Lovelier Than Daylight, by Rosslyn Elliott

book coverSusanna is a lady of principles who values family above all. Johann seems to represent all she despises . . . but appearances can be deceiving.

In 1875, Susanna Hanby is headed off to college in Westerville, Ohio, when she discovers her sister Rachel and Rachel’s children have disappeared. Susanna suspects that Rachel’s alcoholic husband knows more than he’s saying and she vows to uncover the truth.

Johann Giere is heir to a successful German-American brewery in Columbus, but longs for a career in journalism in New York City. When Johann signs on as the supplier for a new saloon in Westerville, his and Susanna’s paths cross and sparks fly. A fiery temperance crusader, Susanna despises Johann’s profession, but she cannot deny the attraction.

When Susanna learns that Rachel’s children have been indentured to orphanages in the city, she despairs that her family will be fractured forever. But Johann makes Susanna an offer she can’t refuse—pitting her passion and her principles against one another.

If she can find a way for her head and her heart to be in harmony, a future lovelier than daylight awaits her.

Lovelier than Daylight is a story of love and faith based on the Westerville Whiskey War of 1875, a dramatic real historical event featured in the 2011 documentary Prohibition by Ken Burns.

The Hanby family was prominent in Westerville, Ohio, during the 19th century, and writer Rosslyn Elliott chose write about them in her debut novel Fairer Than Morning. The first of The Sadler’s Legacy trilogy focused on Will Hanby’s relationship with the woman who would become his wife, Anne Miller. Book two, Sweeter Than Birdsong, looked at their famous songwriter son, Ben. Now, the trilogy closes with Lovelier Than Daylight which concentrates on their niece, Susanna.

It’s been fifty years since the events of Fairer Than Morning. The Civil War is over, immigration is increasing, and the temperance movement is growing. Susanna has seen what alcohol can do to a family, so Johann isn’t exactly on her list of favorite people. But Johann wants to show her that not all alcohol is evil, so he invites her and her Aunt Anne to his family’s German biergarten in Columbus, Ohio. He also gets involved in assisting Susanna locate her sister’s children. He offers several suggestions, some very personal, but Susanna can’t see beyond his family’s living.

Although I knew of the Hanby family’s existence, I had never heard of the Westerville Whiskey War. Elliott includes elements of the hostilities, including the blowing up of a saloon that was opened in Westerville against the wishes of the townsfolk. Lovelier Than Daylight is not a treatise on the perils of alcohol. Instead, Elliott looks at the subject from several points of view, including those who made a living from saloon-keeping and beer-making. The message appears to be that before we condemn we should look inside our hearts and approach a situation with love.

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Publication Date: 06 November 2012

Page Count: 368

Author’s Website   Publisher’s Product Page

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Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my free e-book of Lovelier Than Daylight, which I received in exchange for an honest review. 


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