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Copyright by Pegg Thomas 2009-2015


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Feb 14, 2012
Before the Scarlet DawnBefore the Scarlet Dawn by Rita Gerlach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This book is hard for me to review and I've let it set for a week thinking about it.  I loved it for the first 80% of the book.  The characters were real, interesting, they struggled, stumbled and found their footing again.  It was shaping up to be a story I might have read a second time.  But for me, it fell apart in the end. 

If you like a happily-ever-after story, this is certainly not your book.  If you like more realistic, hard-life stories, this may be your book.  I do actually like a hard-life story, but this one stripped everything from the leading lady.  She loses it all and I felt, at the end, she lost herself.  That is why it fell apart for me. 

I can understand losing the rest, life happens, people disappoint, etc.  But to lose the essence of self, to stop striving to reach your goals, to lay down and accept defeat?  Not my idea of a good ending.  Even Scarlett still had Tara!  All the build up, all the time invested rooting for this woman to succeed at some level, only to have her land flat... meh.


Carrie Pagels said...

I prefer a happy ending, too, Pegg. Rita is a talented writer. She is going in the literary direction with her writing. I have been seeing more of this lately in Christian fiction. Some people like to walk away from a book with a deep message. I think this one was that despite losing everything God will still provide a way for you, which happened at the end of the story. I was quite surprised by how this ended, also.

Rita Gerlach said...

Thank you, Pegg, for posting about my novel. Carrie is right. These books are on a literary vein of historical drama, not sweet romances. Mark it up to poor marketing, but the Daughters of the Potomac series is really a trilogy. Book 2, Beside Two Rivers, is Darcy's story, but will continue Eliza and Hayward's story, and readers will find the power of redemption and forgiveness in their lives. Book 3 'Beyond the Valley' is from Sarah's point of view and how she ended up at River Run, and is reflective of her search for true love. I'm trying to get the word out to readers that this series is not a group of stand alone novels, but a trilogy. I hope that might persuade you to read the next book to see what happens to the characters.
Rita Gerlach

by Pegg Thomas said...

Ah! So this isn't the end of what we'll know about Eliza. Good! I knew there were three books in the series, but the ending didn't give the feel that there was more to come, so I assumed it was three stand alone books about different women. Yes, I will certainly read the next one to find out what more is to come. Thanks for taking the time to comment and explain.