By Lisa T. Bergren
The Sugar Baron’s Daughters #1
In 1772 England, Lady Keturah Banning Tomlinson and her sisters find themselves the heiresses of their father's estates and know they have one option: Go to the West Indies to save what is left of their heritage.
Although it flies against all the conventions, they're determined to make their own way in the world. But once they arrive in the Caribbean, conventions are the least of their concerns. On the infamous island of Nevis, the sisters discover the legacy of the legendary sugar barons has vastly declined-and that's just the start of what their eyes are opened to in this harsh and unfamiliar world.
Keturah never intends to put herself at the mercy of a man again, but every man on the island seems to be trying to win her hand and, with it, the ownership of her plantation. She could desperately use an ally, but even an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend leaves her questioning his motives.
To keep her family together and save the plantation that is her last chance at providing for them, can Keturah ever surrender her stubbornness and guarded heart to God and find the healing and love awaiting her?
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Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren is refreshingly different from anything I’ve ever read, brought alive by beautiful historical detail, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. From a historical standpoint, the Colonial period is my favorite setting for fiction, and I found this era and the exotic West Indies locale fascinating. There’s adventure and romance, political and cultural intrigue. When it comes to social injustice, Bergren writes with a realistic touch that I appreciate. I’ve always enjoy her writing and am glad to see this new series beginning.
The series follows three sisters as they leave England and sail to the Caribbean island of Nevis, determined to save their deceased father’s sugar cane plantation. The eldest, Keturah, is a complex and not always the most likeable of leading ladies, which made for fascinating reading. Keturah has the background of an abusive marriage, which directly affects the woman she has become. I loved the sisters’ close relationship, especially Selah’s joyous faith in God contrasted with Keturah’s lack of faith, feeling abandoned by God.
The story opens in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and I realize it’s easy for me to look back on this era and question how people fighting for their independence could morally defend the owning of slaves, but it’s still illogical to me. Social injustice plays a big part in this story, and it’s not a pretty picture. I felt for Keturah as she quickly found that succeeding on Nevis was like a game of chess.
Clay, with his playboy past, had changed and made an appealing hero. I loved the way his faith impacted Keturah and I also can take his words to heart … “All God asks of us is to do our best, from morning until night. He does not expect us to do things that only He can accomplish, only what we’ve been given to do, and to trust Him with the rest” (p. 186).
There’s some predictability to this story, and Keturah’s ability to get past her abusive past might have come about a little too neatly, but this is fiction and I loved it. I assume Verity and Selah’s stories will follow, and I’m eager to continue reading.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Litfuse Publicity. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
Lisa T. Bergren has published more than 40 books with more than 3 million books sold combined. She's the author of the Christy Award-winning "Waterfall," RITA®-finalist "Firestorm," bestselling "God Gave Us You," and popular historical series like Homeward, Grand Tour, and more. She's also a recipient of the RT Lifetime Achievement Award.
She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and three teen-and-older children.
Find out more about Lisa at http://lisatawnbergren.com.