4 1/2 stars~
From The Darkness Into His Marvelous Light!
In Fairer Than Morning, debut author Rosslyn Elliot takes us away to Ohio in the early 1800s, an era of indentured servants and runaway slaves; a time of gross darkness and light, prosperity and poverty. Our heroine, Ann Miller, lives with her father, a master saddler, and a good Christian man who helps lead runaway slaves to the underground railroad. As he travels on a business trip to Pittsburgh, Ann, nursing a broken heart from her sweetheart, Eli, decides to go with her father.There she meets Will Hanby, a saddler's apprentice.
Will has indentured himself to Master Good to learn the fine art of saddle making, not realizing that he is a cruel man, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will is tormented, beaten, and broken in spirit when he meets the lovely Ann, and her kind father, and when they return to Ohio he vows to run away and find them at any cost. In his despair, loneliness, and need for love, Will reaches out to an impoverished young lady, Emmie, and compromises her. Feeling tremendous regret and shame, Will is determined to learn the saddle trade and come back for Emmie, and make things right by marrying her and taking her to live at the Miller's home.
Once there, under the tutelage of Mr. Miller, Will learns more than just saddle making. He learns of God's love that reaches down into his dark, love-starved soul, and of forgiveness, and immediately begins to seek God's will for his once broken life. What are God's plans, and what happens when Will decides to return to his ex-master with Mr. Miller to make things right? When Emmie accepts his marriage proposal, what's to become of Will's attraction for the lovely, kindhearted Ann? And when Ann's ex-sweetheart proposes, what is to become of her overwhelming feelings for Will?
Rosslyn Elliot's debut novel is powerful, realistic, and heartwrenching at times. Her research of this fiction novel based on factual people and events is impressive, and is truly a page-turner! Although there is romance in this book it isn't oozing with it, and it is actually more of a historical tale, than a lighthearted romance novel. With a strong spiritual thread throughout, I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the next in the series!