All Things New by Lynn Austin

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All Things New by Lynn Austin

Post  WRB on Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:36 pm

This book will take you back in time to the Reconstruction Era - a time to bring an end to the vicious circle of hatred and violence and give everyone a new start. It is the story of three beautifully portrayed women who are all caught up in this story of survival and rebuilding on a Virginia plantation after the Civil War.

The endearing character of Josephine, the daughter of the Weatherly family, will capture your heart - a truly remarkable woman who along with the servants works hard to get back the beauty of White Oak. She realizes early on that the only hope for survival is through the Freedmen's Bureau. The plantations need laborers and the Negroes needed work. Jo gets caught up in an unlikely forbidden love that blossoms throughout the storyline.

Eugenia Weatherly, the very determined mother of the family, just wants to go back to her life of luxury as it was before the war and to rebuild the plantation back to its glorious splendor. She refuses to get her hands dirty and do what was necessary to survive. She is still stubbornly hanging on to the power of illusion, and not able to make peace with the Negroes, showing them little or no compassion.

Lizzie, the slave/servant of the Weatherly family, wants very much to get on with her life, but harbors deep scars of the past. She wants her children to be educated so they can live a better life and is ready to embrace all the changes brought on by the war, but still terrified by all the hatred and violence.

This was a compelling read as well as a good history lesson. Definitely a favorite book of this year.

WRB

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