the stubborn, prideful thinking. I confess I got really annoyed with her. Thankfully, she makes much character growth by the end of the book.
I received a complementary copy of the book from the publisher, but this did not affect my review.
Ever since Maggie's parents and sister died in a horrible boating accident, Maggie's life has been hard. She and her baby sister lost their home and had to move in with their grandma. And Maggie's best friend, Nate, seemingly deserted her in her time of need. Now, years later, he's back in town just as her little family faces another hard situation. Will he come through for her this time ... if she can forgive him enough to let him back into her life?
Shine Like the Dawn was a lovely historical romance. I loved Carrie Turansky's other novels and was excited to read this one. It did not disappoint. The romance was sweet and the ongoing mystery was intriguing.
Maggie had a lot of hardship, bitterness, and grief to overcome before she could be fully ready to have a real relationship with Nate. And Nate had many problems to struggle through also, including communication problems, bitterness toward his parents, !and his inheritance (including workers going on strike). The characters faced many difficult things in this novel, but they struggled through them to overcome them beautifully.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to Carrie Turansky's upcoming releases. I recommend it to fans of sweet historical romance.
I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.
Shine Like the Dawn by Carrie Turansky sweeps readers back in time to 1903 Heatherton, England. In 1899 the Lounsbury family (Daniel, Abigail, Olivia, Maggie, and Violet) are enjoying Olivias birthday by taking a picnic across the lake. They are far into the lake when the boat starts taking on water. Unable to row the boat back to shore in time, they start swimming to shore. Unfortunately, only Maggie and Violet make it back alive. Four years later, Maggie and Violet are living with their Grandmother Hayes above her millinery shop. Nate Harcourt is returning home to Morningside Manor after a four years absence to see his father before he passes away. Maggie and Nate used to be good friends before she lost her family. She has not forgiven him for not being there for her when they died. Nate inherits his fathers estate and Clifton Engineering Works. Nate promised his father that he would care for his stepmother, Helen and stepsister, Clare. Helen, though, does not make this task easy. Maggie received her fathers journal after his death, but just recently started reading it. She finds out that someone had reason to harm him and he was threatened shortly before his death. Could the boat have been sabotaged? After a fire destroys the millinery, Nate invites Maggie, Violet and Grandmother Hayes to stays at Morningside Manor. This could be Maggies opportunity to find the evidence she needs. Nate is grateful to spend time with Maggie and, hopefully, repair their old friendship. Will Nate help Maggie with her quest?
Shine Like the Dawn is a well-written and researched novel. Carrie Turanky captured the setting and the historical period. The author brought the characters to life and gave them real personalities. We are given characters to love and a couple to dislike. The book had a good pace, but I thought it was slightly too long. Shine Like the Dawn captured and held my attention. The Christian element is light (not preachy). Maggie had closed her heart to God and let in anger and hurt instead. She does not understand how God can let good people die and suffer (something I struggle with myself). One of the main messages in the novel is to let God in to heal your heart and comfort you. I give Shine Like the Dawn 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the mystery element that was present in the story. It enhanced the novel. There are other issues in the story (I could not describe everything in my summary). Nate learning to run his fathers company, workers wanting to strike, Maggie struggling to forgive Nate (she only knows her side of the story, romance between Nate and Maggie, Violet injuring her leg, the rebuilding of the millinery, and Lillys romance with Rob are some of the other storylines. The novel has a lovely and fulfilling conclusion. Shine Like the Dawn is a good book for readers who enjoy Christian, historical books (set in the Edwardian period). This was the first book I have read by Carrie Turansky, and it is not my last.
The kind of story that sweeps you away to another time and place
March 30, 2017
An interesting mix of Downton Abbey and North & South with a bit of Larkrise to Candleford thrown in. :-) Love how all the classic elements blend together to make a riveting read. Turansky has created an emotional period drama that carried me away to another time and place and now that I've finished I find I'm feeling rather homesick!
A sweet and tender romance between one-time friends is fraught with difficulties. Maggie's modest village life can't compare to Nathaniel's wealth and prominence. But that isn't the only thing keeping them apart. A past tragedy results in a slew of misunderstandings that seem insurmountable.
Maggie is having difficulty rallying from a profound loss and she struggles with trusting God in the midst of her sorrow. Luckily she has the benefit of her grandmother's unwavering faith and wisdom. Not that Maggie always listens. She's frustratingly stubborn about nursing grudges and coddling her grief. There were times that girl had me in conniptions! Especially when it came to Nathaniel.
Poor man never knows where he stands when it comes to Maggie. He'd like to get past the rift that has separated them for years. A stint as a naval officer has bought him some fresh perspective. A man of faith, dedicated to duty. Classic hero material if every there was one.
But goodness, Turansky doesn't make it easy for these two! There's mystery and danger and some truly reprehensible characters determined to wreck havoc. A deliciously nerve-wracking page-turner!