Friday, 24 February 2012
Book Review: Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.
Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.
A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.
Read an excerpt here.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book just as much, if not even more, than the first in the series, Fairer Than Morning, and I really liked that one!
The writing style is elegant and almost poetic, helping to set the book into the time period in which it was written. But far from being stilted by this writing style, Elliott immediately draws you into, not just the story, but the character's lives. Important, considering this is based on a true story (something I forgot from the first novel, and didn't realize until I had finished reading this one). Not only are you awaiting what happens to the characters in the plot, but also how what happens changes the characters as individuals.
Like Fairer Than Morning, this book dealt with a lot of heavy subject matter - the Underground Railway, abolitionism, alcoholism, familial estrangement - as well as faith, courage and love. And, with my love of music and piano background, I appreciated that aspect of the book as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to more from this writer.
Thank you to Stephanie and Amy from Litfuse Publicity for organizing this tour and providing me with my complimentary review copy.