Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Love's Reckoning ~ A Book Review

How can you sum up the beauty of a well written novel? How can you describe the wonder of a story that begs you to turn the page and invites you to climb into the setting and watch, not read, the tale that unfolds before your eyes? It's almost impossible and I couldn't do it any justice if I tried. What I can do is share my heart about this book and the creator behind it.

Laura Frantz is an author who is gifted with a distinctive voice. Her prose is stunning and creates a storyworld that is rich in colors, smells, textures and sounds. Her words are almost effortless to read, which means she has taken great pains to bring them to life.

As I read her newest novel, Love's Reckoning, I didn't even notice the passage of time. I was transported to the year 1784, to a rural town in Pennsylvania, on the tail of the Revolutionary War, where a domineering father, and a cruel sister, contrive to harness the future happiness of young Eden Lee and the strapping Scotsman, Silas Ballantyne.

Even amidst deception, manipulation and great loss, Laura is able to spin a tale that is rich in warmth and love. As the seasons changed from winter, to spring, to summer and fall, I felt temperatures rise and fall and watched the rolling Pennsylvania landscape change. Laura's setting is one of the things I always look forward to in her books and she delivered beautifully once again.

Silas Ballantyne is a strong hero, with enough wounding to make him vulnerable. His love for playing the fiddle, sharing Holy Scripture with Eden and dreaming about a prosperous future, in the wilds of Pennsylvania, left me cheering for him, chapter after chapter. Eden was also a strong heroine, but not in the way of the modern woman. Eden's strength was in her quiet and gentle spirit. Her heart was to serve and she did it with gladness that defied her circumstance. I also rooted for Eden. I wanted her to break free from the bonds of her home life and experience freedom and joy, far away from those who would selfishly steal it from her.

I loved how Laura wove Eden's growing faith, and Silas' steadfast beliefs, into the fabric of her story, bringing the tale to a deeper place within my own heart. As the story unfolded, their spirits were knit together through their shared love of Scripture and their secret meetings on the stairwell. During those scenes, I often felt like an observer from the corner of the dark passage, watching their love grow and their faith deepen, even when people and things conspired against them.

The characters in Love's Reckoning are varied and unique, from the lilt of Silas' Scottish accent, to the dialect of Eden's Quaker Friend, Margaret, and all the Pennsylvanians, both kind and evil, in between, there is no shortage of personalities and flesh and blood people. They jump off the page and demand to be noticed.

Even though I have closed the cover on Laura's book, and the final sentence has been read, her characters live on in my heart and mind, along with the story of faith, and the promise of hope, in the sweeping saga of the Ballantyne Legacy.

Available September 2012  at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Have you read Love's Reckoning, or any of Laura's other books?

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Please join me on Wednesday when I host Laura Frantz for a fun interview and book giveaway!


  1. I'm another Laura Frantz fan. I'm halfway through Love's Reckoning and am enjoying it, as I have her other three books. She's a gifted storyteller.

  2. Gabrielle, I'm so touched by your words and am so thankful the Lord linked us when He did:) Plus, in reading this review, you've given me a gift by giving me a glimpse of your own writing voice - and it's beautiful! I can just imagine how that translates into the story you've just finished.

    Waving at Keli! Thanks to the both of you for being here! It's a wonderful way to start off the first week of September:)

  3. Fun to see a post from you on a Tuesday, Gabe!

    I haven't read any of Laura's books, but Courting Morrow Little is in my TBR pile at home. I bought it but haven't had a chance to read it yet. This makes me want to read it soon!! :)

  4. Keli - Laura is a gifted storyteller, as are you! I've been blessed by both of your friendships and books. Thanks for stopping by!

    Laura!! I'm also very thankful God linked us up, as I will share in my interview with you on Wednesday, it was a Divine appointment, indeed. :) Thank you for your kind words - it was easy for my voice to shine because these words came from my heart. Your books have a way of bringing the best out in me. :) Praying for this release week of Love's Reckoning.

  5. Lindsay - I was going to share this review on Friday, but I couldn't wait!! I will have Laura as a guest on Wednesday and I thought I'd keep her interview post up through the end of the week. Thanks for stopping by - and pull Courting Morrow Little up to the top of the TBR pile! It's excellent. :)

  6. Thanks for the review! The book is on my list. Laura is one of my favorite authors. She can weave a story like no other... I look forward to the series.

  7. Oh, I love your review, Gabrielle, and I already love Eden. I've met so many spitfire heroines, Eden's quiet spirit will be a refreshing change. Yes, I've read Laura's other works and loved them. Reading one of her books is like stepping into a time machine. :-)

  8. "Even though I have closed the cover on Laura's book, and the final sentence has been read, her characters live on in my heart and mind, along with the story of faith, and the promise of hope, in the sweeping saga of the Ballantyne Legacy."

    Love, love, love this! Great review. Kathleen

  9. i, too, am a laura fan :)
    i read her previous masterpi
    eces...and i look forward to reading her latest

    a wonderful posting, gabrielle :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  10. Loree - You're right, Laura can weave a story like no other! I absolutely love her voice and her settings. You're going to really enjoy Love's Reckoning!

    Gwen - I couldn't agree more! Laura's books are so well written, you feel like you've jumped into the setting and time period. You'll love this one!!

    Kathleen - thank you for stoppping by to say hello! :)

    Karen - hello! Thanks for stopping by. If you love Laura's writing, you're sure to love this one!

  11. Keep your books coming. I think my friend Pam Fries would enjoy reading your books as well. Sincerely, Vicki Shamp

  12. Vicki - I hope Laura keeps her books coming, too! I look forward to each new one. Thanks for stopping by to say hello today.

  13. What a beautiful review, Gabrielle! Love's Reckoning is amazing, just as Laura's other novels!

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights -- I couldn't agree more!

  14. Michelle - loved your review, as well! You must be on Revell's blog tour - are you reading With Every Letter? I'm curious what you think of it, if you are. Thanks for stopping by!!

  15. Laura is such a sweetheart. I would love a chance to read her book!

  16. The Love's Reckoning sounds like a good book to read. I may have to read it when I have time to! :)

    Great review, Gabrielle! Thanks!


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