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Love's Reckoning: A Novel (The Ballantyne Legacy) (Volume 1) Paperback – September 1, 2012
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From the Back Cover
On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But because he is a fast worker and a superb craftsman, Liege endeavors to keep him in York by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master's beautiful daughters.
Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas's heart--and will he agree to Liege's arrangement?
In this sweeping family saga, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
Laura Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman's Daughter, Courting Morrow Little, and The Colonel's Lady. A two-time Carol Award finalist, she is a Kentuckian living in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons. She enjoys connecting with readers at LauraFrantz.net.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was so....full of angst, full of such misery, drudgery, suffering and injustice. I kept thinking it has to get better, but by the time I get to 90% of my kindle read, I had to accept that the poetry and elegant language aside, this book is simple of chronicle of drudgery.
I know I am in the minority here but my complaints witht the story line are so many I don't know where to start.
Eden is the most downtrodden, spineless, colorless (except for her hair) super saintly character in all of Laura's novels. She doesn't have a quiet and gentle spirit, she lacks personality. She allows herself to be reviled, overworked, harrassed, ignored, hoodwinked...She is just a perpetual victim. This voluminous account celebrating the victimhood of this woman comes to a climax when she is raped! Raped? The main character? Now I know some will say that the book mirrors the injustices that women often suffer in real life, but personally I don't read fiction to absorb hours and hours of abuse and suffering that are likely to happen in real life. I read to be entertained. The rape (incestuous I might add) of this woman is not met with any kind of meaningful resitution or justice. Perhaps Laura intends to cover this in a sequel. My only trouble with that is that all the loose ends in the novel makes the work seem sloppy and rushed. There are simply too many unresolved issues.
Elspeth is the one dimensional opposite of Eden. She is shamelessly promiscous, loud, vindictive, greedy and evil. She lacks natural affection and she shakes her fist at God. This character is so without nuance and redemption that I had to force myself not to skip pages when her name shows up. You expect her to be lustful. You know she is almost always hatching some diabolical plan to ruin others. Laura provides no deviation from that worn script from the start of the novel to the end.
Silas is perhaps the most interesting character but his interaction with Eden (at times so lofty and infrequent) it barely makes the story worth reading. If you are looking for a love story, you won't find much of it here.
By the time we get the last pages of the novel, Eden's decision to leave her home and stand up to her father is reported off stage. It is so ridiculously out of character, given the full serving of servitude and piety that the reader has been fed all along, that this new woman routine is received with nought but a raised eyebrow. Just when you think Eden may have been given a backbone to salvage at least the end of the novel, we notice that she is terrified and totally flummoxed at the mention of her attacker's name...same ole Eden. But of course Silas loves her and all's well....maybe...since the evil sister Elspeth has ridden her broom into town and this is supposed to make the reader eager for the next story.
I think I'll pass.
Eden Lee is practically invisible in her household in the late 1700s, doing near most all the household work, her older sister, Elspeth, seemingly the favored child, her mother in melancholy most of the time, and her father a man not given to tolerating anyone unlike himself.
Liege Lee, Eden's father, is a blacksmith and he has hired an apprentice to come help him. Tradition says the apprentice marries the daughter of the family and Elspeth is the eldest, so she is the presumed bride. However, Elspeth is corrupt at heart and only thinks of herself and her goals.
Eden blends into the background, but Silas Ballantyne, the apprentice, has a discerning heart and notices Eden and the way she is treated.
Eden's life is a blend of misery and despair,although she longs to know Christ. Her father doesn't permit her to go to church, but Silas secretly reads the Scriptures to her on nights in the stairwell. When she is finally permitted to go to church, her heart sings at being able to sit in God's house. This is the way people should feel when they enter the house of the Lord.
Laura Frantz writes with such depth of feeling that the reader feels the despair right along with Eden. Her characters are so well developed that I wish I knew them. Silas Ballantyne is not a man to be pushed around and he loves God with an amazing fervor. However, he desires to finish his apprenticeship and go west. Eden can't bear the thought of Silas leaving because her days are brighter when she sees him at the evening meal.
My, but this book was good. I wanted to read fast to finish it, but found myself at times forcing myself to leave it lay a bit so that I could draw the pleasure out.
Laura Frantz's books are books that you want to keep in a special pride of place on your shelves and reread again and again.
This one has a sequel and it's going to be so difficult to have to wait until Fall 2013 to read the next book in the series.
The book is heartwrenching and dark at times but it manages to show the reader that true love given by God bears all things.
If you do not read this book, you are missing out on a deeply moving experience! Laura Frantz is my all time favorite Christian author. Besides, she is a wonderfully nice woman.
Silas is a "conflummixt Scot", walking west to finish an apprenticeship and into a bridal trap of the master blacksmith, with 2 eligible daughters. But are they? They seem beautiful enough, but with baggage. Pa even provides him the garret bedroom rather than the traditional smithy's shed. Older Elspeth is ripe with man-want, while sis, Eden, holds a secret to include a Godly pursuit. Pa's a Quaker outcast and drinker. Nice to know that dysfunction existed in Early American times.
Yes it is Hist. Romance, but filled with a story that is quite believable depicting pioneer America times. It's a breathtaking picture of Pennsylvania. It's not the typical PA Amish or Dutch this time that gives us a look at early faith/life struggles in that colony.
Astonishing cover design attributed to Brandon Hill.
Your money's worth and then some. Delightful.
The worst part of the book is the end where readers get teased with a peek at the opening of The Ballantyne Legacy Book 2. It will be a hard historical wait to meet the next generation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In a Cinderella-esque twist, Eden Lee is the reserved, quiet sister, doing what she is told and bearing more than her...
I truly enjoyed this story.