Audiobook Mini-Review — Shiloh

21 Jun

Shiloh, the second book in Lori Benton’s Kindred series, has long been on my TBR list. A long hold from Libby was finally available, and I have to say the wait was certainly worth it. Picking up where Mountain Laurel leaves off, Shiloh completes the story of Seona and Ian. The historical detail of this book is great. I especially liked the references to the origins of Cooperstown, NY. The book explores the experiences of people of color in the newly formed US. Former slaves, Native Americans, and those of mixed races are all important characters in the story. Identity and purpose are strong themes, especially as those things relate to God’s perspective. I found traces of the prodigal son, Joseph, and Jacob’s stories woven throughout the narrative. There’s romance, adventure, and suspense as well. And those of you who loved Burning Sky, Benton’s debut novel, are in for a treat!

Shiloh is another recommended read from Benton. However, this book is not a standalone — you must read Mountain Laurel first.


Audience: Adults.

(I borrowed the audiobook from my library. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

December 1795
A year has passed since Ian Cameron reluctantly sent his uncle’s former slave Seona and their son, Gabriel, north to his kin in Boston. Determined to fully release them, Ian strives to make a life at Mountain Laurel, his inherited plantation, along with Judith, the wife he’s vowed to love and cherish. But when tragedy leaves him alone with his daughter, Mandy, and his three remaining slaves, he decides to return north. An act of kindness on the journey provides Ian the chance to obtain land near the frontier settlement of Shiloh, New York. Perhaps even the hope for a new life with those he still holds dear.

In Boston, Seona has taken her first tentative steps as a free woman, while trying to banish Ian from her heart. The Cameron family thinks she and Gabriel should remain under their protection. Seona’s mother, Lily, thinks it’s time they strike out on their own. Then Ian arrives, offering a second chance Seona hadn’t dared imagine. But the wide-open frontier of Shiloh feels as boundless and terrifying as her newfound freedom—a place of new friends and new enemies, where deep bonds are renewed but old hurts stand ready to rear their heads. It will take every ounce of faith and courage Ian and Seona can muster to fight for their family and their future . . . together.

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace. 

Lori’s debut novel, Burning Sky, earned the 2014 Christy Award for First Novel, Historical, and Book of the Year.

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