Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Heartfelt Story of Resilience | Review of Amongst the Roses

About the Book

The War Between the States shakes Margaret Bryant out of her comfortable upper-class life when her father enlists in the Army of the Potomac. Despite being safely ensconced above the Mason-Dixon Line in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Margaret finds her strength tested by opposition from familiar faces and Confederate threats. Will she let a young man from a lesser station into her heart even as war rages ever nearer to the home front?

Restless Connor Doyle sees the war as a way to escape from his family’s farm and his identity as a poor Irishman’s son. His brother, Adam, torn between duty to country and his family, enlists alongside Connor. Adam dares to hope in a future with Margaret when he begins a courtship correspondence from the war front. The two brothers make a vow to protect one another at all costs, but when faced with death and destruction from all sides—will they be able to uphold it?

The three bloodiest days in America’s history bring these three together at Gettysburg, and tragedy’s cruelty threatens to tear two hearts apart—and bring two unlikely allies together.

Available April 12, 2018!

My Rating


My Review

One thing I appreciate the most about Meghan's books (even if it can also be a frustration!) is the authenticity of her characters. They have flaws. They have selfish tendencies and often struggle with their circumstances or the people closest to them. And yet, while it's not always fun to read their thoughts or see how they react, it also makes them human and their stories more tangible.

Amongst the Roses is not a happy-go-lucky story, but it is a heartfelt one. Vivid descriptions highlight dramatic moments and the uncertainties of a war that hit home.

I confess the book felt rather long. While tension grips the story, not every scene seems noticeably unique or memorable. The drawn-out waiting periods and continued emotional trauma definitely feel real and true to the era, but they don't always make for exciting reading... However, like I previously noted, the characters and their bumpy roads to growth are authentic, and perhaps fans of Civil War fiction (more than historical romance) will appreciate this style. :)

Regarding the premise, I will say that I didn't completely understand certain characters' motives. I don't know why so many men in one family decided to focus on the path of one adult son while neglecting the well-being of the wife and other children. But however the characters got to where they are, it leads to an emotionally layered journey.

On the romance side, it's sweet and subtle. A lot of it is indirectly expressed through thoughts and reactions to letters, as well as the growing connection those letters provide. The next installment in the series (as this is the start of a series and not a complete story in itself) seems likely to bring more drama and possibly a different sort of romance.

Amongst the Roses is a story of resilience and the beginning of an epic series of redemption. With flawed yet endearing characters, the pain and suffering of war are explored with honesty, heart, and hope yearning to bloom.

*With thanks to the author for providing me with an e-ARC of the book. I was not required to post a positive review, and these opinions are my own.*

My reviews of other books by Meghan M. Gorecki...
God's Will | Wrapped in Red

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