Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review Thursday: Out of the Ashes by A.M. Heath


Ancient Words #3

Goodreads Blurb:
"Sometimes peace is won through battle.

Haunted by the memories he can't escape, Ralph Williams wants to be left alone to lick his wounds. He doesn't understand why he's forced into the company of the one woman he least desires. Can God bring him healing through such uncomfortable circumstances?

Frank Harper thought he had left the war and its turmoil behind, but the home to which he has returned is anything but peaceful. When racial tensions arise in Maple Grove, Frank finds himself on a battlefield once more. He's desperate for peace, but at what cost?

When George Chandler heads off to wed his beloved bride, things don’t go as expected. Just as George starts to get comfortable with what he believes is God’s new plan for his life, history threatens to repeat itself. Will he fight for the woman he’s come to love, or will he let her go?

The War Between the States has destroyed more than just a nation. In four years, it has damaged bodies and wounded souls until the people think that nothing is left. Will they find the healing they so desperately need from the God that loves them?"


Review:
I received a copy from the author. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

1.  The setting.  I really wanted to address this first because it's one of my favorite parts of this series.  This is a historical fiction novel set during the Civil War and the settings are in both the North and South which makes the dynamic of the novel really interesting.  I loved how the author chose to jump between places and she does such a good job of creating the right kind of atmosphere for each place.  And, of course, I love all the descriptions of the pretty dresses.

2.  The theme.  This book is focused a lot on the differences that inspired the Civil War (if you're not super familiar with US history, it's the time when the northern continental US wanted slavery abolished (think Abraham Lincoln) and the south wanted it to remain in place because much of their local economy (and group thought) relied on it).  The differences, set in the different settings, made for such an interesting read.  Families are split in half ideologically and somehow have to overcome their differences.  The first two books are set during the war but this one takes place after the war has ended, leaving a lot of uncomfortable emotions in it's wake.  I never really explored the impacts of the 'end of slavery' so to speak and how uncomfortable and quite honestly, horrible, those first years were for all parties involved.  Obviously this sounds like a rather heavy topic (and it is) so the author mixed in quite a bit of romance as well which I thoroughly enjoyed.

3.  The romance.  As I said above, the romance provides a welcome reprieve from the heaviness of the more serious themes.  There are several going on at once and at first, I was having trouble keeping up with them all but it's also been a hot minute since I read the second book in the series.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed each of the romances.

4.  The characters.  I think the author did a rather lovely job with the characters as well.  In developing the theme, she had to also increase the complexity of the characters which really made them shine.  I was very disappointed in the last book because a certain favorite character of mine didn't make it but overall the book was enjoyable without them.

The Final Verdict:
An adorable novel with splashes of darkness; perfect for reading on a sunny porch.
4 stars

9 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the detailed review!! I appreciate seeing the breakdown of your thoughts. And I'm so glad you liked it!

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    1. You're most welcome :) I've really enjoyed the series.

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  2. I think this time period is a fun one to set a story in.

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    1. I won't lie, it was a lot of hard work. I've come to realize that writing historical fiction is like writing about a foreign country that you've never visited. But it was a TON of fun!!! I really loved it.

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    2. It was really fun to read as well!

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  3. I tagged you for The Longest Book Tag! Also, I hope you're doing well!

    http://sweetcherry69.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-longest-book-tag.html

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    1. Thanks, Carrie! I am; I'm just swimming against the current when it comes to catching up but I'm hoping to be back on track asap!

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