RATING: 4 Stars
On a bitter December day in 1784, Silas Ballantyne arrives at the door of blacksmith Liege Lee in York County, Pennsylvania. Silas is determined to finish his apprenticeship quickly and move west. But becausehe is a fast worker and a superb craftsman,Liege endeavors to keep him in Lancaster by appealing to an old tradition: the apprentice shall marry one of his master’sbeautiful daughters.
Eden is as gentle and fresh as Elspeth is high-spirited and cunning. But are they truly who they appear to be? In a house laced with secrets, each sister seeks to secure her future. Which one will claim Silas’s heart—and will he agree to Liege’s arrangement?
In this sweeping family saga, one man’s choices in love and work, in friends and enemies, set the stage for generations to come. This is the Ballantyne Legacy.
There is definitely more to this book than what meets the eye. So much so that I don’t know where to begin! I normally begin at the romance (surprise, surprise) however this time around that will not be the case. From the moment I read the opening chapters of Love’s Reckoning I was drawn into Frantz’s world. Her smooth way of writing and manner of interlacing ideas, I was hooked. So it is safe to say that I will definitely be reading more of her books!
The aspect of this novel that I appreciate the most is the character development. Eden began as a very timid, vulnerable girl who surprised nearly everyone with her rare spouts of strong will. I found a special place for her in my heart as she was expected to respond immediately at her father’s, Elspeth’s, and the children’s calling, no excuses. Definitely not a way to treat the youngest child. It is therefore no surprise for you to hear me say that she was very naïve. Honestly, that doesn’t really bode well with me as I enjoy reading romances where the women and men have just met their match; both strong-willed, stubborn and determined. Thankfully at the end of the novel Eden had control of her own life and she knew who she was.
The same agrees with Silas. When the two met they were too inexperienced i.e. immature. It is for this reason that their romance felt too rushed and just not deep enough although it felt real for them. Just like every relationship, hardships arise that have the potential to cause necessary heartache to ensure the other person’s success and good fortune. Yes, it was painful to read, but I am so thankful that it happened because it really matured Eden and Silas a great deal! So therefore when they reunited, their glowing passion was still very tangible, yet it was pursued in a very mature way. I was beginning to lose my interest in their relationship; however the ending sealed the deal! It had turned into a relationship that was evidently going to last. That said, their past romantic interlude greatly helped this sense of belonging at attachment, no matter what I’ve said. Both Silas and Eden were the same people, yet so entirely different as well.
I love it how Frantz writes in a detailed way that everything just comes to life. I had trouble tearing myself away from the book at times, and when I was absent my mind was wondering back. There are other aspects of the story that I wish to share, however fear that I have already lost your interest for I personally don’t like reading long slabs of information. However I will say one thing – although Eden felt mistreated and used at home, I loved it how the Greathouses and Margaret loved and treated Eden as an equal although she was clearly below them. Also, the biblical yearnings of Eden I loved reading about because they awoke my own yearning of spending more time with the Lord in prayer and simply reading His Word, taking it to heart. I was reminded how for granted I take my faith, making me feel a little ashamed. The little snippets of bible verses I found refreshing and really appropriate.
Reading this book, Frantz will definitely ensure you have a place for each of the characters in your heart, or wherever else you store them… Read this book?? I would love to hear about your experience!