Friday, July 17, 2020

Book Review: River to Redemption by Ann G Gabhart

About the Book

River to Redemption
by Ann H. Gabhart

Description from Goodreads: 

Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle.

Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart's latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.

Book Review

River to Redemption is a Christian historical fiction novel set in the antebellum South. 

When Adria was a little girl, cholera came to her hometown and killed nearly everyone, including her parents. But, although he could have run to freedom or caught the disease, a slave man named Louis stayed and helped the sick, including Adria, and buried the dead when no one else could. Now, when Adria is a young adult, the owners are planning to sell Louis in spite of the heroic work he did for the whole town. 

This story was an interesting historical fiction. Set in the pre-Civil War South, slavery was very present in the story. The characters try to free Louis because of his heroism, which is fantastic. But because the Civil War was still decades in the future, the book realistically showed that he would be the only one of the many slaves in the area to be freed, and only because of his deeds. That was sad, but history is history. However, some of characters began to see slavery for the evil it really was, and if they were real, they would probably begin to work for an end to it in the following decades. And the base plot (not the personalities of the characters or the subplots) is based off of a real story of a man who did exactly as Louis did. 

I enjoyed reading this book. The plot wasn’t fast and exciting, like a mystery or thriller might be. Rather, it was the story of a town living though horrific deaths and learning to survive, going about life with normal highs and lows, love and struggle, and choosing which side of the slavery issue they were going to stand on. 

It was an interesting book, and while I didn’t absolutely LOVE it, it was good and I would recommend it to others who like historical fiction novels. And now is a good time to read a book like this that talks about slavery in America in historical context.

I received a complementary copy of this book. I was not compensated for writing a review, and all opinions are expressly my own.

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