This is a tale of a boatload of mostly southern-born colonists, each with their own baggage of hurts, disappointments, and sorrows from the war years. The head of the entourage, Colonel Blake Wallace, a handsome, strong war hero of the Confederacy was wanted by the Union for war crimes. He barely makes it aboard the New Hope because of an encounter with officers who are seeking to arrest him. He proves to be an able-bodied seaman, but doubts his own leadership when recurring horrific memories of battles haunt him at unpredictable moments, rendering him unconscious at times.
Eliza Crawford, a southern-bred, independent, beautiful widow served as a Confederate nurse during part of the war. That was after she was rejected by her Yankee husband's family when he was killed in action. Despite her politician father's orders to not marry the Yankee officer she had fallen in love with at the family's hotel, she defied him and was no longer welcome in his home either. She struggles with her own lack of obedience to authority throughout the novel. Try as she might, she is not able to keep her marriage to a Yankee a secret from the other members of the entourage. This stands between a romantic relationship between she and Blake Wallace who lost several family members in the war.
The story is full of interesting well-developed characters, each with their own dream of starting over in a new land they know little about. Some of the men and women are honest, hardworking while others are looking for dishonest gain or an escape from a past criminal record.
Weeks aboard the ship and numerous storms and near tragedies bring some to their knees and others to fisticuffs. Eliza acts as nurse to many, even though she is hated for her association to the enemy. Forgiveness is a spiritual theme that runs deeply through this book and is testified to by several characters who have gone through extremely trying times. Other spiritual emphasises develop as the members of the new colony are drawn to God when their resources and strength grows small.
Forsaken Dreams is historical fiction at its best!
(This is a perfect book for a week at the beach - if you can keep from reading the complete story in a few days. It makes one anxious for Book 2 to be published! ) --Reviewed by Carly Karns
About the author: Acclaimed author, M.L. (MaryLu) Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida's Coast. After obtaining a degree in Math and working as software engineer for 15 years, she decided to test the waters as a writer. With now more than ten books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. As a follower of Christ, her stories often reflect her own journey and walk with God. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, and four cats on the California coast, where her imagination still surges with the sea.
DISCLOSURE: Forsaken Dreams was donated to the Alamance Christian School library.