Shine Like the Dawn
by Carrie Turansky
Trade Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Multnomah Books
Released: Feb. 21, 2017
Source: Review copy from the publisher through Blogging for Books.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother's millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event reshaped their family, shattering an idyllic life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart because she wonders if what happened that day on the lake might not have been an accident.
When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his son and Maggie's estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father's vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father's engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.
Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?
Shine Like the Dawn is a Christian romance set in 1903 in England. The historical details weren't heavy and were woven into the story. If the hat-making aspect was a draw, be warned that only one scene involved hat-making. The main characters were well-developed, and I liked Nate, Violet, the grandmother. I was interested in the challenges that Nate faced in building a relationship with his half-sister, dealing with a pushy step-mother, and trying to stop a strike when he had only limited power and influence in the company.
But I don't see what two men found so attractive in Maggie that they wanted to marry her. Where Nate gave people the benefit of the doubt, Maggie condemned people as guilty until proven innocent. She briefly wondered if it's unfair of her to hold Nate responsible for his parent's hurtful actions yet she still did so. She won't even credit Nate's efforts to help her due to her grudge and because he can't stop bad things from happening to her.
As for the mystery, Maggie snooped around and found some clues. Though she lacked proof, she was ready to accuse and ruin someone's reputation even when Nate felt she shouldn't go to the police yet. Basically, he had to choose between supporting her even if he had doubts or losing her trust.
The Christian element was Maggie learning to trust God again and to realize where her attitude had led her. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting story even if I didn't understand why men were attracted to Maggie.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.