Sunday 25 November 2012

Book Review: All Things New, by Lynn Austin

All Things New

From the back cover
The war is over. The South has lost.
Josephine Weatherly struggles to pick up the pieces of her life when her family returns to their Virginia plantation. But the realities of life after the war cannot be denied: her home and land are but a shell of their previous grandeur; death has claimed her father and brother; and her remaining brother, Daniel, has returned home bitter and broken.
Her life of privilege, a long-ago dream.
Josephine soon realizes that life is now a matter of daily survival--and recognizes that Lizzie, as one of the few remaining servants, is the one she must rely on to teach her all she needs to know. Josephine's mother, too, vows to rebuild White Oak--but a bitter hatred fuels her.
Can hope--and a battered faith in God--survive amid the devastation?

~Every time I crack open a new Lynn Austin book, I am captured, transported and immersed in the lives of the characters the author so skillfully breathes into being.

It is no surprise to me why this author has won no less than seven Christy Awards; she has a real God given gift for writing.

 I have read most of the novels written by Lynn Austin, and found this one was somewhat different from her others, in the way that it was more theme based than plot driven.

Austin effortlessly weaves her story and characters together into a well thought out and entertaining plot, true to life and filled with historical detail. I especially enjoyed how the characters lives were portrayed simultaneously.
 You had the privileged mothers and daughters, and sons, the slaves, the “Yankees” and the war wounded hero.  

Often times Christian fiction deals with the concept of people being angry with God, but the idea and theme of unanswered prayer was unique in this book and well thought out. It was refreshing to read a story line that delved into the idea of prayer not being answered because of praying for the wrong things. I found this to be a pleasant change to a well-worn story line.

If you are searching for a delightful, historically rich novel to read over this Christmas season I would highly recommend All Things New. You will not be disappointed; you may however be sleep deprived.
Well done Lynn Austin! I will be anxiously awaiting your next novel.

~I received this book from Bethany House free of charge for review purposes~


For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Five of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

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