After 8 years of war against the British, Miss Sophie Menzies is alone on the now ramshackle Three Chimneys estate except for her housekeeper and (unpaid) hired man. Shunned by the village for her father’s political views, she is facing continued hardship and the threat of trouble. In stark contrast, her neighbor has returned from the war, widowed and a war hero, to the thriving Tall Acre estate. General Seamus Ogilvy’s greatest post-war challenges seem to be relating to his young daughter, Lily Cate, and keeping her mother’s relative from claiming her. To protect Lily Cate from being legally awarded to her aunt and uncle, Seamus proposes a marriage of convenience to Sophie. Sophie accepts and soon becomes the mistress of Tall Acres and the adored mama of Lily Cate. But the growing closeness of their new family is put to the test as unforeseen complications abound.
After watching the first few episodes of “America: A History of Us” on NetFlix, I was in the mood for a colonial/revolution era story. This book was just the ticket. With a blend of intrigue, drama, faith and romance, Laura Frantz has delivered a story rich with the social, political and moral character of a fledgling post-colonial America. And she’s built it on a foundation of wonderful characters, from the strong hero and dedicated heroine to the faithful staff of Tall Acres, with a memorable cameo by General George Washington.
In addition to the desire for revolutionary era historical fiction, I had been wanting to give a book by Laura Frantz a try (for which I blame/credit Carrie over at readingismysuperpower.wordpress.com). I am so glad I did, as I was immediately riveted and could not close my e-reader until it was finished, taking time out only to eat dinner and throw a batch of Ghirardelli double chocolate brownies (box mix) into the oven, leaving my dishes undone. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, romance, and the post-revolutionary era, regardless of whether they are readers of Christian fiction or not. The faith portrayed would have been integral to the lives of these people, and the struggle and rebirth of Seamus’ faith was written with a light and subtle hand. I felt that the innocent faith of Lily Cate was also very nicely done, never delving into the saccharine or feeling too old as it often does when written for a character so young. 4.5/5 stars and I would love to see this as a period drama (and I don’t usually do the casting thing, but I’m picturing Emily Blunt as Sophie and Clive Owen as Seamus).
Now to add all the Laura Frantz back catalog to my TBR list…
This review refers to a review ebook I read for free, courtesy of the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz | Revell, 2015 | 400 pgs | review e-book