ALL THINGS NEW
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?
In her bestselling tradition, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of Reconstruction by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.
Austin takes the glamour out of the civil war in this compelling and disturbing account of the post-war South. I have to admit that I hadn't given much thought to what happened immediately after the war ended -- or how Americans picked up the pieces of their lives after battling for five years. Gritty and realistic, I found All Things New depressing at the start. The obstacles the South faced were overwhelming. No family was untouched by loss. People were starving. Despondency and bitterness became the new enemy and Austin thrust her characters into the middle of the chaos.
The story becomes all the more powerful because it is told from three very different points of view. First there is Josephine. She's almost apathetic from the start -- numbed by all the suffering she has endured. I loved her character arc the most. What a transformation! Especially appreciated her faith struggle has she attempted to make sense of the horrors of war. And I loved the way Austin contrasted Josephine's story with that of her mother, Eugenia and a former slave, Lizzie. All three women are experiencing different facets of freedom for the first time. Such a brilliant concept that results in a powerful, moving and very memorable read.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of All Things New, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday October 28 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!
"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".