Book Review: Fairer Than Morning

2 Sep

In 1826, Ann Miller travels to Pittsburgh with her widowed father and two young sisters, only to find that a mysterious man has pursued them all the way from Ohio. Is Ann’s father just a circuit minister, or is he hiding something that may endanger them all?

Will Hanby indentures with a Pittsburgh saddler maker, only to discover that his master is a cold-hearted tyrant. After years of abuse, Will becomes a prisoner of his own mind. But then lovely Ann Miller comes to stay next door and her compassion lights a long-dark part of Will’s soul. His renewed courage puts his life in jeopardy as he begins to assist fugitive slaves. Will’s murderous master and Ann’s questions about her family may keep both of them bound in the shadows forever. Or will they find freedom-together?

As the child of a career military man, Rosslyn Elliott lived in four states and two foreign countries before she graduated from high school. She attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in English and Theater Studies. After five years working first in corporate New York City, then as a schoolteacher, she entered the Ph.D. program in English at Emory University and finished her dissertation in 2006.

Her study of American literature spurred her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction.

Rosslyn lives with her husband and daughter in the southwestern United States.

My Impressions:

Fairer Than Morning is the first installment in the Saddler’s Legacy series by Rosslyn Elliott.  And if this book is any indication, readers are going to have lots of wonderful reading ahead!  Because it was billed as historical romance, I was expecting a light romance set amid the trappings of the early 19th century.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find a richly written novel exploring the dark theme of slavery — physical as well as spiritual.

Will Hanby has put himself voluntarily under the authority of Master Jacob Good in order to learn the trade of saddlery.  What he finds is a nightmare world of physical and emotional abuse.  With 2 1/2 years left of his indenture, Will encounters Master Samuel Miller and his daughter Ann.  Perhaps there is a way out of his bondage before he loses everything, including his life. Ann Miller knows her father is a circuit preacher and master saddler, but his work with the underground railroad is a well-kept secret until their trip to Pittsburg.  She is sure she knows what real love is, until faced with suffering and sacrifice.   Will love (God’s love) win out at the end?

I appreciated the well-drawn characters, the historical research and the subject of bondage that Rosslyn Elliott so skillfully sets forth in this debut novel.  And I am anxious to find out the rest of the story as it unfolds in the next books.  An added bonus to this series is that the main characters actually lived!  I love an historical novel with its foundation in fact.  Pick up Fairer Than Morning; I think you’ll love it.


To see more reviews, please click HERE.

To celebrate the release of her debut novel, Rosslyn is giving away a Kindle Prize Package and a Custom-Made Historical Reproduction Dress! Sigh…romantic. 

One winner will receive:

* Kindle with Wi-Fi

Fairer Than Morning (for Kindle)

To enter just click one of the icons below. But, hurry, giveaway ends on 9/19. Winner will be announced on 9/20 at Rosslyn’s Book Club Facebook PartyDetails and official rules can be found when entering the contest.

During the party Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, hosting a book chat about Fairer Than Morning & historical fiction, testing your trivia skills, and giving away books and gift certificates (Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks). She’ll also be giving away a $200 gift certificate toward a FABULOUS custom-made period dress from Recollections

(I received a copy of Fairer Than Morning from LitFuse Publicity.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

4 Responses to “Book Review: Fairer Than Morning”

  1. Brenda September 2, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    I read and reviewed this one a while back and really enjoyed it. I am anxiously waiting for the next installment.

    • rbclibrary September 2, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

      I am anticipating the next one too.

  2. Rosslyn Elliott September 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    Thank you so much! I really appreciate the time you took for your thoughtful review. And I’m glad you liked the novel’s basis in fact–that means a lot to me too.



  3. Rosslyn Elliott September 2, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    And Brenda, thanks to you too for reading! I look forward to seeing what you think of the next one. 🙂

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