Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott is the second in The Saddler’s Legacy, and is set mainly in Westerville, Ohio 1855. I haven’t read the first book in the series Fairer than Morning (although I would like to), but that didn’t seem to matter, because the author fills the reader in where it is needed.
Kate Winter's dreams of being one of the first women to graduate from Otterbein College, but she thinks this dream is lost when her fear of public speaking causes her to flee the classroom when it is her turn for oration. Another of her dreams is to make a new home for her sister Leah, somewhere safe. A place where their father can’t hurt them, and her mother’s words won’t tear them down.
Kate and Ben are classmates and friends, and at Ben’s request Kate reluctantly joins the musicale that he is producing. When Kate’s friend, Cornelia Lawrence is scheduled to play at Neil House in Columbus, Mrs. Lawrence invites her to join them and the Hanby’s for their trip. Kate decides that this would be a good time to find a place for her and Leah to go. Little did she know that she would be so changed by the trip, as she helps the Hanby’s as they try to lead some slaves toward freedom.
Rosslyn’s writing is powerful, and draws the reader into the story. I loved the way Kate and Ben’s story leapt off the page. The scenes, sounds and characters came alive and also becomes a part of the reader. I will choose to read other books by this author, but look forward to the next book in this series, if there is one, and I hope there is, because I closed the book wanting to read more about Kate and Ben.
This story is based on the true accounts of Kate Winter and Ben Hanby. If you choose to read this book please don’t skip the historical note at the end where you will be able to learn more about these true people from history.
If you like Rosslyn Elliott’s books, and/or historical fiction I am certain you will also like Sweeter Than Birdsong.
I give Sweeter than Birdsong 5 out of 5 stars.
About the book:
Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.
In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.
Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.
A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.
Rosslyn Elliott is the award-winning author of Fairer than Morning, the first in the Saddler's Legacy series. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue writing fiction. Elliott lives in Albuquerque, where she homeschools her daughter and works in children's ministry.
For more about Rosslyn, visit her website here.
In this second in the award-winning Saddler's Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. "I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives," says Elliott, "knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one's beliefs with passion and commitment."
So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this "sweet giveaway".
- A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner's choice of color!)
- Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
- Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.
RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!