River to Redemption

River to Redemption

by Ann H. Gabhart

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River to Redemption 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This book will be at the top of my all time favorite books. I did not want to put this down. This was fantastic historical fiction based on some truth. Louis was a wonderful person. I loved Adria also. This story helps you to learn some lessons. Wonderful. I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption is a emotionally moving work of fiction by Ann H. Gabhart. This power story of a little girl that is orphaned in this epidemic cared for by a couple of slaves until she is taken in by a widow. Adria yearns to do what is right by those that have taken care of her. Even though it is still a time where slavery is still supported. She will fight to do what she knows in her heart is right. I was moved to tears by this power story that Ann H. Gabhart has written. I highly recommend River to Redemption.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption recounts a tragic and emotional event in Kentucky’s history, all portrayed by the skilled and experienced writer, Ann H. Gabhart. Seven-year old Adria recognizes the life of a slave when Louis rescues her from the perils of the 1833 cholera outbreak in Springfield. Left orphaned, Louis and Aunt Tilda, who both work at a hotel, take in the ill child. Having nursed her back to health, Louis and Aunt Tilda make a decision the child needs a permanent home. Heart broken, Ruth Harmon’s hopes were dashed when she lost her beloved husband to the same epidemic and her dream for family. “Pray Believing” was Louis’s daily strength. The Lord will provide our needs but this time, Louis prayed for a want. A want that Adria and Ruth would somehow be united fulfilling the desire of both for family. You see, the three met while Ruth was searching for the burial spot of her husband, one of 55 Louis had buried when he could have taken the opportunity to escape across the river to freedom. As years have gone by, Adria is ready to fight for Louis’s freedom when it’s threatened and, hopefully, she’ll find answers to where her own life leads her. Having read at least a dozen of Ann Gabhart’s books, this is yet another “can’t put down” historical fiction. “River to Redemption” draws you into the life of each character and location as though you were living in the time period. The research that is so obvious will cause you to reflect on the extent the writer will go and desire to present a thought-provoking novel. An excellent read I very much recommend.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Ann Gabhart pens a painful look back at our past when not all were considered equal. To entertain the opposite thought, as a person of color could bring punishment or death; as a white, it could mean ostracization or physical danger as well. Gabhart’s narrative begins in the summer of 1833 when a cholera epidemic ran rampant around much of the US. Seven-year-old Adria Starr watches as her father, mother, and brother all die from the disease. Louis, a slave whom she has never before seen, rescues her and helps Matilda nurse Adria back to health. Louis is an amazing character. I love the way he trusts God, cares for others at risk to his own safety and does not seek the best in life for himself. Matilda longs for freedom but also possesses a very strong faith. Over and over, her response to obstacles is the faith-filled refrain, “The Lord will provide.” I love the way Adria, Ruth, Will, Carlton, and even Logan all show character development and great wrestling with life decisions. All have to decide what they will do with the question of slavery and how deeply will they get involved. What cost is each willing to pay to address the flowing tide that refuses to be ignored or dammed up? Who will find physical redemption and who will find redemption for his soul? I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to better understand some of the soul-searching times leading up to the Civil War. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. No positive review was required. All opinions are strictly my own.
RobinWillson More than 1 year ago
Another fabulous novel so well written that you get close to the characters right away. A cholera outbreak severely affects a town and the residents in it. The story is written around a true story of what took place at the time. There are places in the story that you wish would last longer and places where you can't read fast enough. You don't want to miss a word, but you just have to know how it turns out. It does turn out in some ways unexpected, but refreshing, and with wonderful illustrations of God's work in our lives. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the Author and Revell/Baker Publishing Group - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” #RiverToRedemption #NetGalley
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption is a wonderful story! Gabhart grabbed my attention on page one and held it firmly until the very end. This stirring novel draws from true events, and the historical facts are depicted with a vividness that brings them to life. Adria and Louis are memorable characters; their strength and courage are an inspiration to those who know their story. I loved River to Redemption and am eager to learn more about the history that inspired this beautifully told tale! I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
ARS8 More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption was a story that had me a bit shell shocked and teary eyed from the beginning pages. A town dealing with a deadly cholera outbreak brings a group of people together as a sort of make shift family. Free and slave, child and adult, are brought together by circumstances beyond their control. The relationship between Widow Ruth and orphan Adria was the type of friendship/family connection that made me want to keep reading. I really liked slave Louis, who as described in the book as an uncommon man who walked with the Lord. His love for people, no matter what color or who they were, was heartwarming. Especially, when he gave up chances to run for his freedom and instead stayed to help. This was a character rich story, there was some romance but the story focused more on the growth of the characters. I received a complimentary copy of this novel. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
academy252 More than 1 year ago
Adria Starr lost her whole family during the Cholera epidemic of 1833. She was left alone and struggling for her life at the tender age of 7. She was taken in by a pair of slaves, Louis and Matilda. They nursed her back to health. Once the epidemic passed the owner of Louis returned to his business of running the hotel in town and told Louis that Adria could not stay. Louis would have to find her a new home before his owner found a less than savory place for her. Louis and Matilda approached a young widow named Ruth Harmon. Ruth was the wife of the local teacher and she was widowed during this epidemic, too. She was left alone and forced to support herself. Louis put the two of them together and a new family was formed. The two of them, along with a fantastic cast of characters discover there are more important things in life than the color of one’s skin and station in life. They learn that God hears them and that they must pray, believing that God can do all things even when it seems utterly impossible. This story is based on a real story of a slave named Louis. His story is one of a true hero with a heart that loves the Lord completely. His story is certainly one we should all hear. He was selfless and kind when he could have headed north and saved himself. He blessed many people in that small town and in time God worked in the hearts of the people to give him the best gift he had ever received.
FHlady More than 1 year ago
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. This book contained an interesting story, but I felt the pace in the first half of the book was slow. I loved the characters, particularly, Louis. He was a gentle giant with a warm heart, a tender spirit, and a deep faith. Adria was an independent thinker; and, though surrounded by and courted by slave owners, she knew deep in heart that owning another human being and treating them like a commodity was wrong. She kept her thoughts to herself all while she was penning anonymous articles for northern newspapers in support of abolition. The second half of the plot picked up with more action both in Adria's love life and her more overt action in helping the slaves. Also Ruth, her adoptive mother, begins to realize it's time to stop mourning the loss of her husband and child and move on with life as well. Good secondary characters from Carlton the controlling boyfriend to derring-do Logan the drover who had his eyes on Adria. Pastor Robinson and his daughter Willeena played their part in everyone finding a new direction for their lives as well. Powerful, well written story.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption is yet another wonderful read from Ann H Gabhart. I loved the main character, Adria. She is a woman of strength, courage, and determination. She was a woman before her time. I admired her. The historical details are well written and so vivid that it was like I was right there living among those of the story. I highly recommend River to Redemption. I give this powerful and inspirational story five plus stars. I received this book from the publisher, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption By Ann H. Gabhart Adria Starr lost everyone she cared about when a cholera epidemic hits Springfield, Kentucky in 1833. And Adria isn't alone in her losses most everyone also suffered a loss. Mrs. Ruth Harmon lost her husband Peter and the child she was hoping for. But through the care of Louis none where left untended as he made sure all the sick were nursed and the dead were buried. Louis's efforts came at a cost - he could have used the sickness as a chance to escape to freedom in the North. But Louis was not like most as he followed the leading he felt that the Good Lord placed on his heart. And caring for Adria and finding her a place where she wouldn't be in a position of servitude for the rest of her childhood was of utmost importance to him. As time passes Louis and Adria have a special connection - one that has Adria looking to take up the abolitionist fight. But being a woman her words and feelings carry little weight in the 1840s. When the possibility of Louis being sold arises Adria is determined that he get the freedom he deserves. River to Redemption is a story that has many layers to it - the first layer is the cholera epidemic which is the catalyst which sets everything in motion. If not for the cholera Louis and Adria might never have met so that they would have a friendship. And then Adria and Ruth shared a bond that was also the result of the losses they both experienced. Adria provided the home and Ruth the care. As Adria deals with the expectations of society (marriage and family) versus the desires her heart (freedom and equality) she will discover who she truly is. I think this quote perfectly sums up Adria's dilemma "Yet, was it too much to hope for a man to accept you as you were instead of as he thought you should be?" What I like is that this book is based on true historical events - yes this is a fictionalized account but the characters are for the most part likable. They aren't perfect and struggle with disappointments and life in general. This isn't a fast paced book it has moments of meandering making it a perfect afternoon read when all you want to do is relax. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher with no expectations of a review - all opinions expressed are my own.
poodlelover More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be appropriately titled on so many levels, and I loved it. You will experience a depth and variety of emotions. Author Ann Gabhart has done her research well when writing about this painful time in our country’s history. My favorite quote is from Louis, a slave, who tended the sick and buried the dead during the cholera epidemic of 1833. He could have left and gained his freedom but felt led to stay and do what he could. When he found young Adria Starr next to her dead mother and brother he took care of her and was determined to find her a suitable home. He always told Adria to ‘pray believin’. An uneducated but wise man. When Adria reaches adulthood, she vows to find a way to obtain Louis’ freedom. She will need courage and strength to do the right thing. Will she succeed? I can’t wait for you to read this book and find out! I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions are my own.
NKBookReviewer More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption by author Ann Gabhart 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 1883 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.
joyful334209 More than 1 year ago
River To Redemption is such a heart warming, heart touching, goose bump - yes you got that right - goose bumps - story. You ask, "how can it be a goose bump story?" Well no - it is not a thriller - you get your goose bumps when you see GOD move in the lives of these characters - when you see Faith move during such a disastrous time such as a Cholera - a killer of a disease killing off people in a small Kentucky town. Isn't that where our help comes from? The LORD? There is unjustness, wrongness, abandonment, righteousness and redemption die throughout the book. This is very moving - so very worth the read. I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and Netgalley; all of the opinions expressed in this review are all my own. if you would like to read more of my Christian book reviews go to christianlybookreviewers.blogspot.com
sandralb More than 1 year ago
I am sorry to say this is the first book I have read by Ann H. Gabhart. I can promise you this will not be my last. This is one of my favorite books so far this year. At he end of this novel, I was surprised and blessed to learn that this was about a true event. I would suggest that you keep a box of Kleenex close by. Ms. Gabhart has a wonderful way of telling historical stories that take place in small towns. There wasn't a lot know about many diseases in 1833. When a cholera epidemic started in Springfield, Kentucky, people who could, left town. It was thought that this disease was spread through bad air. Later we would learn it is typically contracted through infected water The story starts with Adria Starr, at age seven. She is lying on the floor next to her mother and baby brother, wondering what she can do to help them. She does not want them to stop breathing like her daddy did. She now too is sick and too weak to help them any longer. There is a knock on the front door and in walks Louis, our true hero. He is a man full of faith, love, and generosity. He was given the keys to the hotel by the owner, his boss and master, told to watch over it and take care of things. When Louis had a chance to gain his freedom, he stayed behind taking care of the sick and burying the dead. Before the pandemic was over, Louis buried fifty-eight people. The author has a wonderful way of developing her characters, there are so many in this novel that you will fall in love with. This was not an easy time in history and sometimes it was hard to read. Adria, understandably, had a hard time when twelve years later, this same man is being sold by his owner, despite all the things he did for the town. I loved the way Ms. Gabhart was able to pull light out of this darkness. Louis was always encouraging Adria with scripture and a smile. There are so many wonderful quotes in this book. I thing my favorite is “You know what made me feel safest after my parents died?” ...“Adria stepped closer to him and took his hand. “I always knew I was safe when you were holding my hand.” His fingers curled around her hand. “You was the sweetest li'l child. When I first laid eyes on you that day a layin' there by your “mama's body and you looked up at me, your big brown eyes went straight to my heart. I knowed the Lord aimed for me to take care of you.” “Now he wants me to take care of you. The two of us, we'll pray the way you did for me when I was a little girl, and the Lord will show us a way.” I loved this book and would recommend it. It's one I may have to read a second time. I received this book from Revell Publishers through NetGalleys. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
GrandaddyA More than 1 year ago
What an amazing story about a man who passed up an opportunity to seek freedom because he believed God had told him to take care of the sick and dying when so many others were leaving town to get away from the sickness all around. The story is told primarily from the perspective of a young girl who was rescued by Louis, a slave who was entrusted by his owner to take care of his hotel while he took his wife where he felt they would be safe from the cholera pandemic. Adria’s parents and little brother had already died from the cholera when Louis found her and took her to the hotel where he and Aunt Tilda nursed her to health and cared for her. The author has done an outstanding job of developing the characters and their back stories. Most of the named characters in the story were white but color or station in life made no difference to Louis who was simply following his God-given conscience to help everyone that he could. When I stop to think about the living conditions in a small Kentucky town in the 1830s with none of the modern conveniences and realize that the vast majority of slaves had far less, I cannot relate to those who owned slaves. As terrible as all that was, the tireless efforts of a slave who trusted more in the goodness of God than in any human made this a captivating story. His example had a life-changing impact on a young girl. Yet I find a bit of sadness in such stories because of an institution that allowed any man to own another. Sadder still is the realization that some of those attitudes still exist today. I believe stories like this can go a long way toward nudging our consciences to work toward helping improve relationships all around us. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
Teresa More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Ann H. Gabhart has such a way with telling a story and with creating such wonderful characters. River to Redemption grabbed me from the start and even though I have finished reading it, it still hasn’t let me go. This book is fiction based on a true story that I am so glad to now know about. I would love to read a sequel to this!
AngelN1 More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart starts in the 1833 Kentucky cholera epidemic and continues 12 years later. Adria Starr was only 7 years old when she was orphaned, and a slave named Louis saved her life and comforted her. Now 19, Adria is a closet abolitionist in a small Kentucky town. This is a story of faith during trials, with diverse characters. I like that the author didn't create easy scenarios, but rather real-life difficulties that the characters had to struggle with and often weren't sure of the best path. I thought at first that it would be a bit more of a love story for Adria, but I am pleased that her love life was not the focus, and I did like the other love story in the book very much. The author worked in historical details pretty seamlessly, and the characters were believable in that time frame. It also makes it easier for the reader to understand the day-to-day realities of living in a time when owning other people was accepted practice. There were some twists to the story near the end that I didn't see coming, and they were very well done. Characters in this book struggle with faith, right and wrong, unjust law, abandonment, and redemption. It was an excellent novel, and I highly recommend it. I'd give it 4.5 stars, but as that is not an option, I'll round up. :) I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.
AngelN1 More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart starts in the 1833 Kentucky cholera epidemic and continues 12 years later. Adria Starr was only 7 years old when she was orphaned, and a slave named Louis saved her life and comforted her. Now 19, Adria is a closet abolitionist in a small Kentucky town. This is a story of faith during trials, with diverse characters. I like that the author didn't create easy scenarios, but rather real-life difficulties that the characters had to struggle with and often weren't sure of the best path. I thought at first that it would be a bit more of a love story for Adria, but I am pleased that her love life was not the focus, and I did like the other love story in the book very much. The author worked in historical details pretty seamlessly, and the characters were believable in that time frame. It also makes it easier for the reader to understand the day-to-day realities of living in a time when owning other people was accepted practice. There were some twists to the story near the end that I didn't see coming, and they were very well done. Characters in this book struggle with faith, right and wrong, unjust law, abandonment, and redemption. It was an excellent novel, and I highly recommend it. I'd give it 4.5 stars, but as that is not an option, I'll round up. :) I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.
parmilespages More than 1 year ago
An unlikely alliance and friendship develops between a slave named Louis, and a seven-year-old orphan named Adria Starr. Louis finds Adria by her mother’s deathbed, after cholera epidemic ravages the town of Springfield, Kentucky. Louis brings Adria to the hotel owned by his master and cares for her until she recovers from being ill. He, along with another slave named Matilda; take on the responsibility of finding Adria a permanent home. This incident forever changes the way Adria looks at the world. Adria is a great heroine and her character can be summed up with the word brave. Actually, there are many great characters in this story and each person’s personality blends well to make this a heartwarming and tender novel. Besides Adria, I became especially endeared to Louis and Matilda. The main plot of the story focuses on Adria and Louis, however, there are other subplots involving people associated with Adria. One of the unique things about this narrative is the spiritual aspect, which is a prominent theme through the book. Some of the characters struggle with God’s involvement in their lives but Louis’s faith is steady and strong and he becomes a role model, encouraging a deeper faith in others. “Pray believing” is the phrase that is repeated when situations seem hopeless and is an added element of inspiration for the reader. The story had a satisfying ending but it also left the door open for a possible continuation of the Adria’s story in a second book. When I read the author’s note at the book’s conclusion and learned Louis was a real person, along with his heroic actions during the cholera epidemic of 1833, I was more impressed with the plot of the story. I applaud the author for her idea and foundation in which to build a fiction tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in historical fiction.
TrishRobertson More than 1 year ago
This gripping, heart-warming story with its central theme of prayer is a beautiful story that is sure to not only entertain but to uplift your spirits. It is just what I needed to read! I was easily pulled into the story right from the beginning. The events of the Cholera epidemic sweeping through this small Kentucky town were heart-wrenching. Louis, an African slave took it upon himself to step in and help where needed. His unwavering faith in God, even through the difficult times is a testament to his character. While not a face-paced story, I still found myself invested in the lives of the characters and deeply moved by their struggles. We pray and unburden our hearts to the Father. He always answers. But sometimes the answers aren’t what we expected. Prayer changes things, and it changes us too! I especially appreciated the fact that this story was based partly on a true story. This book is a poignant reminder that faith and prayer go hand-in-hand. We each have the daily opportunity to be a beacon of faith and an example of what trusting in God looks like to the others in our communities. This engaging story is filled with moments of tender romance, laughter, adventure, tears of sadness and tears of joy, a couple of surprises and most importantly a strong faith. I give this story 4.5 stars and would encourage you to pick-up a copy for yourself to enjoy! (I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I am not required to write a positive review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.)
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
From the moment I began, to the very last page the author drew me in with this story. I was fully immersed and living in the period, and life was not easy, and then I read that although fiction, this story is based on fact and Louis was a real person. The author gives a great look at life in the South during the period slavery in this country. Also, how a slave saves lives and selflessly takes care of the dead, doing what he feels God wants him to do. Loved how the story circles around and with great loss comes gain, and more that could be imagined. The only problem I had was that the book ended and I really wanted to continue. A really awesome read! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
River to Redemption is a unique, charming, and heart-hugging love story that begins during the early 1800s. It’s not a romance, per-se, but reveals a loving bond between two unlikely souls. I was so touched by this story and won't soon forget the characters. I’ve read several of Ms. Gabhart’s books and have enjoyed them all. She is a gifted storyteller who plants a tenderness in each of her stories. I would love to read more about Adria and Louise! Their relationship is truly inspiring and tugs the heartstrings. With themes of hope and faith, this story will appeal to many – especially those who enjoy Christian fiction and Women’s fiction. A great read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fascinating story of race relations and human relations, based on truth and using factual names (yet somewhat fictionalized), in the antebellum period. The author does a great job of building the setting, through well-developed characters and vivid scenery descriptions. She doesn't dwell on the negative side of slavery, but lays out the facts as they pertain to the story and moves on with it. It's interesting to think of a slave protecting a white girl - especially when the two suitors come calling - and yet it may have happened more than we realize. Love and loyalty are not race-dependent, and Louis chose to remain in that station to protect Adria, even as she was trying to save him. There were a few twists and turns, and I wasn't sure how the love triangle would resolve itself at one point, but good character wins in the end. The book contains several spiritual references and is a clean romance. Reading the author's note also brings another level to the historical context.
AE2 More than 1 year ago
When cholera sweeps the country in 1833, Springfield, Kentucky doesn't escape its grasp. Adria Starr's parents and brother die. The orphaned girl stays temporarily with Louis Sanderson, a slave who, after his owner gave him the keys to his hotel before fleeing the town, could have lit out for freedom in the north but instead stayed, carrying for the sick and burying the dead. When the danger has passed, Louis has buried 55 people--including the local schoolteacher. Looking for a home for Adria, Louis asks the teacher's widow, Ruth, to take the girl in. Ruth moves into Adria's home and cares for her as best she can. Twelve years late, Adria is nineteen and well on her way to becoming an abolitionist. Although there are those in town who think that she should be happy to marry the son of a well-off family, Adria can't commit herself to that life when there's more burning in her heart. When Louis's owner passes away and she learns that his sons intend to sell him off, Adria is horrified. With Ruth's help as well as the help of the new minister--who connects with Ruth in a way no one since her late husband has--Adria just might be able to repay the man she owes so much. Wow! This book did not play out how I thought from the first couple of chapters--I thought we'd see a lot more romance in Adria's life, but that's not what happened. Adria's story was more about finding her purpose in life, while Ruth's was about opening her heart again. I loved the message about "pray believing"--but also the true-to-life examples of when prayers both were and weren't answered the way the person praying had hoped. Louis's rock-solid faith was inspiring, but the more up-and-down (not inconsistent, just shaken sometimes) faith of others was also touching and I enjoyed seeing their struggles. This was a really enjoyable book. I'm hoping there's a sequel! 4.5 stars. I read an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.