Oct 23, 2012

Book Review: All Things New by Lynn Austin

Back Cover: The war is over. The South has lost.

Josephine Weatherly struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when her family returns to their Virginia plantation. But the realities of life after the war cannot be denied: her home and land are but a shell of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken.

Her life of privilege, a long-ago dream.

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.

Can hope--and a battered faith in God--survive amid the devastation?

My Review: Lynn Austin takes us through the difficult months after the Civil War. Austin's main character, Josephine, realizes that the war has left holes that can not be filled. Brothers, fathers, and friends have all lost their lives. Property has been stolen, sold, or set free. Nothing is the same, and the old rules and expectations seem artificial and false. The novel shows us an intimate glimpse into the struggle that the Southern aristocracy faced in those days. I found this book to be thought provoking. Having been raised north of the Mason-Dixon line, I can't fully understand the depth of feeling that those in the South have about the war. It is not surprising that bitterness, anger, and  an unwillingness to trust the army that had defeated them would abound. I believe that Austin gives us a honest look into the conflicted emotions and actions of the people in that day.

My Rating:

My Recommendation: I recommend this book to readers of historical fiction and fans of Lynn Austin.

All Things New

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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