Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Heir of Hope by Stephania McGee


My dear one, You come to me in my dreams and we talk of things that cannot be explained in this life. How we have been brought together is a great mystery, but I wish to someday see you again…. A Mississippi Plantation: A century and a half after the Civil War nearly tore a nation asunder, the battle for freedom still rages in the heart of Ironwood's newest mistress. Emily Burns grew up an orphan, so she never expected to inherit a southern plantation. When she discovers an old diary hidden in the attic, her life becomes strangely entwined with her Civil War ancestor and she soon begins to wonder how a woman long dead can keep showing up in her dreams. Torn between her strange desire to honor Lydia's wishes and practicality, Emily cannot decide if she will keep Ironwood. Yet the house calls to her like a melancholy siren, and Emily cannot resist its tune. Resolving to stay only for a little while, and telling herself her decision has nothing at all to do with the handsome handyman helping with restorations, Emily begins to unravel the history of Ironwood – A tale of love and loss, hope and redemption. When the story seeps into her heart, Emily finds that two women separated by centuries can share the unique bonds of family ties, and that both her past and her future reside in the soul of Ironwood. Heir of Hope is book two in the Ironwood Plantation Family Saga, but it and The Whistle Walk can be read in either order.

Donna's Review:

I have been trying to space out my second and third reads on series books so as not to bore my readers. I picked up Heir of Hope, the second in the Ironwood Plantation Family Saga series, because of the genealogy and family history aspect. Heir of Hope takes place 150 years after the first book, The Whistle Walk. Yes, I’m a nerd. I also like the idea of finding a great family fortune or solving a family mystery.

Heir of Hope was an enjoyable read, and it is not necessary to have read the first book in the series. As a matter of fact, reading the second so soon after the first was probably one of the more bothersome parts of reading. The author goes into long diary sections written by Lydia, the heroine in the first book, and they mostly rehash what happened there. Having just read that one, the events were fresh in my mind. Occasionally, a perspective was changed, but not often enough to keep my interest. I confess, there were times I skipped those sections, but had I not just read the other I might not have done so.

Emily Burns’ struggles to come to terms with her past and move toward her future are believable and well-paced. However, while her external and internal goals are clear, she is not desperate to accomplish them. The result is an enjoyable read, but not one that keeps you on the edge of your seat. She also has a bad temper, and the things she does as a result are more reminiscent of a ten year old boy than a 20s something woman. By this time, she should have been able to handle her anger better.

I loved the aspect of revisiting a place from 150 years previous, although I found the setting, with such rich possibilities, a bit lacking. I loved the aspect of Emily finding the trunk with the diary, and of her finding out about her ancestors. I appreciated the way McGee wove the lives of the women in various generations together, making them more alike than different.

All in all an enjoyable read, if not a page turner. If you like history and especially genealogy, this one is for you.

Three roses. 

Length:  278 Pages
Print:  $ 14.99
Digital:  $ 3.99

Thanks for visiting. Julie, Donna & Rochelle

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