Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweeter than Birdsong, by Rosslyn Elliott

For Ben Hanby and Kate Winter life was going to provide some very interesting experiences. This young couple would meet and fall in love in circumstances that are fairly normal yet highly unusual. Growing up in the mid 1800's had is own challenges, but add on the fact that Kate will be the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College and that Ben Hanby and his family will become well known abolitionist and you have quite a story. The fact that it is also based on the true lives of the two make it even more fun.

Ben and Kate meet at Otterbein college where they both attend. Both are musical. Both are compassionate and caring, both are highly intelligent. But there things part. Kate's mother comes from higher society and wants her daughter to marry well. Ben comes from a larger family of working people, his dad makes saddles and bridles for a living while also being a minister to a local flock.

But things are a bit different for Ben's family. They also help runaway slaves get from the south to Canada where they can live free. But this brings much heart ache into their lives. Often times the slaves are caught and returned to their cruel owners. Also many of their friends believe slavery is fine and so they have to keep their activities secret.

Kate will get caught up in these secret ways due to some strange consequences. She will find that her shyness falls away as she is brought face to face with slavery and abolition. She will also find she has fallen in love with Ben Hanby only to have her mother tell her she can not see him because he is of no consequence and is not a good fit for a husband.

The story revolves around the true life of Ben Hanby, his work with slaves, his obession with writing music, especially music that tells a story of abolition.

The story is well developed, the characters well written and even though there is not high intrigue there is enough drama to keep you turning the pages until the end. This story is truly inspiring. On top of that are the Christian values that drive Ben and his family to do what they do and how those values change the life of Kate Winter and her family.

This will become one of your favorite reads this summer and the better news is that it is part of a series. So look for more in this line of books.


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