Friday, June 09, 2017

Dawn's Early Light

Dawn's Early Light. Elswyth Thane. 1934/2017. Chicago Review Press. 336 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: He stood remote and alone amid the cheerful bustle of the dock at Yorktown. Around his feet in their silver-buckled shoes was stacked enough luggage for two men. Behind him rose the proud, sharp prow and slender spars of the Mary Jones, which had brought him across the Atlantic from Southampton.

Premise/plot: Julian Day, one of our heroes, is a newly arrived Englishman. He's come to America, to Virginia, to be a school master. He becomes great friends with St. John Sprague. In fact he becomes almost one of the family--this in spite of the fact that he's on the 'wrong side' of the conflict or tensions. St. John is madly in love with Regina Greensleeves. Regina vows never to marry a man who'd fight against the King. This coming from the woman who'd flirt with any man within sight. (Think Scarlett O'Hara.) But St. John sees past the surface problems and is convinced he's the only man he'd be able to put her and keep her in place. (He may be right on that.) Julian, meanwhile, is blinded by two things: Regina's beauty AND Tibby's undying love for him. Who is Tibby? Well, she's a young girl, an abused and troubled girl, an impoverished girl who wants to be allowed to attend school with her twin brother. It's just not fair--she insists--that her brother gets an opportunity to go to school and she doesn't. After all, she's just as bright--if not more so--than her brother. After getting to know her better, Julian agrees. He becomes her greatest champion and supporter. It's no surprise that she loves, loves, loves, loves, LOVES him. But will he ever see her as a potential wife? It doesn't seem likely--at least not at first. But as the years go by, as the tensions turn into WAR, much changes.

My thoughts: I really loved this one. I love that it's a first in a series. I love that the series is a family saga that will span generations. I love that it's set in America. So often I'm drawn to books and series set in England, it is nice for me to be able to be swept away by American history. I love the historical aspects of it. I love that some of the characters interacted with real, historical people.

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

hopeinbrazil 2:43 PM  

I've always been curious about this author. Thanks for reviewing a fascinating-sounding book.

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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
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  • fantasy
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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.

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