All Things New
by Lynn Austin
About the Book:
In the aftermath of the Civil War, Josephine Weatherly and her mother, Eugenia, struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives when they return to their Virginia plantation. But the bitter realities of life after the war cannot be denied: their home and land are but shells of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken. The privileged childhood Josephine enjoyed now seems like a long-ago dream. And the God who failed to answer any of her prayers during the war is lost to her as well.
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.
With skill and emotion, Lynn Austin brings to life the difficult years of the Reconstruction era by interweaving the stories of three women--daughter, mother, and freed slave--in a riveting tale.
Each chapter focuses on one of three women-a mother, her daughter, and one of their servants-which I liked. It was easy to follow and gave a deeper understanding to the characters in the story. Each of these women go through different things but one they share is losing faith in God.
The hidden, or not so hidden, truth in this story is that of despair and what it can do to you if you give in to it. After losing everything but their land and their homes during the Civil War, the people in the South were filled with despair. But one Yankee is helping them see just how dangerous giving in to that despair can be and sharing with them how he overcame it. I love how this can be applied to us today. Many are without jobs and struggling to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck, and others may have recently lost a loved one. If we let the despair seep too deep into our hearts, we too can become like the Confederates were; angry and resentful, or even turn our backs on God.
All Things New was filled with emotion. Parts made me angry at the characters while other parts broke my heart. I was encouraged how one Yankee, their enemy, could make such a big difference. Even while he was hated he still continued to do what God told him to do.
I do recommend this book. While its not so much a romantic story, it is engaging to the last page.
****Thank you Bethany House Publishers for the free book in exchange for my honest review.****
Visit Lynn Austin's web site to get to know the author better and see a list of her books. If you'd like to read the book reviewed here, it's just a few clicks away. You can get it here at Amazon.com or here at Christianbook.com just to name a few.