Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: Three out of five hearts ♥♥♥
About:Separated by an inconceivable tragedy, can faith and love reunite childhood friends and light the way to a bright future?
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
Description from waterbrookmultnomah.com
I love a good historical novel, and one set in England always piques my interest. In this new novel, Mrs. Turansky delivers tragedy, secrets, mystery, and a bit of danger, and I enjoyed being able to discover her, as this was the first of her works I've yet read.
The characters were lovable- Maggie, Nate, Mrs. Hayes, Violet, Lilly.... as I read, I hoped they would have happy endings to their stories. That being said, I did feel a bit disconnected with Maggie at times. Perhaps it was because of her somewhat bitter disposition at the start of the story. Also, I was not able to relate to her too well, as my personality is different from hers (less bold and outspoken) and I could not relate so much to her struggles. She and Nate did make a good couple, however, and I wished them to succeed.
The mystery aspect of the story was interesting, and I enjoyed it. The cliffhangers right at the resting places in the novel made me want to find out what was going to happen, and I was always eager to begin reading again when I stopped at a place like that. However, I was a little disappointed at the mystery's conclusion.
One thing that I loved and that drew me to the story in the first place was the cover. The curious-looking girl, light filtering through the garden's trees... all beautiful. Not only that, but all the elements of the it were just right for the story. It fit the story perfectly!
I'm just not exactly sure why I could not get into this book. The writing style, characters, plot... all were good, and I wanted to get into it, but just couldn't. However, if you think this story looks interesting, don't let my somewhat lukewarm review deter you- give Shine Like the Dawn a try. According to other reviews I've read, this was probably just not my cup of tea, despite being a great story overall- other readers loved it! And despite my inability to get into it, I'm going to be on the lookout for more books from Mrs. Turansky.
Note: I got this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.