12 April 2012

Teresa Mathews' Review of Rosslyn Elliott's Sweeter Than Birdsong

by Teresa Mathews
(Thomas Nelson, 2012)
4.5 Stars~

In this amazing story based on the life of Ben Hanby and Kate Winter, Rosslyn Elliott takes us back to 1855 Ohio. A time in the history of America where the horrors of slavery were beginning to come to light and people were choosing sides.

Kate Winter, a young lady known for her outstanding beauty, but so painfully shy she has panic attacks at the thought of standing before a crowd. If Kate cannot overcome her shyness, she may not obtain her goal of being the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College. Kate has to give a required speech and when it’s her turn, she flees in fear. When she sees that Ben is going to have a musicale she asks the President of the college if she could possibly sing instead of giving a speech. Just as Kate is about to step up to sing, something happens that may forever keep her from expressing herself. Will Kate ever be free from her fears?

Benjamin Hanby is an incredibly musically talented young man finishing up college at Otterbein. Ben knows he has a calling on his life to be a minister to show people the way of the cross and   to free them from bondage, both spiritually and physically. Most of his life his family had been involved with the Underground Railway and as a child Ben witnessed firsthand the sorrow of seeing a runaway slave die before he completed his journey to freedom. Before he died he gave them the name of the love of his life, and asks them to please try to find her. Ben has been haunted with their story for years. Will he finally find a way to express his feelings through song and will anyone care?

When Kate shows up for the musicale audition, Ben is blown away by Kate’s beautiful voice. He so hopes she will be able to overcome her fear and be able to share her voice with others. When Ben, his mother and some friends have to travel to Columbus, they invite Kate to travel with them. During this time Kate and Ben become closer, and Kate is unintentionally drawn into the dangers of the Underground Railway. 


Will Kate return home unchanged or will this be the start of her obtaining the freedom she has longed for? Will Kate finally find her voice?

There were a lot of twists and turns and I really loved how Rosslyn put this all together. I applaud her for all the research that went into it. I especially enjoyed reading about The Underground Railroad and how selfless people like the Hanby family risked their lives to liberate others. 


Job well done Rosslyn!
You can purchase Rosslyn Elliott's books in bookstores or online, e.g., at Christian Book Distributors and even pre-order her November, 2012, release at Amazon


GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of Rosslyn's books, choice of format.

53 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great read, Teresa!
    You make me want to read the book. So that's good. :))

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  2. MARIAN thank you, I was amazed how much detail went into this book. Rosslyn is an amazing author. :)

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  3. Really nice review, TERESA! Fairer Than Morning had alot of substance to it as well.

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  4. Thank you Diana, hope your hand is better.

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  5. I'd love to read this author. rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

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  6. The cover to this book is beautiful, and it sounds amazing! It looks very intriguing!

    lubell1106(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. Wow, this book sounds great! Awesome review, Teresa!

    jennycohen104(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. MELISSA, Have you signed up for NetGalley yet? We will enter you for a pb version or you can pick Rosslyn's other book, which I have on my Kindle, and it is screaming to be read!

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  9. Thanks Jenny! You can tell Rosslyn worked hard on it. :)

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  10. Cool!

    Erin Shepherd
    erinshepherd623@hotmail.com

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  11. I loved the first book. I'm excited about this one. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

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  12. Teresa, thank you so much for your gracious and very well-written review! Not only is it encouraging, but also impressive when a reviewer can describe a book so well without giving away the plot. I very much appreciate your skill in that. :-)

    Jenny, Melissa, Elyssa and Erin, thank you for coming by to read and comment. Melissa, I think we've 'met' before...tee hee...good to see you here!

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  13. It took me a long time to get around to reading Fairer than Morning. But, when I did I was absolutely hooked. It was a beautiful story beautifully written. I can't wait to read Sweeter than Birdsong.

    rscott1238@gmail.com

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  14. TERESA - did you have a WONDERFUL 25th wedding anniversary with Carlton? Inquiring minds want to know!!!

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  15. REBECCA, I'm with you! Fairer Than Morning was great...haven't gotten to read Sweeter Than Birdsong yet. Still have quite a few books waiting to be reviewed...I just can't seem to read as fast as I use to (or as often). :(

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  16. Yes, inquiring minds DO want to know! Can you believe she hasn't even told me yet, CARRIE? sheesh!

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  17. Sounds like a great read. Would love to win. elaine1255(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  18. CARRIE between walking 3 extra dogs, not quite the celebration I wanted and I know not the one Carlton wanted! LOL! :) But we did have a wonderful lunch together and had a few laughs thinking back to that day. SOMEONE (wasn't me, LOL) almost passed out and had to be revived with sweet tea wiped on HIS face. WHAT A DAY IT WAS!!! I really could write a book about it, we can laugh about it now!

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  19. I've not read any of Rosslyn's books, but this sounds like a great story. Love the cover - beautiful! Thanks for a chance to win a copy of one of her books. terimetts@gmail.com

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  20. Great review. I would loooove to read Sweeter Than Birdsong! jenmitsch@hotmail.com

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  21. TERESA, you can entitle the book Swee"tea" Pie. ;) You have the most interesting stories! hehe

    TERI-Welcome and I hope you can get your hands on a copy real soon...perhaps here! :)

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  22. Would love to win!!!!
    angelac(at)mchsi.com

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  23. ANGELAC, dropping your name in our proverbial hat! Thanks for stopping by!

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  24. I've been hearing so many good things about Rosslyn's books and your review confirms that this is one I'd love to read. :)

    caroljgarvin [at] gmail [dot] com

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  25. I am so anxious to read this book and would love to win a copy. Please enter my name in the contest.

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  26. I agree CAROL! TERESA'S review surely whets the appetite for this one. Rosslyn is a very good author; make sure to give her books a try. :)

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  27. CMDALE, we would love for you to win a copy, but pleeeease come back, and leave an email addy. W/O a name OR an email we have no way to find you, should you be drawn as our winner. And that makes us feel so bad when that happens. :(

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  29. Paperback print book; please enter me!
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  30. LANE HILL HOUSE, you sound like a lady who knows exactly what she wants...love it! :)

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  31. Waving to LAURA NICOLE and SUSAN way up yonder, as we say in the south! Good luck, ladies!

    Thank you for coming by JENSMITSCH! Gotcha entered!

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  32. I can certainly relate to Kate's fears of public speaking! Ithink many of us can.

    Patty
    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  33. Thanks for featuring this author on your blog, she is now on my must-read list!
    I'd love to snag a copy, too!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  34. This is great review, I have read the first book and would be interesting to read more about Ben and Kate. thanks for sharing
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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  35. Great review, and sounds like a great book. I haven't heard of this author before and would love to read one of her books. Please enter me in the contest! Sherri sherrirmyers at hughes dot net

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  36. PATTY, that makes two of us! I still have stage fright, and won't do plays or sing or anything at church that involves all eyes on me--up front. They say the more you do it the more you get use to it, but it's worse now than it ever was for me! I did speak before our ladies' group and gave my testimony a few yrs back, but it was very difficult for me.

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  37. Hi, MARIE, PAULA, and SHERI! Thank you all for your interest in Rosslyn's books. I know you will enjoy them immensely! And thank you on behalf of TERESA, for your kind compliments on her review. She is on a mission of mercy, helping someone, and should be back shortly!

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  38. This is a great review. I very much enjoyed the first book in this series and am looking forward to reading Sweeter Than Birdsong.

    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  39. Hi, PAM! I, too, enjoyed Fairer Than Morning, and am really looking forward to see what Rosslyn has in store for us in the future bookwise.

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  40. I have read sweeter than bird song but would love to win Fairer than Morning thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  41. Nice to see you, APPLE BLOSSOM, and gotcha entered for Fairer Than Morning...what a great book that was.

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  42. a wonderful posting...thanks for the chance to read one one these fabulous novels :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  43. You are welcome, KAREN! Thanks for stopping by and good luck in the drawing!

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  44. Sounds like a great book!!! Would love to win! Thanks for the chance. frederickmolly@yahoo.com

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  45. MOLLY, I hope you get your heart's desire! Thanks for stopping by!

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  46. Wow, hi everybody! Thanks to repeat visitors from Tuesday and welcome to new commenters. I am honored that you're interested in reading my novels.

    I'm looking forward to Saturday's testimony post, too!

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  47. We like to chit chat ROSSLYN, so we LOVE our guest to return!!!

    Well, Saturday's post is more like a brief testimony and some great links to Fairer than Morning reviews! DIANA's amazing testimony will be coming up in a few weeks on a Saturday. I am really looking forward to that posting. Will need LOTS of prayer when that goes up because Satan won't be happy!

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  48. Nope, he isn't and won't be happy AT ALL! The little girl that he tried to destroy and break her spirit, giving glory to God??? Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world, but still covet your prayers, friends!

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  49. That sounds great, Diana. Can't wait to read it!

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  50. First off, love the review!

    I would very much like to read Fairer than Morning, as I have StB (still need to read it but it is going to the top of the TBR).

    I will look forward to reading your testimony, Diana! God is so good!!! He loves us so much and rescues us from the grip of sin! My heart rejoices in the oneness in spirit that is felt here :)

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  51. Thank you, ANNE! When you read my testimony, your heart will rejoice even more...at the goodness of God, and His delivering power! And Carrie and I have prayed over this blog more than once and dedicated it to Him, and my heart rejoices with yours in the unity that is felt here.

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  52. I have never read anything by Rosslyn Elliot... would love to win this book!!

    ladette [at] live [dot] com

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