Review: The Preacher's Promise

THE PREACHER'S PROMISE - Piper Huguley
Leliacea Publishers
PRINT | EBOOK
August 2014
INSPIRATIONAL HISTORICAL ROMANCE
REVIEWER: 
Wayne Jordan |  RATING: A 
SYNOPSIS: Devastated by her father’s death days after her triumphant graduation from Oberlin College, Amanda Stewart is all alone in the world. Her father’s unscrupulous business partner offers her an indecent proposal to earn a living. Instead, to fulfill a promise she made to her father, she resolves to start a school to educate and uplift their race. Sorting through her father’s papers, she discovers he had carried on a mysterious correspondence with a plantation in Milford, Georgia. She determines to start her teaching work with the formerly enslaved. However, when she arrives, the mayor tells her to leave. There’s no where for her to go.

REVIEW:
When Amanda moves to Milford, Georgia, with sadness and fear of the unknown, she is determined to make a new life for herself. Her father has recently passed away and she believes his partner has taken all that is owed to her.  Fortunately, her father had just been offered a position to teach the children of the new freed slaves and she offers herself for the position.  Virgin Smithson, mayor of the Milford, rejects her offer, adamant that a woman cannot teach the children. Of course, Mandy sets out to prove him wrong when she is offered the job by the formidable Mrs. Milford.

Amanda is not the typical heroine.  Born into freedom and the North, she views the changing world she lives in with some indifference. A graduate of Oberlin College, she’s educated beyond most other women (black and white) of the time and as a result is confident, strong and at times, impulsive.  It is inevitable that she and Virgil clash.

Virgil, on the other, is brooding, cautious and a product of the South, which at times, might make him appear weak. However, it’s his quiet strength that makes him stand out.  While he is a vulnerable tortured hero, he does rise to the occasion when he needs to.  I also admire his devotion to his daughter and the desire to protect her from the harsh reality of their lives.  The secondary characters are vivid individuals.  Mrs. Milford, especially, stands out as a white woman of the time; unable to understand the changing social climate, but knowing that she must accept it and make amends for things she has done.

One of the things, I enjoyed about this book is the detailed historical research.  Ms. Huguley does not shy away from including images of the harsh reality of slavery and its aftermath.  The description of the novel’s setting is vivid and I found myself transported to the era, inhaling its sounds, smells and sights.

THE PREACHER’S PROMISE is a wonderful story which focuses on the changing landscape of a country ravished by Civil War.  It’s also a story of two individuals who must not only deal with their new world, but who learn to love each other despite their difference.  Without preaching at the readers as soon inspirational authors do, Ms. Huguley gives us the message of God's love and promise through the lives of the characters and their interaction with others.

With its stunning cover art, THE PREACHER’S PROMISE is a must read.  Be sure to read the series’ prequel, THE LAWYER’S LUCK.

7th September 2014 | romcol@caribsurf.com