by Tamera Alexander
This story takes place after the civil war has taken place in the United States. Eleanor Braddock leaves the only home she has ever known to go to Nashville in hopes of helping her father get better. Having no job, money and very few family members left after placing her father in the Asylum she goes to live with her last living relative Adelicia Acklen in hopes she will loan her money to start her own cafe. However, things don't go as planned for her and and after a simple act of kindness for a widowed woman she is put in charge of building and creating a safe haven for widowed women and children. Surprising herself although it wasn't what she envisioned herself doing she feels like she is following god's direction.
Gerhard Marcus Gottfried has only ever wanted to do something for himself rather than what is expected of him so he moves to America from Austria in hopes of finding out who he really is. However, life doesn't go as planned for Marcus as well and instead of building an opera house he is put in charge of helping build the Widows & Children home with Eleanor. Both Eleanor and Marcus in the beginning feel that they are very much different because of what their background is and seem to but heads on how things should be done. However, as the story continues they find out they are more a like then they ever thought and have the same goal in mind.
I received this book free courtesy of Netgalley to provide a honest and non biased opinion. This was the first book that I have read of Tamera Alexander's so I do not have any of her previous books to compare it to. I thought the book started out kind of slow and took me a little bit to get into. However, once I got 30% into the book Tamera had me hooked with the story and characters and if I didn't have full-time job I wouldn't have been able to put the book down. It was interesting how Tamera showed the development of Eleanor's character from the start of the book to the end. She really showed how a person's life changing events could change who a person is but how their faith never waivers. In addition I also liked how she developed the romance between the two main characters Eleanor and Marcus. It was very nice to actually see a man court woman and treat her like a true lady.
Another aspect of this book that I liked was how detailed Tamera was on key parts of history in regards to the Civil War. She didn't sugar coat things but rather showed what the war really did to not just american's but also to other nationalities who tried to move to the united states during that time. She did her research to really make you feel that as a reader you were actually in that time period wearing the same clothes as the ladies of that generation. In addition, she did a good job of depicting how the different types of classes would interacted in that time.
I very much liked this book by Tamera Alexander and will be interested to see how the next book carries on the people of Nashville. In addition, I am very interested to read the first book in the series. If you are interested in reading this book because of how it sounds but are worried because it is the second part in the series don't, I read this book having never read a book of hers and I had no problem understanding the story and characters. Lastly, this would be a great book for those that like romance, history and intrigue. She will have you smiling, laughing, crying and at times wishing you could go back in time to experience things that the characters were experiencing.