Friday, August 10, 2012

Touching the Sky ~ A Book Review

My book review for this week is 
Touching the Sky by Tracie Peterson

When Laura Marquardt first meets Brandon Reid, their encounter is anything but pleasant. But when the two are seated together at a dinner party, they soon find that they share similar interests--Laura desires to educate blacks, and Brandon, as a white officer over colored troops, eagerly supports her cause.

When Laura's sister, Carissa, marries her Confederate beau, Laura finds herself in a difficult situation when she overhears plots to kill Union soldiers. Though in her heart she feels she should share this information with Brandon, Laura fears she will betray her sister's trust and possibly endanger her sister's life. And when Brandon's motives for pursuing her come into question, her heart is even more conflicted. Where is God leading her?

My review:
I am very interested in historical fiction, so I loved that Touching the Sky was set immediately following the end of the Civil War.  Since this book is part of a series called Land of the Lone Star, the author delved quite a bit into the politics of Texas and it's independent nature.  Family and town dynamics are still very much on edge as each one is judged on their Northern or Southern sympathies.  Texas was a mixed bag with full loyalties to neither side. 

Right off the bat, we meet Laura.  She is an independent young woman from a wealthy family who chose to side with the North.  Laura's greatest desire is to honor the Lord with the things she does and she has a great passion for teaching the freed slaves to read.

Brandon is a Union officer who presides over the "colored troops" until his retirement where he is asked to spy on a young man named Malcolm with a chip on his shoulder and a vendetta against the Union.  His diabolical plan is to cause a lot of harm and blame the black troops for the damage. 

Brandon's mission brings him into close contact with Laura and their chemistry is felt right away.  Laura's sister is determined to marry Malcolm and in doing so, she throws all of them into a dangerous situation that defies logic and is filled with hate.

I really liked this book.  The character development was well done.  Brandon and Laura are both honorable people with a desire to protect those around them.  As these two fall in love, you recognize their connection and feel their passion for life.  The additional characters in the book, Laura's parents, her sister Carissa, Brandon's friends, and of course Malcolm, are well developed and add a lot to the story.  I loved Esther and her boys and how she felt learning to read would be like "touching the sky".    

The author descriptions are so well done that you feel like you're right there in each scene.  I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series when it is released later this year.  

 In exchange for my honest review, I received a copy of the book from Bethany House.

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