My review of Love’s Reckoning by Laura Frantz

About the book:

On a bitter December day in 1785, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of master blacksmith Liege Lee in York, Pennsylvania. Just months from becoming a master blacksmith himself, Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship and move west. But Liege soon discovers that Silas is a prodigious worker and craftsman and endeavors to keep him in Lancaster. Silas becomes interested in both of Liege’s daughters, the gentle and faith-filled Eden and the clever and high-spirited Elspeth. When he chooses one, will the other’s jealousy destroy their love?
In this sweeping family saga set in western Pennsylvania, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. “Love’s Reckoning” is the first entry in The Ballantyne Legacy, a rich, multi-layered historical quartet from talented writer Laura Frantz, beginning in the late 1700s and following the Ballantyne family through the end of the Civil War.

My review:

This novel made me quite breathless and I had that aching feeling in my chest that rarely happens these days. I love it when I care so much that I can barely breath while reading perilous scenes. I didn’t want to stop reading because the author’s plot kept me turning the pages. The story was not at all predictable, which increased my anxiety over Eden’s future as well as what would happen to Silas. The story can best be described as achingly beautiful. The last time I had this ache in my heart was while reading Courting Morrow Little, another novel by Laura Frantz. The plot was solid and the angst very believably written. The sweetest part of the story was how it was their faith that brought their hearts together in the beginning. What a beautiful expression of faith. The reader can see how a tender and sweet spirit if far more attractive to man that a comely appearance. It was hard not to love a man like Silas. He had me from the beginning because he was a man of honor.
There is something wonderful about sacrificial love that makes me think of Christ’s ultimate sacrifice for us all. True love does the right thing, and that’s what is best for the loved one, not the person who has strong feelings for the person holding their affection. That always makes for a heart-wrenching love story. The prose of this book was beautiful, but the deep love of the story was what stole my heart. The romance was more about spiritual beauty and a giving spirit than about mere attraction. When Eden and Silas finally had a chance to be alone…wow. I was feeling Silas’s pain myself. Eden was a treasure, thus hurting him all the more when things went south for them. Not wanting to post a spoiler here, I’d encourage historical fiction lovers to read this wonderful story for themselves and be inspired to be a more loving and humble person; for a good woman is more precious than rubies. A powerful story full of emotion that made my pulse race at times, Love’s Reckoningis making my top fiction list for 2012. It’s awesome!
Love’s Reckoning was published by Revell and released Sept 1, 2012.
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