download (4)Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Lydia Sellers was forced into a loveless, arranged marriage at the age of 16 by her brother to further his riches and business dealings. While she hoped and prayed that both she and her husband Floyd would grow to love each other, this was not the case; Lydia endured 12 years with a cruel, ill-tempered man who abused her. She gained four stepchildren, three of whom hated and resented her presence. The youngest, Genevieve, was threatened and bullied by the others into not befriending Lydia and treating her coldly along with them.

Dawn’s Prelude begins with the stepchildren notifying Lydia that she is to vacate her home on Monday immediately following the reading of the will and is to take nothing with her. Lydia’s father and husband have just died in a carriage accident and by a twist of fate, Lydia inherits everything – both from her father’s estate and her husband’s. The stepchildren are outraged and vow to take actions to see that the will is overturned. Lydia is shocked, but only wishes to travel to the Alaska territories to see her aunt Zerelda, and begin her life anew. She knows that the Sellers children will not let her go willingly so she enlists the help of her lawyer, Mr. Dwight Robinson, to gain passage to the Alaska territories quickly and secretively.

The trip is hard on Lydia and she becomes extremely ill on her arrival in the village. While recovering from the illness, she decides that she will turn over the inheritance to the Sellers children as she only wants to be free. Later, Lydia finds out that her illness was due to the fact that she is pregnant with her deceased husband’s child. Lydia changes her mind about the inheritance and gives the Sellers children most of it, but keeps a portion for her child’s future. This infuriates the Sellers children as they feel that Lydia is due nothing at all.

Lydia adjusts well to her new home and amazes herself by finding her way back to God and falling in love with and marrying a man named Kjell. Meanwhile, the Sellers children get word of Lydia’s new home, and of the child she is due to deliver. The twins, Marston and Mitchell, devise a plan to travel to the Alaska territories to take possession of the child by whatever means necessary.

Just as Lydia finds herself truly happy for the first time in her life, Marston arrives on the scene. Lydia is instantly terrified both for herself and her unborn child. She knows the cruelty and ruthlessness the Sellers men are capable of and knows that Marston will not stop until he gets what he came for.

Dawn’s Prelude is a roller coaster ride of emotion and while you may not have had the same experiences as Lydia, you will find yourself understanding and associating with her trials and tribulations, and rooting for her to find the happiness she yearns for.

This book was provided for review by Baker Publishing Group.