Friday, November 9, 2012

A Review by Brenda Hurley for Before the Scarlet Dawn,

"Before the Scarlet Dawn" is the first book in 'The Daughters of the Potomac Series'. The story begins in Derbyshire, England, in 1775. Eliza Bloom's father, a Vicar, is on his deathbed. The love between him and his daughter is a true Christian love, both unconditional and deep.

Immediately following his death, Eliza is evicted from the only home she has even known. Meeting up with a childhood acquaintance, but now a grown man, Hayward Morgan catches Eliza's eye and heart. However, Hayward is prejudiced against Eliza's social standing, and believes she is 'beneath his station' in life. He knows that Eliza is beautiful in outward appearance, but she also possesses a beautiful and strong-willed inner spirit.

Through a turn of events, Hayward marries Eliza. Traveling with her devoted maid Fiona (who is like a mother and friend to Eliza), the three travel together to Maryland in America, to begin life anew in the vast wilderness and colonies.

Eliza eventually gives birth to a precious daughter, Darcy, whom she loves dearly along with Hayward. Eliza wants nothing more than for Hayward to actually "say" the words 'I love you', aloud. But from his domineering and cruel father, he learned NEVER to say those words to any woman, nor to announce any sentimental feelings -- as that would surely be considered a sign of weakness. His father taught him that -- 'man is the master, and to be obeyed', and woman the door-mat. And now, being a proud, prejudiced and stubborn individual, Hayward can only love Eliza's outer beauty. As to loving the person she is on the 'inside', his love is conditional and hardened toward her -- to prove he is 'the man' of the household, and, in control.

When Hayward goes off to War to be a Patriot, the days turn into several years. Eliza never stops loving Hayward with everything in her, hoping that both patience and time will win him over to saying he loves her. Many hardships come along in his absence though -- trials, ordeals, terror, and losses. But also comes along the neighbour Halston, who is more than willing to help the ladies out through these various trials and ordeals -- while showing and expressing his true inner feelings without shame.

Learning of Hayward's eventual death, Eliza in a weakened state of heart and mind, a time of devastation from extreme loneliness and despair -- turns to Halston's open arms ... to be consoled and comforted.
Later, it is learned that Hayward did not die in the War, and he returns home. Eliza has to live with her shame and deceit, until eventually Hayward guesses her secret.

In shame, anger and unforgiveness ... he sends her away from their home, away from their daughter, and back to England. Although Eliza begs and begs for Hawyard to forgive her, he cannot break the walls of pain, ice, and hardness around his prideful heart.

Eliza, so filled with her grief and guilt, searches for a new life. And mostly, for forgiveness. Can she once again find it ? Can God forgive her, and restore her heart to peace and contentment ? Will she "let go, and, let God" heal her ?

If you have ever struggled with being forgiven, then this book is for you. Read on to find out what happens in this exciting saga -- where you will identify with -- life's -- battles, hardships, pain, and even .... overcoming.

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