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The Abolitionist's Daughter (Sons of the Shenandoah) Kindle Edition
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If you love the Civil War, you are guaranteed to learn things you never knew from Maher's decades of meticulous research of her beloved home region in the Southern Tier of upstate NY and its role in this chapter of our nation's story. If you love to see the uncanny connections of historical events to current events, you will be amazed at the relevant themes that seem to be straight out of today's headlines: social justice, a cultural tipping point, and the need for reconciliation, just to name a few. And... if you love a good old fashioned and intelligently written romance, Maher of course delivers that, too.
You should take my word for it. I'm a harsh critic. But since you don't know me, I understand you may want to find out for yourself. Get the book. Read the book. You'll see.
Twin brothers, Devon and Ethan Sharpe, are inseparable. Identical in their handsome looks, but personality-wise so very different. Devon is charming and full of fun, but very opinionated and the more domineering of the brothers. Ethan is the one who stole my heart. Gentle, loving, and definitely a Southern gentleman all the way! On the brink of the Civil War, a compassionate and lovely northerner, Marietta Hamilton, enters the twins' lives...utterly changing the dynamics of their relationship and their fate.
Not just another Civil War era novel, this one touched me to the very core of my being. 'The Abolitionist's Daughter' is a read filled with faith, invaluable scriptures and quotes, a strong thread of forgiveness, and chock-full of brilliantly researched, accurate historical details. As humorous as it is heartbreaking, as romantic as it cruel, as lovely as it is horrifying—this is one amazing, unpredictable novel!
My wife and I both grew up in upstate New York, close to many of the landmarks and locations mentioned in the novel. It is interesting hearing plot points from my wife as she read, knowing exactly where Kathleen L Maher is referring to, such as the Elmira Prison Camp near the Chemung River, and the Elmira Female College (now known as Elmira College).
Wife says it's worth the read!
I knew I was going to like Marietta when I found her lurking in the hearth as she uses the flue in the chimney to eavesdrop on her parents' conversation. And feeling wholly justified because they are in the middle of deciding her future! She's young and passionate and determined to make something of her future beyond the usual finishing school and perfecting of womanly arts. She has a passion for justice and desires to follow in her abolitionist father's footsteps. Even so, she's naive and spoiled and hasn't been tempered by life's hardships. Yet. That's all about to change as politics and war test her faith and her devotion to those she loves.
Ethan has spent his life in the shadows of his gregarious twin brother. More thoughtful and sensitive than Devon, he's been content to allow his brother to lead while he follows. Until they meet a certain young woman -- but Marietta's Northern politics and deeply rooted faith are at conflict with the devil-may-care attitude the twins have adopted. Even so, Ethan is drawn to "...the prettiest thing he'd ever seen, even if she was fiercer than a feral cat." (p19)
Marietta challenges Ethan to examine his faith and his beliefs. I love her fearless zeal as she fervently shares her views with him. And suddenly Ethan finds himself questioning the very backbone of the society he has grown up in. It isn't long before he is forced to stand up for what he believes to be right even though it turns his brother into his enemy.
Maher has done an excellent job of meshing tumultuous emotion with riveting historical facts in this sweeping family saga. And she expertly weaves a strong inspirational thread throughout. This is just as much a story about God's love as it is about the love between a man and a woman. A truly captivating historical romance.
My thanks to the author for gifting me with a copy of this book.