In Love and War
Supposedly a politer version of Baptism By Fire, but still with the careful detail and wonderful descriptions that this great author puts into all his magnificent stories. Essentially a love story, set during the American Civil War in the eighteen hundreds. I was brought into the story immediately by my anger at the abject cruelty of Jeffrey Belding, a man who ruled his slaves, his horses, his household, by fear. His daughter, Elizabeth, was the complete opposite, kind, compassionate and benevolent. She was also intelligent enough to bring about the demise of her hated father. When the war ends and Joseph Forrester makes his violent entrance into the story, she immediately falls in love with him, much to the dismay of Betty, a black woman who is also her aunt. I found Betty to be a lovable, motherly woman who only has the interests of Elizabeth at heart, even though she comes across as a thorn in the flesh of the young lovers. How Elizabeth is rescued from the crafty Wheeler men, and also her brother, who was supposed to be dead, makes for a wonderful and exciting tale full of twists and turns. An excellent read.
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