River to Redemption was magnificent. From the beginning pages I was enthralled. Dishes piled up, chores went undone, but I could not put this masterpiece down. I loved most everything about it. Set in Springfield, Kentucky during 1833 the author tackles commoners’ views on slavery and abolition. The fiction tale is rich with history, beginning with the tragic cholera epidemic. Women’s rights, attire, and what society deemed proper were at times unbelievable, but rang true to stories I had heard from my grandmother who was raised in Kentucky.
The characters, both main and secondary, are fabulous. We first meet seven year Adria Starr and quickly it is twelve years later and she is a young lady. Adria is a feisty southern young lady with a mind of her own and a huge heart. Two young men are after her hand, but Adria has many things on her mind as well as in her heart. Prim and proper Ruth is a character that like Adria lost family to cholera. They become a family out of necessity. A new young minister comes and with him good instruction on praying.
Louis is the slave that rescues Adria at the beginning of the book and helps the entire town of Springfield. His faith is as strong as his big heart. His master is an old man and when he becomes ill things look grim for Louis. Aunt Tilda is a sassy cook that brings life and laughter to the book. She was one of my favorites along with a well-meaning match-making widow. There are even more characters, some lovable and others not.
Everyone is thrown together through tragedy and need. Faith in God and believing in prayer sustains them and they thrive. There are bumps and bruises along the way, but that is true to life. The absence of a pet was disappointing for me, but I loved that the characters baked a lot. The author described the cakes, breads, and pies so that I could almost smell the cinnamon.
Author Gabhart has written a beautiful, captivating tale of love, disappointment, hope, loss, faith, freedom, and family. There are so many inspirational messages in this book. For me, that is the mark of a good Christian book. This one had that and more. Scripture, encouragement, life lessons, issues from the past and present are all found within these 319 pages. It is full of emotion and thought provoking subjects. In fact, it is so delightful I hate to give away any of the story. You will revel in discovering it for yourself.
I very highly recommend this charming book. In fact, I devoured it in one sitting. You will be entertained, educated, encouraged, and enlightened. There are no study questions at the back, but like I often say, this would be a nice book club selection. It would be nice to have someone to chat over coffee about this page-turner. I rated it 5 out of 5 stars only because I couldn’t figure out how to squeeze one more out to make it 6. This should win awards and yes, be made into a Hallmark movie. A copy was provided by Revell for my honest review.