Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliot

First of all, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Rosslyn Elloit and her publisher for sending me a copy of "Sweeter Than Birdsong" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

Rosslyn Elliot’s second novel in the Saddler’s Legacy Series, “Sweeter than Birdsong,” is the engaging tale of Kate Winter, a woman who desires nothing more than to escape her dysfunctional home life. When she finds that her only path to freedom may lie in swallowing her fear of public speaking, she auditions to participate in a musicale being cast. Ben Hamby is also a student at Otterbein University. He is moved by Kate’s voice when she auditions for the musicale, and saddened by her situation at home. But his first concern is to help slaves on the Underground Railroad as his father did and to find the wife of the slave that died at his home when he was just a boy.

Although this is the second novel in this series about real-life people, it reads wonderfully as a standalone book. The characters are beautifully fleshed out, the details that paint the setting are richly crafted and entice the reader to learn more about 1855 Ohio or at least long for simpler times. But these times weren’t really simpler, were they? The theme of slavery is handled with great care, and seems to be a common thread appearing in much of my reading lately. Kate’s desire for independence also brings women’s liberation into the plot mix.

This book has it all: history, romance, action, suspense, drama. It is both entertaining and educational and has enticed this reader to add another favorite author to my ever-growing list. Not only will I be on the lookout for future novels by Rosslyn Elliot, but I plan to go back and read the first book in the Saddler’s Legacy Series: “Fairer Than Morning”.

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