Sunday, June 30, 2013
ALL THINGS NEW BY LYNN AUSTIN
I received "All Things New" through the early release giveaway. Although I thought there was something missing at the start of the story I enjoyed the rest very much, I felt that I was thrust into the story and that there should have been a little bit that focused on the war coming to a close prior to being in the scene with Josephine and Mary. There were several strong characters in this story and I felt that each one of them were equally given a developing place. Each character showed a different view of surviving the horror of a nation that fought against itself. Eugenia portrayed the typical southern attitude, strong and unwilling to bend, pride and desperation to cling to their way of life. Josephine portrayed a mixture of the old south mixed with the knowledge that things have changed and something needs to give in order to be able to face the future. Harrison a soldier who was fortunate to be alive but unfortunate to be wounded and left with the fact that he will never be able to be a "whole" man again. Mary the meek and obedient daughter who does exactly as she is told with no thoughts of her own. The doctor, who once being part of the high society life is thrust into a lower standing due to his mother's marriage to a man beneath her station. Daniel, the angry man who left as a boy to fight in the war only to return home to find nothing is the same and he doesn't quite know how to fix it. Alexander, the freed-man's bureau representative who thinking he can ease the guilt he feels for his part of the war tries to help the people in the south, both black and white, to rebuild their country. Otis, a slave who is ecstatic about the new freedom he has and is grabbing onto it with every part of his being and then there is my favorite character, Lizzie. the wife of Otis, and mother of three children, she desperately fights to embrace the new found freedom she has been given but so terrified that it is all a bad dream and it will all change in the blink of an eye. she tries hard to continue her service to the Weatherly family and at the same time yearn for a new start where her family is really free. Roselle, Lizzie's oldest child becomes a main focus at the end of the book which shocks everyone involved and changes the thinking of all of them. The ending I thought was perfect which showed how humans if willing can allow God's grace to penetrate their lives and change it for the better. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in seeing the different was people dealt with the devastation of the Civil war and the blessings that can come from letting go of the bitter past and stepping forward into a new beginning where "All Things are New".