In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
I sure do enjoy a novel that lets me really escape to another time and place. Carrie Turansky’s latest novel, Shine Like the Dawn, does just that as the prose carries readers into Edwardian England. While the town feels idyllic at times, there is a cord of tension that runs through this novel. Workers are unhappy with conditions at a company and things aren’t quite what they seem in regards to an accident that claimed the lives of Maggie’s family.
From early on, I was drawn into this story. The characters were wonderfully developed. Everyone from the neighbor with a crush, a wise grandmother, and a rambunctious sister. Maggie’s stubbornness and Nate’s desire to be logical made an interesting pairing in this book. But the plot is what I truly enjoyed. I loved the small hint of mystery surrounding the accident that drastically altered Maggie’s life and how many things in this book weren’t quite what they seemed.
The other shining aspect of this book were the themes within the pages. Pride becomes a focus as well as themes of forgiveness and honesty. While forgiveness is a common theme in fiction, it isn’t very often that pride becomes a major one as well.
If you enjoy historical fiction, I would recommend this novel.
“We can’t change the past, but the future is an open door. We can make the path ahead as bright and carefree as you’d like.”
-Nate Harcourt, Shine Like the Dawn
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