Each time I read a book by Lynn Austin, it is easy to see why she has been nominated so many times (and won!) the Christy Award.
Lynn is one of my favorite authors and is one of the best writers of historical fiction that I have personally found. All Things New is about families trying to rebuild after the Civil War, and adjusting to the hardships and aftermath of the war. I loved the blend of characters in this book, and found them completely believable.
Josephine Weatherly, continually vexes her mother who is desperate to maintain their lofty social status and position, though the war has taken everything. Against her mother’s wishes, Josephine befriends her family’s former slaves, and finds joy in the simple daily tasks of living. The push and pull struggle of the families in this book, made for a very interesting read. It seemed like the more the war intended to separate them, life connected them and they had to learn to work together to survive.
Josephine ends up being the bridge between both sides, so that neither end up starving. They learn from each other, and about themselves as they persevere through the darkest of times. While this wasn’t one of my favorite books by this author, it was still interesting and worth the time. A Woman’s Place may very well still be my all time favorite by Lynn Austin, with All She Ever Wanted running a close second.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
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.
Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from Bethany House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.