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My Daughter's Legacy (Cousins of the Dove) Paperback – July 1, 2017
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About the Author
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. www.mindystarnsclark.com
Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including Beyond the Blue and Garden of Dreams. She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. www.lesliegould.com
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Clark and Gould bring their amazing franco-american Cousins of the Dove series to a stunning conclusion in this final book, My Daughter's Legacy. Told from two different points of view, one hundred fifty years apart, this is a book and series not to be missed.
The book starts out presenting two seemingly loosely related cords,that of recovering addict Nicole Talbot and her Civil War relative,Therese Jennings. Yet the authors skillfully maneuver their opposing stories through twists and turns with surprising outcomes,until the two accounts meld into one shocking whole.
Truly, Richmond sounded like an exciting, dangerous place to live in Civil War times. Loyalties were not always what they seemed, then or in the contemporary section of the book,either.
Emotionally, this book will cause you to feel everything the characters endured. Fear, decisiveness, stealth, righteous anger, protectiveness towards a child, confusion, certainty, love, hate, and the list goes on. Be prepared.
Two quotes I enjoyed:
"...perhaps life was never as simple as it could appear for anyone-not now and not back then either."
"Remember,if you save the lives of one hundred men, you will have done more for your country than if you had fought a hundred battles."- Jefferson Davis
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I have left a review voluntarily, and all opinions are solely my own.
This book has dual time periods. Part of the story is set in 1864 Virginia. The other part is contemporary. I really like how the authors weave the stories in such a way that you flow back and forth between them smoothly.
I absolutely love the characters in this wonderful book! There is an amazing depth to them that really captured my interest. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the progression of life for the contemporary characters. Nicole shows remarkable growth since the last book.
In the historical story we are shown in great detail what life was like in Richmond, Virginia near the end of the Civil War. The constant struggle to get the food and other supples that were needed comes to life. It amazed me to read about how simple people developed courage and strength to keep on living and doing all that they could to live as they believed God wanted them to.
It was wonderful to see the four cousins come back together in the contemporary story. They worked together to sort out the details from the traumatic experience that they shared as children. Each one had grown and developed their own talents. All of their strengths had an opportunity to shine as they contributed to the final solution.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I have chosen to write this review to express my personal opinion.
Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions 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.*
About 150 years earlier in 1864, Therese Jennings is a daughter of the South who wants nothing to do with the Southern institution of slavery. Embracing her deceased father's abolitionist ideals, she tirelessly tries to persuade her mother to free the family's remaining slaves. After all, it's not as if the Confederacy will win the war or as if the South will remain unchanged. But Mrs. Jennings holds firm, and throughout many travails, Therese must decide how far she's willing to go for what she believes in. More importantly, she must decide who she can trust to stand with her.
Once again, Mindy Clark and Leslie Gould craft an engaging historical/contemporary novel with two balanced plotlines. I liked the arrangement of this book better than the others in the series because Therese and Nicole's plotlines were handled in larger chunks. That way, neither was ever left hanging while I waited to see what would happen in the other one. Nicole and Therese aren't as explicitly connected as Maddee and Celeste, but I loved how both stayed steadfastly committed to different versions of freedom. Whether literal or figurative, the quest for freedom is one most if not all readers can relate to. This makes both women easy to root for.
Nicole and Therese are also engaging and developed characters, especially Therese. At times, her age and lack of life experience make her seem immature in how she responds to her mother, Michael, and others. I particularly got tired of her repeating again and again how Michael had so disappointed her/wasn't the man for her. But the authors give Therese plenty of time to grow, and she eventually becomes a pleasure to read about. You empathize and sympathize with her at the same time, as you watch her try to make a place for herself in a society where very few black and white answers exist. The same is true for Nicole; you root not only for her to stay sober, but for the beginning of her new life. Like Therese, she has matured considerably, and you see that along with new growth in her every action.
In My Daughter's Legacy, Nicole's half of the story drew me in more than Therese's. I loved that Nicole, who remembered the least about the aforementioned trauma and seemed the most untrustworthy, ended up being the person who led the way to closure. It's a huge defining moment for her, especially when she uncovers the plot twist at the end. That being said, Mindy and Leslie did a great job on Therese's story. Their research is well done, but sprinkled in with the expert hand of people who can write both history and fiction without sacrificing one or the other.
I'd have liked to see more development for a few events and characters. Michael gets the short end of the stick primarily because of Therese's other love interest, Alec Talbot. I understand that, but I felt like I barely knew the guy. The same is true for Nate, who seemed like a highly interesting character I didn't get to spend much time with. Additionally, I might have liked to see a little more of Therese interacting with the soldiers at the hospital or the little girls she taught; it would've helped her come across more as a mature woman and given her some shading.
One final note: I hope this isn't the actual conclusion to Cousins of the Dove, although it seems like it is. Personally, I think it's unfair Danielle didn't get a story, but I guess as readers we can't have everything. Overall, I can definitely encourage readers to try this one.
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