Broken, emotionally scarred, and determined, Emily Foster purchases a house in Michigan to atone for her past sins. Flipping the house seems like a quick way to reach her goal. The unnerving yet handsome contractor she hires seems reluctant to flip her historic house. Contractor Jake Braden has too much to deal with, including his recent goal of obtaining guardianship of his late sister's twins. When Emily and Jake uncover evidence that the house may have been a stop on the underground railroad, they attempt to uncover more clues about the house's past owners. The story of lost love in Emily's house sets the stage for what might become their own lost love.
Tomorrow's Sun, the first novel in the Lost Sanctuary series, is a riveting story that keeps the reader engaged with its mystery and in-depth characters. I literally couldn't put this book down.
Becky Melby has crafted a beautiful story that weds history and the present as she explores how the past has prepared, in some special way, to affect those in the future.
Filled with beautiful prose, witty dialogue, and a captivating story-line of danger, romance and healing, readers will come away from this story with fresh insight. Becky Melby pens a story of characters who experience transformation and change.
While this story is definitely engaging, readers might become a bit annoyed at how the author flashbacks to the past at the end of an incomplete scene that leaves one desperate to know what will happen next. It felt like an immediate jump from one plot to another. Though these scenes of the past are used to provide readers with important information that is pertinent to the scene in the present tense, I personally found it a bit jarring in the middle of an unfulfilled scene. Yes, she returned to the scene once the past was over, but it still felt like an interruption.
That said, the scenes of the past were most certainly intriguing and enjoyable, and they managed to capture the reader's imagination. I just wish the author had presented those scenes after she finished with the scene we'd been reading, instead of inserting it into the middle.
Another thing I found a bit unnerving, though it's done in a way that never leaves the reader confused, is the massive number of sub-plots and character goals involved in this story. It just seemed like far too many.
Again, the number of sub-plots never leaves the reader confused, and in fact, it's done with exquisite skill since Becky Melby blends them all together. Given the separate plot involving the past connection with the house two sub-plots would have been sufficient for this story.
I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this story, and I loved the romance that develops between the characters! I definitely recommend Tomorrow's Sun.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Emily Foster is a woman on a mission - to renovate and profitably sell the 1840's property she has just purchased in Rochester, Wisconsin, population 1100. She has fond memories of one summer spent in the old house, the summer nineteen years ago when she found God and had her first kiss. But Emily is not going to let sentimentality (or her own disabilities) stand in the way of her goal, but the house has mysteries hidden in a bundle of 160-year-old letters, a hidden cellar and an old quilt.
As Emily begins to renovate the house, she hires handsome handyman Jake to help, and he slowly begins to knock down her walls, both literally and figuratively. They discover a hidden cellar and suggestions that the house was once a stop on the Underground Railroad, a network of safe houses used by slaves seeking their freedom by escaping to Canada in the 1850's. Meanwhile, Jake has problems of his own, in the form of help and interference from his 12-year-old twin nephew and niece. Their mother has died and he suspects their stepfather is threatening and mistreating them. He wants to gain custody, but can't unless he can prove they are being abused - which they deny.
Tomorrow's Sun is a story told in two parts, in two separate time periods. The main story is the present, the secondary story flashes back to the 1850's, to Hannah Shaw, her secret beau Liam, and their secret lives as conductors on the Underground Railroad in a town where many people are pro-slavery, and a time when it is an offence to assist an escaped slave. Their story is almost more interesting than Emily's, as it is told in a combination of letters found in the present, and excerpts from the past.
I enjoyed the book, but I found that Emily was a hard character to get to know, which made it hard to relate to Emily and therefore made her difficult for me to like. It is not that she was unlikeable; it was more than she felt unknowable. I did like the way the author wove the theme of slavery, both physical and emotional, into the story, and the way Emily eventually rediscovered her faith in God as she thawed emotionally.
Tomorrow's Sun is the first book in Becky Melby's Lost Sanctuary series, with the second stand-alone book, Yesterday's Stardust, due to be published on 1 June 2012.
Thanks to Barbour Publishing and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.