Evocative and heartfelt, this story brings to life the hardships and heartache of the unforgiving New World.
Selah Hopewell has her hands full with tending her father's shop and settling the tobacco brides to give much thought to her own unmarried state. I liked that she knew her mind, and had her own opinions, yet she never felt improper or inauthentic to place in history. I admired her faith and knowledge of Scripture, her heart for others, and could definitely relate with being hard on myself when falling short.
Laura Frantz brings James Towne to life in this historically rich novel, especially in how she committed to the dialect and speech patterns of the times. This book also doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of the cruelties inflicted, and the unstable peace with the Powhatans. It is obvious that Ms. Frantz did an excellent job with meticulous research each detail making the story more immersive.
Xander Renick is a successful landowner and natural leader, he doesn't shy away from danger or duty. He is respectful and measured, not one to act impulsively, with a strong sense of compassion and justice. One of my favorite parts of this book was the warming chemistry between him and Selah, as they traded remarks and Scripture.
I've been a long time Laura Frantz fan, but upon reading this book it floated to the top as being one of my all-time favorites by her. Steady in pace it became unputdownable at chapter 32, I simply had to find out what would happen next! One of my favorite things in this book were the glimpses into Powhatan life and culture.
Overall, I'd say this is an absolutely excellent read, well researched, with authentic dialect, compelling characters, sweet children, and faith woven into the fabric of the story. I loved how this book gives a panoramic view of life in and around James Towne, deftly handling difficult topics while bringing to life the dangers, and tensions, politics and matters of the heart. An excellent book well worth your time, definitely recommend!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.