Reviewer: Trudy Smith
Title: Fairer Than Morning - 1st in the Saddlerís Legacy series
Author: Rosslyn Elliott
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: May 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Historical Romance
Year/Setting: 1823/Rushville, OH; Pittsburgh, PA
Overall Rating: 3.75
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: Moderate/Intense (some scenes even Extreme)
Rosslyn's Website/Blog: www.rosslynelliott.com
As the oldest, Ann Miller had to grow-up quickly after her mother died becoming the caregiver of her sisters. Annís father, Samuel is a hard working farmer, gifted saddler and circuit preacher. Unbeknownst to Ann, Samuel is also a connection on the Underground Railroad, abhorring slavery and cruelty of his fellow human being.
The Miller family travels to Pittsburgh on business. In order to complete a custom saddle, Samuel enlists the assistance of a local saddle master Jacob Good and his apprentice. Will Hanby has been an indentured apprentice for over two years suffering severe cruelty at the hand of Master Good. While assisting Samuel, Will discovers there are people who are willing to share a kind word or act of kindness, leaving Will longing for what he canít have.
After one particularly bad beating, Ann discovers Will and tries to help but he sends her away fearing for them both. Ann has never known or seen such cruelty as whatís befallen Will. All she can think to do is pray. Bad circumstances have also befallen Ann and all she wants to do is go home.
At home, Annís thoughts continue to turn to Will, hoping that God will keep him safe. Will has decided he can take no more and runs away. The only place he can think to go is the Millerís hoping Samuel will take him on as an apprentice. After receiving a heart-felt welcome, Will is asked to assist Samuel with a couple of runaway slaves. Itís on this journey that Will and God have a heart-to-heart and Will knows what needs to be done. He must go back and face Master Good, forgive and serve out his time.
Ann and Will have been drawn to each other during the course of his stay with the Millerís. Ann is not sure that Will is the man God wants her to have but she lends her support as they return to Pittsburgh.
Ann and Will want God to lead their lives but circumstances seem so dire; will they be able to fully lean on His grace and mercy during the trials to come? Can Ann trust God enough to follow her heart? Can Will forgive Master Goodís intense cruelty and serve God as he knows he should?
Fairer than Morning is Ms Elliottís first novel based on real people and actual circumstances; this story gives the reader an astonishing look into social acceptance of indentured servants and runaway slaves in the 19th century. Cruelty appeared to be the norm for these people but Ms Elliott gives us insight into how God can lead people to help those in horrible circumstances.
Though the cruelty is graphic it squeezes tightly on the readerís emotions wanting to help Will and the runaway slaves; rooting for Ann, her father and eventually Will to continue their quest of good over evil.
We look forward to the next story in the Saddlerís Legacy series to discover how Ms Elliott will continue to enhance her craft giving her readerís hours of truly inspiring entertainment.
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