Friday, October 12, 2012

All Things New

All Things New. Lynn Austin. 2012. Bethany House. 416 pages.

Historical fiction set in Virginia in the weeks and months following the end of the Civil War. All Things New is told from multiple perspectives. Lizzie and Otis are slaves who have just learned of their freedom, they are the only former-slaves to choose to stay at White Oak Plantation. Lizzie wants what is best for her family, since the Freedmen's Bureau has opened up a school she has decided it is best they stay there so her children can attend school and learn to read and write. Josephine Weatherly is the oldest daughter. She is mourning the death of her father and brother and struggling to make peace with her brother who returned from the war a very different man. She misses the luxuries of the old life, in a way, but she's a practical no-nonsense woman who'd rather survive and learn to change to fit the new times. Eugenia (Josephine's mother) is so unlike her daughter. She's lost her husband and one son, all her wealth, and she wants things to go back to the way they were before, she wants things to go back to normal right now, she's had enough change, enough loss. Why should she change in order to make sense of this crazy world? All Things New is all about conflict and tension. Will the white families allow the former slaves their freedom, their independence, their right to make decisions for themselves...or will they do whatever it takes to keep them in their "rightful" place? Will these months lead to peace or strife? Is more violence around the corner? Or can a community start to heal?

All Things New is also a romance between a Southern woman, Josephine, and a Yankee, Alexander Chandler...

I liked it. I didn't love it or hate it. I'm not as interested in the Civil War and Reconstruction period as I am in other historical periods. (I just love Lynn Austin novels set during World War II). This wasn't a novel I could feel comfortable with.

Read All Things New
  • If you're a fan of Lynn Austin
  • If you enjoy historical fiction, historical romance, clean historical romance
  • If you enjoy christian fiction
  • If you enjoy historical fiction set in the Civil War/Reconstruction period 

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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