Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann’s dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.
Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann’s compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann’s father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?
You can read an excerpt on Rosslyn Elliott.com
Rosslyn Elliott grew up in a military family and relocated so often that she attended nine schools before her high school graduation. With the help of excellent teachers, she qualified to attend Yale University, where she earned a BA in English and Theater. She worked in business and as a schoolteacher before returning to study at Emory University, where she earned a Ph.D. in English in 2006. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing ficton. She lives in the Southwest, where she homeschools her daughter and teaches in childrens ministry. For more information, visit Rosslyn Elliott’s website.
Fairer Than Morning is available on Amazon.com. (Not my affiliate link)
Fairer Than Morning is fiction, but the family is inspired by a real family in American history, who to this day are the most celebrated citizens of Westerville, OH. There is a small section in the back of this book that gives the history of this family, and what in the book is based on fact.
Fairer Than Morning is Book 1 of The Saddler’s Legacy. It is also Rosslyn Elliott’s debut book! And what a book.
Young Ann’s mother died, and she works very hard to help her father raise her younger two sisters. The author portrays very well the conflict a young woman would feel when wanting to grow up and get married, yet not wanting to leave her family her needs her. When things fall apart with her suitor, her father agrees to take her on a business trip with him. It’s on that trip that she meets Will.
She feels an instant connection with Will. The only problem is he is an apprentice with a very cruel and abusive master. Parts of this book are very hard to read. But that is part of the history of apprenticeship. We also need to see Will at the lowest point in his life, when he has no hope. Then we see him overcome the adversity, and have hope for a future. Through that, we see that we can have hope in our lives as well.
Through it all, Ann & Will hold on to what they believe in. They overcome many obstacles to live happily ever after.
There is a reading group guide in the back of the book, which makes it nice for book groups. I also find these sections interesting and helpful. You can still go through the guide and answer the questions even if you are a group of 1. They help you bring out points you may have missed while reading the book.
I really liked Fairer Than Morning. It’s one of those books that once you start reading, you don’t want to put it down. I’m looking forward to Book 2 in the series, Sweeter Than Birdsong, which will be available in February 2012.
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