Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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.

My Review:

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.

Giveaway Opportunity:

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". 


  1. Let me be the first to enthusiastically enter for this Civil War novel! Thank you Kav. I have been praying Civil War makes a comeback. It's my favorite subgenre. Reconstruction is a fascinating time in our history, and it will be wonderful to see how a master like Lynn Austin does it.
    Thanks, Kav!
    Kathy Maher
    mahereenie at yahoo dot com

  2. Ooh this one sounds great! I love civil war novels also!


  3. This sounds like my kind of story. I have always enjoyed war-time stories because they are emotional but a post-war story is a bit different. To see how people pick up their lives and start over is something to think about.

  4. Thank you, Kav, for giving this one away! I'm really looking forward to reading it. I'm fascinated by the Civil War era.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  5. I always enjoy Austin's books. Thank you for this opportunity.
    cllyrics (at) gmail (dot)com

  6. It's definitely a great read of epic proportions. A book you can really sink your teeth into. And while I admit the civil war era is an interesting period in American history, it is also a horrific one. Austin does an amazing job with it.

    Good luck everyone.

  7. i LOVE lynn's novels...thanks for the chance to read her latest one, kav

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  8. I love Lynn Austin books!!! Can't wait to read this one!


  9. Not sure if I have ever read Lynn Austin, please sign me up!

  10. Lynn Austin is an expert at writing realistic books! Love her novels and have always enjoyed reading about the Civil War era. I am currently reading one now that takes place in the aftermath of that terrible war. I live in SC and the rich history is all around us! Thanks for the opportunity to win this one, Kav!

  11. I have a number of Lynn's novels, but it's been awhile since i picked up one of hers. This sounds like one i need to read. Thanks for the great giveaway, Kav.


  12. I enjoy Civil War stories. I can just imagine how the southeners felt returning to their plantations and the devestation they came across.

  13. It's a great book -- wish I could give one to all of you! Alas I'm not a millionaire so...good luck instead. :-)

  14. Lynn Austin writes some of the best books based in the Civil Wat era! I am so happy she has written another one!!


  15. This should be a good read, and I love the cover. Please enter me.
    Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

  16. I love Lynn Austin's books. She's a fabulous historical fiction author. Thank you for a wonderful review and giveaway!

  17. I've read many of Lynn Austin's books and loved them all. I like that she accurately portrays the historical time period. She always has such interesting characters in her books. I'd be very happy to win a copy of All Things New. Thanks for the review and giveaway.


  18. Lynn Austin!! Yes, please enter me in the drawing for this book! Would love to win All Things New. Historical Fiction is my very favorite genre. Kathleen

  19. I haven't read any of Lynn's books yet. This one sounds so good! I would be delighted to win a copy of All Things New.


  20. I love Lynn Austin's books! She's just wonderful. Please enter me.

    mchapman(at) windstream (dot) net

  21. Good luck Pam, Kathleen, Judy and Michelle!

  22. It's been a while since I have read a Lynn book. I would love to read this one.

  23. Please drop my name in the hat. Thanks.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  24. Name dropping right now, Amy. :-) Good luck!

  25. I just got finished reading her "Wonderland Creek". That was a very good book so I know this one will be awesome as well!

  26. I loved Wonderland Creek too, Anna! Lynn Austin definitely as a gift! You'll find this one a great read as well. Good luck.

  27. Thank you for this review and for hosting this giveaway.


  28. I love Lynn Austin and I heard this was amazing!

  29. Thank you so, so much! I received All Things New today! I really liked Wonderland Creek and know I will like this book by Lynn Austin. I have read other books authored by her and look forward to reading All Things New. Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House