New Historical Novel from 7-Time Christy Award Winner!
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.
Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak...but a bitter hatred fuels her.
With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.
In this latest historical novel from the multiple Christy Award winning author (Hidden Places), Josephine Weatherly, her family, their Virginia neighbors, and their former slaves must find a way to adopt a new way of thinking to survive after the Civil War. Josephine willingly embraces the opportunity to work with her hands and to get to know former slaves Lizzie and Otis, who stay on to work at the plantation to give their children an opportunity to attend school. Josephine's widowed mother, Eugenia, is horrified, however. Slaves, whom she must now call "servants," should know their place. She dreams instead of rebuilding the South just as it was and of finding husbands for her daughters. Along the way, Josephine helps a neighbor who has lost the will to live after being crippled in battle and starts to question her brother Daniel's involvement in some unpleasant activities. She also strikes up a friendship with Freedman's Bureau agent Alexander Chandler. Can this Yankee Quaker help her rediscover the faith she lost in a God who cares? The Reconstruction-era South is realistically recreated, but a detached narrative style and a predictable plot hinder fuller character development.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved the characters, well written. At times, I couldn’t put it down!
All things new
I really enjoyed the characters in this book. The attention to details helped this book to make me feel a part of it. It was awesome!
Lynn Austin does a wonderful job of showing what it was like after the Civil War and what challenges racially, socially, financially, and more...
It is wonderfully written and I couldn’t help but befriend her characters as they grow and change.