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.
Bludgeoned. That's the way I feel after reading Love's Reckoning. Truly gutted. My heart has been skewered on the rapier point of Laura Frantz's pen. I even had to put the book down and leave it for a whole evening I was that upset! Only that backfired because then I dreamt about it which made for a very sorry excuse of a night's rest. And then, before I could continue I actually snuck a peek at the end in order to boost my morale!!! Only that backfired because I read the epilogue which was not comforting at all! Phew! Now that I've vented a bit, I'll admit that I LOVED this book even though it has left me a fragile emotional wreck of my former self.
Frantz knows how to grab a reader's interest and hold on tight from the get go. She also excels at weaving exquisite images with her words -- descriptive and hard-hitting, they'll pull you into the past until you'll swear you actually live in the late 1700's.
And the complexities of the relationships! The depth of the characters! The strength of their emotions! All makes for a thrilling read that will tempt you away from everything in your life until you finish this epic tale. Guaranteed that you'll stew over it for days afterward as well. Honestly, what more could a reader want? :-)
Historical fiction at it's best and then some. Don't pass this one up for any reason. It's not to be missed and would be a definite (and heated) addition to any book club. We should make September National Love's Reckoning Book Club Month. LOL.
If you would like an opportunity to win a copy of Love's Reckoning, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you post a comment and add your email address, please use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in the address to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email please remember to put the title in the subject line so that it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday September 2 2012. Offer open to international readers. Good luck!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".