Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

Sweeter than Birdsong
by Rosslyn Elliott
The Saddler's Legacy, Book 2
Christian Fiction / Historical / Romance
Published February 7, 2012
Thomas Nelson
400 pages



About the Book
Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

My Thoughts
As much as I enjoyed Rosslyn Elliott's debut novel Fairer than Morning, I think I liked Sweeter than Birdsong even better. Therefore, I'm feeling quite a bit of pressure to write a really excellent, perfectly worded review to do Rosslyn's work justice! :)

Kate thinks that graduating from college will provide an escape from life with her dysfunctional family. Her fear of public speaking threatens her dreams for a better life, and when things go from bad to worse at home, running away from home seems to be the only answer. As she becomes friends with Ben Hanby and his family, she is thrust into the middle of a dangerous plot to rescue a slave family as part of the Underground Railroad. As she helps fugitives to freedom, Kate realizes that her own chance at freedom may be slipping away. Will she ever be free from her family?

This was an absolutely delightful book! I was glad to read more of the Hanby's story and enjoed getting to know Will, Kate, and their friends. Will was such a gentleman—and so different from his rakish brother! Kate was probably the most intriguing character to me. She was so painfully shy in the beginning that I wasn't sure how (or if!) she was going to turn into the heroine of the story. Rosslyn did a marvelous job of telling Kate's story, though, and showing how she grew throughout the book.

The story absolutely gripped me. Much of the story focused on slavery and those helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. It was a unique perspective for sure. I kept wondering how I would respond if I lived in that time period. I certainly despise slavery now (with the benefit of 150+ years of hindsight), but what would I have thought back then? And more importantly, would I have done anything about it? This book has kept me thinking for weeks after reading it, which is definitely the sign of a great book!

Anyone who loves historical novels, romance, and a little action, will enjoy this book! [5 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson and Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Rosslyn Elliott is the award-winning author of Fairer than Morning, the first in the Saddler's Legacy series. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue writing fiction. Elliott lives in Albuquerque, where she homeschools her daughter and works in children's ministry.

Rosslyn Elliott Online
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