ABOUT THE BOOK
“Promise me, Ethan, no matter what, you must stay here! You can’t make a sound! Promise me you won’t!”
Caught in the middle of a massacre in Lawrence, Kansas, during the Civil War, Leah Donaldson, a twenty-year-old Mormon governess, must risk everything to save two children in her care—and she lives to pay dearly for the decision. Young Ethan Pace loves Leah and can hardly stay still as she is taken away by the enemy for refusing to reveal where he and his sister are hiding.
Five years later, Ethan desperately searches for her, trying to reconcile all that has happened and grappling with his feelings for her. Still idealizing Leah, he hopes she has survived and that he can help her get to Zion and her people. But after everything she’s been through since they last met, will Leah overcome her regrets and allow love into her life? Will she come to see Ethan as the caring man he has become rather than the lovesick boy she once knew?
I don't think I've read another historical fiction book quite like this one. This type of book tends to focus on romance and less on history. This book is the opposite. The focus here is on the experiences of the characters through a horrific event and it's devastating consequences. The story is divided into three parts, the pre-event set up, the event itself, and the recovery. Ethan tells the story of his experiences leading up to the Lawrence Massacre involving himself, his two best friends, his little sister, and their Mormon governess, Leah. Ethan clearly develops a major crush on Leah and wrestles with sharing her with the world, especially when a suitor appears. But things take a turn for the worse when Southern raiders show up and start murdering people, generally men. In order to save Ethan's and Addie's life, Leah allows herself to be taken by an evil man. Unfortunately, there is no one available to go after her. The third part of the story picks up five years down the road as the town continues to rebuild and Ethan gets a clue as to where Leah might be. He and his friend, Toe, set off to see if they can find her and help her find her way to Zion to repay her for her kindness and sacrifice. And if Ethan happens to hope for more, well, he wouldn't say no if she returned his feelings. But like life in general, things don't go according to anyone's plans.
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