Reviewed by Vera Pereskokova (Luxury Reading)
Since her mother’s passing, Ann Miller has had to assume the tasks of caring for her younger sisters, as well as tending to the house and farm while her father is away ministering to others. When Eli Bowen, her gallant and dashing suitor, proposes marriage, Ann is devastated at her father’s refusal to let her marry at such a young age.
Soon after, Ann’s father is summoned to Pittsburgh to make a saddle for a prominent family; Ann begs, successfully, to come along. The Millers are given lodging by a local doctor, and while there, Ann meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice from a neighboring property. Will indentured himself to an cruel master many years back and is beaten down daily, both physically and in spirit. Working with Mr. Miller on the saddle gives him hope for a better life, and Ann’s kindness rekindles the strength he long forgot.
After Ann’s eighteenth birthday, Eli Bowen is back courting again and is determined to make Ann his wife. And although Ann was convinced that God intended for her to marry Eli, she’s no longer so sure. Can she put all she has experienced and everyone she has met since their last parting behind, and commit to a life with Eli?
From the cover of Fairer than Morning, I was expecting a typically quaint Christian historical romance. Although there’s nothing wrong with quaint romances, I was happy to discover that I was very wrong. Set in 19th-century Ohio, Fairer than Morning paints a vivid picture of the wide chasm that existed between the have and have-nots in the industrial age, the tensions between the Northern and Southern states, and the people who worked to sustain the Underground Railroad.
Fairer than Morning is a Christian historical romance, but Rosslyn Elliott’s engaging writing and painstaking research into the period – the story is based on real people and events – make it so much more. I thoroughly enjoyed Elliott’s debut novel and look forward to the next installment in A Saddler’s Legacy series, Sweeter than Birdsong.
Read an excerpt from Fairer Than Morning here and follow along on Rosslyn’s blog tour!
The review copy of this book was provided free of any obligation by Thomas Nelson. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.