Bethany House, Jun 2004, 12.99, 350 pp.
In 1846 at The Willows Plantation near Lorman, Mississippi, Jasmine Wainwright is stunned that her Papa included her in a business deal with the Massachusetts mill owner Bradley Houston. Besides selling cotton to Bradley, Papa's daughter Jasmine will marry the Yankee to cement the deal. She will soon learn that her spouse is an ambitious man willing to destroy anyone to achieve his goals including annihilating his Southern Belle
Irish siblings Kiara and Paddy O'Neill work as indentured servants to Bradley. Though he is married, Bradley desires Kiara and willingly uses the threat of obliterating her brother to make Kiara acquiesce. These are two women from diverse backgrounds with two things in common: surviving the abuse of Bradley and turning to God to help them succeed. Separately neither can make it, but together their prayers and their joint courage give both hope.
This debut of the “Lights of Lowell” tales is an exhilarating inspirational historical novel. The story line brings to life the first major American industrial area as well as plantation life in the south just after the Mexican War. The key to the warmth and faith that the story line projects is the two female characters. Kiara and Jasmine are solid portrayals representing two diverse lifestyles yet through their beliefs share A TAPESTRY OF HOPE. Though Bradley has no redeeming qualities, readers will enjoy this slice of Americana long the Merrimack.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner