Welcome to the blog tour for Laura Frantz’s latest novel, Love’s Reckoning! I hadn’t read Laura’s novels before, though I’ve heard a lot of buzz about them. When one of my good friends couldn't stop raving, I knew I had to read her latest book.
Let’s begin with the summary:
On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege's daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other's jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man's choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. Love's Reckoning is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.
And now, my review:
Laura’s prose was delicious. She has a way with characterization and storytelling. She’s especially adept at penning romance. The romance between Silas and our heroine was intense. Fresh. Well done!
This author knows how to keep readers engaged with just the right amount of conflict. And the plot kept me guessing. Just when I figured I knew where the story was going, the plot veered in a whole new direction, making this original story even more delicious.
I also liked the symbolism she employed on more than a few occasions, even the parallels to how God loves us. And I loved the references to the Song of Songs.
The only slight downside was that the last 20 percent or so of the story moved slowly for me. I read this novel on my Kindle, so I only knew by percentages (no idea the print book was 429 pages until I checked on Amazon). But there was a certain point where I was ready for the story to wind down but it didn’t. After finishing the novel, I can see how the heroine had some growing left to do and her character arc is satisfied by the end of the book. But the events of the end didn’t have the impact I’d hoped for earlier. I did like seeing the heroine grow. There were times earlier in the story I lost patience with her passivity, lack of courage, and victim lifestyle.
Having said all that, I must say this is one of my favorite reads this year. I read a lot—for a living, actually—but reading this book was a true pleasure.
Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.(print version) (e-book version)