Friday, October 12, 2012

Blog Tour | All Things New by Lynn Austin

This week, the
is introducing
All Things New
Lynn Austin

All Things New
by Lynn Austin
Christian Fiction / Historical
Available October 2012
Bethany House
416 pages

About the Book
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 Thoughts
I'm not quite done reading this one yet, but it is SO GOOD! I'm not sure how I've missed out on Lynn Austin. I know she's won tons of awards and I've seen her books everywhere! Shame on me for not reading one until now! [Grin!]

All Things New is set in the weeks and months immediately following the end of the Civil War. Honestly, I've never really thought about what this time was like for the people who lived it. What if I was on the losing side of the Civil War? My father, brothers, and most of the men in my town died fighting for the side that lost. My home and property have been ransacked by the winners of the war. My slaves are now free—which means that we have no way to plant crops (and therefore no way to make money) and are having to do tasks that I always thought were menial before. I'm poor for the first time in generations. I'm not saying it's right. I just never thought about how it would feel before. I'm a Southern girl but always thought that surely I would have stood up for what was right and fought against slavery. But what if I hadn't? What if I didn't know that it was wrong? What if I was blinded by this sin that was now culturally acceptable? (Hmmm ... sounds like a lot of things that happen today!)

And what if was the slave who was now free? I'm thankful to have my family all in one place. Someone tells me that I'm free and I never have to worry about my husband or my children being sold to another owner. I can leave the plantation whenever I want, which is weird because I've never left the property before. My former owner now has to pay me a wage in return for the work I do for her. My children can go to school, and I'm learning how to read, write, and count for the first time.

This book is making me think like crazy, which is probably why I'm reading it a little slower than normal. It's just taking up so much mental energy! Ha! Seriously, though, Lynn Austin is a talented writer. In All Things New she switches back and forth between multiple viewpoints and does it in such a way that keeps me totally caught up in the story. The story alone is powerful, but Austin writes pulls me further in with every word. Talented, talented lady. I'm looking forward to reading more by Lynn Austin ... looks like I've got a few to catch up on!

I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House and CFBA in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film. Visit Lynn's website to learn more.

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