TO LOVE ANEW
Hannah Talbot has no one. Forced to leave the only home she's ever known, she works for a cruel employer who brutally takes the only thing she has left -- her dignity. When she is banished to an Australian prison, she is certain God has turned his back on her. How could he -- or anyone else -- ever love her again?
John Bradshaw is a successful businessman, but his untamed spirit wants more. Little does he know what he will have to endure to find the adventure he seeks. Betrayed by those closest to him, he loses everything, even his freedom. There is no returning now. His life is not his own.
Now aboard a ghastly prison ship, John and Hannah are about to cross paths. What will happen when two hearts filled with pain discover how to love anew? The first book in the Sydney Cove series.
BONNIE LEON MANAGES TO PLUNGE HER READERS INTO THE GRITTY -- AND OFTEN SHOCKING -- REALITY OF THE EARLY 1800'S RIGHT FROM THE FIRST PAGE OF TO LOVE ANEW. THIS IS DICKENS' WORLD, WHERE INJUSTICES ARE HEAPED UPON THE INNOCENT WHILE THE WICKED GO FREE AND A MAN (OR WOMAN) CAN BE JAILED FOURTEEN YEARS FOR STEALING A LOAF OF BREAD.
THE HISTORICAL DETAIL IS AMAZING, THOUGH LEON DOES SUCH A GOOD JOB WITH IT THAT I FELT LIKE I WAS RIGHT THERE WITH HANNAH AT THE MOST DESPERATE OF TIMES. WHAT STRUCK ME MOST AS I READ THIS BOOK, WAS THE FACT THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY SUFFERED THE HORRORS HANNAH DID...AND SURVIVED!
TO LOVE ANEW DEALS WITH THE HARSHER REALITIES OF LIFE AND COULD HAVE FELT OVERWHELMING IF IT WEREN'T FOR A CAST OF SECONDARY CHARACTERS WHO MANAGE TO BUOY HANNAH UP AND GUIDE HER WAY BACK TO A GOD SHE THOUGHT HAD FORSAKEN HER.
WHILE HANNAH STRUGGLES WITH FEELINGS OF SELF-WORTH, JOHN BATTLES BITTERNESS AND LEON WEAVES AN UNDERLYING MESSAGE OF FORGIVENESS THAT BRINGS THEM BOTH HOPE. BUT WILL THAT HOPE LAST? THOUGH TO LOVE ANEW ENDS ON A HIGH POINT I FEEL A SENSE OF FORESHADOWING OF THINGS TO COME IN THE SECOND BOOK OF THE SYDNEY COVE SERIES. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!