19 June 2014
All Things New by Lynn Austin: a Book Review
First, let me give a shout out to Amazon and my local library. They work together and allow me to borrow digital books and download them to my Kindle Fire -- a free service provided to me as a library patron. I found Lynn Austin's book All Things New by browsing the Georgia Download Destination.
While I thoroughly enjoy historical fiction and women as lead characters, I don't often enjoy Christian fiction. To be fair, it's likely due to my limited exposure to the genre. In my experience, however, there is a bit too much "sugar coated-ness" for my taste. I firmly believe God performs miracles on a daily basis. Yet, I also believe the events leading up to those miracles are not always pretty.
No danger of sugar-coating in this book! Ms. Austin was able to portray a tumultuous time in (Southern) American history with accuracy, but without overly graphic or crass language.
All Things New is primarily set on the White Oak plantation not far from Richmond, Virginia. The time period is Reconstruction, immediately following the Civil War. The story has three main characters: a mother and her daughter (with a Southern aristocratic social standing), and a newly freed female slave. Each chapter is told from a different character's viewpoint.
The mother (Eugenia) wants nothing more than for her life to return to the "way things were" before the war. She has no intention of changing her beliefs regarding slavery or those enslaved. The daughter (Josephine) is eager to embrace change, not only in terms of the abolishment of slavery, but also in the roles women generally play in Southern society. The newly freed female slave (Lizzie) is just plain terrified. She wants to move forward and have a better life for herself and her children, yet she trusts no one outside her family. Her bravery is noted in the small steps she takes toward that better life, risking her personal safety in the process.
Each of these characters also struggle with their relationship with God, specifically their trust in Him.
The ravages of war, gender roles, class roles, suicidal tendencies, forbidden love, violence against a race of people, and trying to figure out whether God even plays a role in it all -- in 400+ pages. Great read by Lynn Austin!
Shared at All Things Thursday, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, The HomeAcre Hop, Simple Lives Thursday, Thrifty Thursday, Thriving Thursday, and some of these other fine hops.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.