Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Daughter's Legacy by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Virginia, 1864
Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love—whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor—ever fit in her broken world?

Virginia, present day
Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained—her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man—to unlock the secrets of the past.
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My Daughter's Legacy is the third novel in the Cousins of Dove trilogy, and it wraps up a truly intriguing mystery that has stretched across the three novels. I picked up this book without realizing it was the last book, but I still heartily enjoyed the mystery and suspense of Nicole's past, along with the other three girls. I thought the authors did an excellent job creating both a good conclusion and an interesting stand alone novel. The novel delves into two women's lives, one in modern day Virginia, and the other in a Civil War torn Richmond.

The modern day story, Nicole's, was told with first person narrative, and I felt very connected to Nicole's thoughts and emotions as she wrestled with her old fears and her new life. Since I did not know the extent of her past from the first two novels, I did not have as much of a comparison of her previous life choices to her current life as a recovering addict, but I could still appreciate her courage and her reliance on both God and other Christian people around her to maintain her changes.

The Civil War story concerns Therese Jennings, one of Nicole's relatives, and it was told with third person narrative, but I still felt connected to Therese's struggles and dreams as she tries to navigate the divide between her family duties and her personal convictions. I enjoyed the suspense I tried to figure out which Talbot man she ended up marrying, and I was satisfied with the result, if not completely sold on the build up to that point.

Overall, I thought the two parallel stories worked well together, and I liked how there were multiple chapters at a time from one woman's perspective so that the parallel stories were not too scattered. I also enjoyed the conclusion of the past tragedy that had haunted Nicole and her cousins, and I was definitely surprised by the results. I look forward to going back and reading the first two novels now.

I received this novel from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.

Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including "Beyond the Blue" and "Garden of Dreams." She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.

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