On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann's dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.
Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker's apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann's compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann's father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?
Fairer than Morning is a fictional novel set in the 1820's and inspired by a well known family in the history of Westerville Ohio, the Hanbys.
Since I am familiar with this family's connection to the famous Otterbein College, I thought it to be an interesting subject and looked forward to discover this new writer.
In this first novel Rosslyn Elliott introduces us to the Saddler's legacy series and describes the humble beginnings of William Hanby, mainly his years in indentured service.
William Hanby and Ann Miller were real people who fell in love, married and had 8 children of whom composer Ben Hanby (Darling Nelly Gray) is probably the best known. The family was very active in the Underground Railway and harboured runaways both in Rushville and Westerville.
Rosslyn Elliott has introduced some well known (at least in the Midwest) historical facts in this work of fiction and it is interesting to note her clear description of the runaways slaves is perhaps the highlight of this novel. Somehow the two main characters are a bit lost in her description, and I would be remiss if I did not point out that I found the whole story to be fragmented.
Whilst we do not have as much information as we wish on William and Ann, their combined and formidable convictions regarding anti slavery and their faith in particular are not enough reflected in this novel. The description of Ohio and Pensylvania in the 19th Century also could use a bit more elaboration. Historical societies in both states offer much more information than it is reflected here.
Finally the added characters brings little support to the whole story and I found it lacking in historical interest.
In such, I found the book to lack the vitality of the well known Ohio river life and the sentiments of stepping into history with the characters was just missing. Certain subjects also do not make this Christian material for younger ladies yet I would have labelled this novel to be for younger adults.
I give this one 3 stars!
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About the Author:
'Rosslyn Elliott was born into a military family and lived in four states and two foreign countries before she graduated from high school. Her frequent relocation into new social scenes encouraged her to become a close observer of others, and a writer.
She attended Yale University, where she earned a BA in English and Theater Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in English at Emory University in 2006.
Rosslyn's graduate study of American literature spurred her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She writes inspirational historical novels filled with romance and adventure.'
And now for the giveaway:
To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Fairer Than Morning, Rosslyn Elliott is giving away two fabulous prize packages. The first is brand new KINDLE in her Fairer Than Morning Kindle Giveaway. Then on September 20th she's giving away a $200 gift certificate toward a Custom-Made Historical Reproduction Dress (from Recollections) during the Fairer Than Morning Book Club Chat Party on Facebook! Sigh...romantic.
Fairer Than Morning is receiving wonderful reviews - Library Journal said, "A well-written historical series debut…". Read more reviews here.
Be sure to join the fun and enter the Kindle contest -
One winner will receive:
* Kindle with Wi-Fi
* Fairer Than Morning (for Kindle)
To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/19. Winner will be announced on 9/20 at Rosslyn's Book Club Facebook Party. Details and official rules can be found when entering the contest.
Then be sure to RSVP for Rosslyn's Facebook Party! During the party Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, hosting a book chat about Fairer Than Morning (don't worry if you haven't read the book yet - you could win a copy!) & historical Fiction, testing your trivia skills. She'll also be giving away that $200 gift certificate toward a FABULOUS custom-made period dress from Recollections!
I received this book free from LITFUSE as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.